Real Men Wear Pink donations help free American Cancer Society patient ride program

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(WJRT) - (10/10/19) - All month, Matt Barbour is raising money for the American Cancer Society of Genesee County, as part of the 'Real Men Wear Pink' campaign.

Those donations help more than 100 cancer patients get to and from treatment as a part of 'Mission Delivery.'

Your generosity is crucial in supporting the free ride program.

"One in eight, right now, are diagnosed with breast cancer," says Debbie Pavone with the American Cancer Society of Genesee County.

One in eight women are diagnosed and more than 2,000 men are impacted by breast cancer every year.

Pavone says your dollars help the American Cancer Society help local patients.

"Last year out of the Flint office, we provided over 3,000 rides for patients and we just didn't want them to turn down their treatment, frankly, because they had no way to get there," says Pavone.

"Some people actually say that they feel like they'd rather get a ride from a stranger than be a burden on their family and their friends," says Rachael Cook.

Cook oversees the 'Mission Delivery' program.

"We have two vans. One of them goes to the Karmanos Cancer Institute and one of the them goes to the Genesys Hurley Cancer Insitute," says Cook.

David Whitter has been a volunteer driver since 2013.

"We're volunteers, but we get paid really well. I average about four sincere 'Thank Yous' from patients," says Whitter.

And those patients become more like family.

"You form a bond with these people," he says.

He is along for the emotional ride with them. One woman's story has never left his memory.

"And the news she got was very bad. And she cried all the way back to the house. And I asked her, finally said, 'Is everything okay?' And she said, 'No. Everything is not okay. They're suggesting I have one treatment possibility left,'" he recalls.

But, he says out of bad, comes inspiration.

"Two years later, she was on my list for a follow-up appointment. And she was in remission. And think I've picked her up three or four different times over the years. And she's still in remission."

David is no stranger to the fears that come with a diagnosis.

"I was a pretty healthy guy until 2014. I was diagnosed with prostate cancer," says Whitter.

It was stage four.

He tells his passengers in the middle of the storm, if he can fight his way out, they can too.

"I've been cancer free now for three and half, four years," says Whitter.

The American Cancer Society is always in need of more volunteer drivers for 'Mission Delivery.'

Call (810) 733-3702 to find out more.

To donate to Matt Barbour's 'Real Men Wear Pink' campaign click on 'Related Links.'

That money helps make the 'Mission Delivery' program possible!