Relive the experiences described in the inspiring stories told by people close to the foundation.

A volunteer driver since January 2017: turning her passion into a force for good

I’ve always enjoyed driving. I’m completely comfortable and at my calmest when I'm behind a wheel. Could it have anything to do with the fact that I was born in a car on the Honoré-Mercier Bridge?

Besides the driving, what I also appreciate about my role as a volunteer driver is that it allows me to meet people.

In addition to my various other jobs, I began my “transportation” career during my father’s cancer treatment, and nine years later, I did the same for my brother. While I was driving them to the hospital, I started to take other patients, who needed it, along too.

Some time later, the Quebec Cancer Foundation contacted me, as my name had probably got around in the wards of the hospitals I visited.
At that time, I had never heard of the Foundation. What a coincidence that my sons have lived on the same street as the Montreal Lodge for 25 years!
I volunteer at the Foundation 3 days a week: on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
My role is to transport residents of the Montreal Lodge to their treatment center, whether at the CHUM, the GLEN, the Montreal Jewish General Hospital, the Montreal General Hospital, the Charles-Le Moyne Hospital or CISSS Laval. I transport 20 to 30 people a day in the Foundation’s van, covering an average of 130 km per day in the Greater Montreal area!
The days go by at a dizzying pace and keep me very busy. I take advantage of my very few free periods by immersing myself in my books.
Among my passengers, I will sometimes see the same ones every day for months, while I meet others only once. The atmosphere in the van is dictated by the moods and personalities of my passengers. I never impose myself on them when I drive. I talk and I laugh with some and I am silent with others.
I meet talkative passengers, emotional passengers or passengers who are exhausted by their treatments. Whatever their situation, I always offer them an ear they can confide in. The fact that I was affected personally, by the cancer of my father and my brother, gives me some distance on their confidences. I listen sympathetically, but I maintain the perspective needed not to let myself be overwhelmed by emotions, so that I can carry on in my role as a driver.
Some residents are so grateful to me that they invite me to spend the holidays at their home and give me gifts—I've even received fish!
What was my biggest challenge as a driver? I once drove a lady who spoke neither French nor English, so we really had to use ingenuity by communicating using signs. But I’m proud to say that I’ve had no incident in 3 years, either on the road, or with my passengers.
It’s a real pleasure to make myself useful for a cause that I consider to be so important.
If you share my passion for driving, the Foundation is looking for other volunteer drivers in Montreal. Let us know if you’re interested:

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