All Aboard Trolley and Limousine Owner Provides Transportation for Cancer Patients
Distance traveled in the truck: 44,500 miles. Amount of time volunteered driving to appointments: 1,250 hours. Number of different locations across New England: 9 hospitals. Conversations and friendships developed by making these Miles of Hope trips: Absolutely priceless!
Jim Gamage, owner of All Aboard Trolley and Limousine in Rockland, Maine, struggled with the difficult task of helping his mother-in-law schedule radiation treatments after she was diagnosed with breast cancer. In Midcoast Maine, finding transportation to and from treatments can be difficult. The nearest locations to Rockland for patients to receive radiation treatments are Augusta and Bath, which are both 90-miles round trip. Such long trips 2 or 3 times a week are difficult, and they’re particularly exhausting for the patients themselves.
About two years ago, Gamage’s mother-in-law lost her fight to cancer. As Gamage mourned his family’s loss, he reflected on his trips to treatments, and began to wonder how other people made the trips. Surely not everyone had the means necessary to receive the treatments… How did other cancer patients in Midcoast Maine manage?
As it turned out, a number of patients were unable to receive their treatments easily. Some didn’t have family who could drive them, so they would find relatives close by to stay with. Others opted out of treatments completely because they couldn’t find ways to get there, or because they didn’t want to put out their friends and family. This inspired Gamage to start the Miles of Hope project.
Miles of Hope offers rides to Knox County residents who require cancer treatments, completely free of charge. Miles of Hope has brought patients to nine hospitals, sometimes as far away as Boston, for treatments. Gamage finances the trips out of his own pocket; he puts on a Benefit Breakfast every May to fundraise for his cause. Over the two years that Gamage has run the Miles of Hope project, he has developed a number of friendships. “I’ve had the best conversations of my life in this truck. I’ve learned a lot. That’s what I get out of it,” he says. Miles of Hope has changed a number of lives in Midcoast Maine, including Gamage’s life.
Visit Miles of Hope on Facebook, or call Jim Gamage at (207)-691-9300 for more information about the project.