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The Healing Train

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Mission

Our Mission and Focus is to provide clean, comfortable, and safe transportation to cancer patients receiving treatments who are unable to get to and from appointments due to financial or logistical difficulties.

Location

Atlanta, GA

Who do you serve?

We service cancer patients on non-emergency occasions. We have partnered with Greene Worldwide Transportation to arrange FREE transportation to and from appointments for those fighting Cancer or other ailments requiring transportation that may otherwise be a challenge or burden to your everyday lives.

History

It was October of 2006 and I was coming home from a business trip back to Atlanta. It was the first time that my mom told me to take MARTA instead of meeting me at the airport as usual – not typical for my overprotective mother. That tipped me off that something fishy was going on. As I got into my mother’s car, I asked, “Why MARTA?” She mentioned that she and my father had a bad day. As her eyes filled with tears, she told me, “I have very sad news.” My heart started racing and I will never forget the look on my mother’s face. She told me that my dad was not feeling well last week. He had a cough and he was very worn out. She then said that he had a couple of medical tests to find out the problem. She looked at me and said, “Your father was diagnosed with Cancer.” I could not speak. After a few seconds of trying to comprehend this news, she then told me that it is stage 4 lung Cancer. It did not stop there. He was told that he only had a 35% chance of making it through the year. I was shocked and stunned. By now, we had arrived and pulled into the driveway of my childhood home. I was not sure how I would face my dad and what to say.

I walked into the house. He was sitting in his favorite spot on the couch. He looked at me and said “Matthew, this has been a crappy day.” I looked at him, wearing his favorite flannel shirt and sweatpants. Tears gathered in my eyes. After a brief but emotional moment, we started quoting our favorite movie, Rocky. We talked about fighting this Cancer and no backing down – “eye of the tiger.” Before we knew it, I was Mic and my dad was Rocky. I said, “We will fight this together every step of the way.”

After a couple weeks and numerous doctor appointments, we got a very rigorous treatment schedule. It was chemo three days a week and two weeks off. In between were constant blood checks and follow up appointments. He had a very difficult time. Blood transfusions and platelet transfusions became routine. He was hospitalized five times in three months. It felt as if we lived in medical facilities.

His caretaking became a full time job. My mother was a school teacher at the time and I had a full time career in sales. My mom had already used up her available time off from school taking care of dad. I laid awake every night anxious about how I was going to get my dad to this treatment. On his chemo days, I would pick him up and drop him off around 9:00 a.m. His treatment lasted about three hours. But I left him sometimes and I would not get back in time. He sat there for hours until I returned. It ate away at me knowing he was there waiting for me. I would arrive after a long day of visiting customers and doing my own work. As I parked the car, got my dad into the wheelchair with his oxygen tank, we made our way home. I would lie in bed at night wondering how I would do this whole routine again, day by day. That is why I am creating “The Healing Train.”

Proudest accomplishment

My proudest accomplishment was seeing the first ride provided to a patient in need. It proved that this organization is needed and helpful.

Greatest need

My greatest need is finding corporations, donors, and sponsors to fund my service.

Plans for the future

To grow my organization into a sustainable company that can provide everyone that reaches out to me with top notch service.

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