Drivers For Survivors
Sherry Higgs, Executive Director of Drivers For Survivors
"Making a Difference, One Survivor at a Time"
In February 2010 I awoke to an alarming sight—a swollen, slightly reddish and inflamed left breast. My breast was also lumpy and bumpy, as if someone had poured a bag of marbles into it. After immediate medical assessments, the diagnosis was soon confirmed as inflammatory breast cancer (IBC).
Soon after, I learned that IBC is the rarest, most aggressive, and a potentially life-threatening form of breast cancer. The diagnosis prompted immediate steps and a newly assigned medical team implemented an aggressive treatment plan that continued for a full year. My medical plate was soon full —2010 consisted of chemotherapy, radiation, surgeries, follow-ups, breast reconstruction, and immunity therapy. Life revolved around vital medical care and my role as a mother to my then 7 year old. Throughout the process, I was acutely aware of not only my situation, but also the struggles of other cancer patients around me.
Instead of beginning a new and fruitful career opportunity scheduled to start a few days after diagnosis, I decided to change direction. During that year, I had discovered a barrier to accessing quality healthcare services after struggling to find a ride to and from treatments and saw that others had the same issue. No one should have to be concerned about transportation to their lifesaving appointments when they are fighting to save their life! After experiencing this firsthand and speaking with others facing similar difficulty, I began to steer my life toward helping other cancer patients. I vowed that no one in my town would have to worry about transportation issues or face cancer alone.
Upon receiving a clean bill of health, I immediately set forth to assist cancer patients and make good on that vow by establishing my new-found passion, Drivers For Survivors, Inc. (DFS). DFS established itself as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit public charitable organization with a mission to provide free transportation service and supportive companionship for ambulatory cancer patients, from suspicious findings through treatments for those that live in the Fremont Newark, and Union City. These volunteer-companion rides service patients within a 60 mile radius in any direction from DFS headquarters. DFS aims to accommodate every patient’s needs. Patients are paired with dedicated volunteers who will drive them to and from medical-related appointments, freeing the patients to focus on their health and essential treatment.
Since the birth of DFS in 2012, the organization has rapidly grown and had traveled to 101 various medical-related locations to-date with more than over 170 volunteers helping 232 cancer patients and are soon approaching 8400 rides! Our survey scores are over 95% excellent from both clients and volunteers.
People are astounded by our accomplishment in such a short time! We are growing to meet the ever-increasing demand for our services. The goal is to continue to expand. This model is working!
Drivers For Survivors 3rd Annual Black and White Ball will be held on April 8th, 2017 at Castlewood Country Club in Pleasanton. Please contact events@driversforsurvivors for sponsorship opportunities.
To learn more please visit our website at http://driversforsurvivors.org/
“I can’t change the world, but I can change my world one person at a time”, Sherry Higgs