Volunteering helped me find my new love!
It’s National Volunteer Week from 18-24 May 2020, the perfect time to recognise some of the wonderful volunteers who donate their time to helping people with blood cancer.
When Ian Pyman started volunteering at the Leukaemia Foundation nearly eight years ago, he never thought it would lead him to find his new partner.
“After I’d been driving for a year, Deb, the Leukaemia Foundation Transport Coordinator back then, pulled me aside and said, ‘I’ve got someone for you to meet’.”
“Meanwhile at the same time, Deb said the same thing to her friend Lyn. This went on for about 12 months, we were both not ready. In the end we both basically relented at the same time and I said to Deb, ‘Oh for goodness sake, give me her phone number, get off my back.’ ”
Ian and Lyn met up for coffee and nearly closed the café down: “We got there about 2pm; at half past 5 the café staff were wishing we’d shoot through as they wanted to lock up!”
Ian even got Lyn onto volunteering for the Leukaemia Foundation once she had retired, suggesting she donate her time as a driver.
“I said, ‘Why not? The more the merrier!’ ”
Lyn’s now been driving for over two and a half years, often on the same days as Ian.
Ian and Lyn are part of a nation-wide team of Leukaemia Foundation volunteer drivers, transporting people living with blood cancer to vital hospital and medical appointments.
“It takes a lot of pressure off people – trying to get a car park at the hospital is a massive stress!”
Volunteers like Ian and Lyn have helped to keep this free Leukaemia Foundation service running for more than 20 years.
Our patient transport service relieves the financial burden of car parking costs, as well as providing a safe way to help people get to appointments if they’re too unwell to drive or take other transport.
Ian had first noticed the Leukaemia Foundation transport service cars nearly ten years ago, during hospital visits for his late wife Carol.
“I’d seen the cars at the hospital but we didn’t use them at that stage, as I’d retired so I could take her in and out of hospital,” Ian said.
Carol was in treatment for acute myeloid leukaemia, something Ian said “Hit us out of the blue”.
“It just blew our world apart,” he said.
“After she passed away I thought, ‘Right, I’ve got to do something with my life, I can’t sit around doing nothing’,” he said.
“I was driving and one of the Leukaemia Foundation cars pulled up beside me and I thought, ‘There’s one of those cars again – that’s it.’ ”
Ian sums up the enjoyment of being a volunteer driver simply: “It’s about helping people get to where they need to go safely.”
“And you can make people’s day a bit better by having a chuckle about something!”
The Leukaemia Foundation transport program is proudly supported by Bridgestone Select and Bridgestone Service Centres.Last updated on May 14th, 2020
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