Race to benefit local Cancer Center program

Race to benefit local Cancer Center program

LAWTON, OK (KSWO) - The Spirit of Survival is quickly approaching and participants across Texoma are getting ready. In the past few years, the event has raised around $100,000 every year for cancer research and programs within the cancer center of Southwest Oklahoma.

Volunteer Jack Bozarth is just one of many with the Cancer Centers of Southwest Oklahoma who donates his time to driving patients to and from their appointments.

Bozarth drives around 400 miles every day he volunteers and said no distance is too far for him to drive, knowing what the car service does to help cancer patients.

"After so many treatments sometimes you're too ill to drive," Bozarth said. "So, there would be no way for them to come short of their relative or a friend and you can just do that to your friends and realities for so long."

He's been doing this for six years and said he gets to really know the patients as they drive them around. Charles Prichard is a former patient that Bozarth drove to appointments. Prichard underwent 25 days of treatment and utilized the service because he no longer drives.

"It's been a lifesaver for us," Prichard said. "This is quite a service I don't know of any place that provides this kind of service."

He especially likes that the drivers are always on time.

Bozarth said the patients they're picking up are fighters who are trying to beat cancer and return to their normal life.

"It's been very rewarding to see people come in and finish their treatment and be able to take them home... you know they don't come back again and that to me is rewarding," Bozarth said.

While he's seen people beat cancer, he's also seen the other side.

"We actually feel that we have lost them as well as their family because we get to know them on a somewhat personal basis. It's difficult not to when so many of them are going through a life-threatening situation," Bozarth said.

Copyright 2017 KSWO. All rights reserved.