Local volunteers honored for service to cancer patients

Local volunteers honored for service to cancer patients
(Source KSWO)

LAWTON, OK (KSWO) Mayor Fred Fitch honored a group of volunteers with Lawton's Retired and Senior Volunteer Program on Thursday. They volunteer their time at Comanche County Memorial Hospital and the Leah M. Fitch Cancer Center.

"I sit in the break room, in the pharmacy and I wait for chemotherapy bags to be ready," said Kendal Miller, volunteer.

Miller is one of five volunteers at the hospital. Once the bags are ready, she takes them in storage containers to the cancer center.

She's been volunteering for over five years and typically completes two trips per patient.

"It's a little under a quarter mile each way and I usually do six miles or seven and frequently 8," said Miller.

The most she's done in one day was nearly 13 miles. Besides the exercise, she said helping those patients who cannot help themselves hits close to home for her.

"My mother was a cancer patient in Houston and she told me about the volunteers carrying the chemotherapy to her because of the same problem---the pharmacy is far from the infusion center," said Miller. "So, I wanted to be a help."

Other volunteers like John Hegna are assigned to pick up patients from their homes and transport them to the Cancer Center for their appointments. Mayor Fred Fitch even decided to tag along with Hegna to pick up a patient.

RSVP administrator Karen Flowers said volunteers like Hegna and Miller showcase the true dedication of those in the program.

"It is more and more important that you have volunteers pick up the slack where you don't have positions anymore, but the services are still so critical to the community and the people who need those services," said Flowers.

"It keeps my spirits up being around so many friendly caring people and it helps out," said Miller. "It really does help out."

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