When Regional Cancer Care Charities opened its doors, the goal was to help families such as Frank and Jane Gorli, of Hamburg.
Frank has prostate cancer with bone metastasis. As a result, he uses a wheelchair, and receives treatment every three weeks. Unfortunately, transportation is an issue for the couple. Dedicated to helping individuals with cancer pay for things not always covered by insurance, RCC Charities stepped in to help them make the 19-mile round trip commute.
To get to his initial consultation with Dr. May Abdo-Matkiwsky, DO, a board-certified medical oncologist with Regional Cancer Care Associates (RCCA) in Sparta, Practice Administrator Nichelle Underwood helped arrange wheelchair access, as well as transportation for all subsequent visits, through Skyland Rides, which provides low-cost transportation for trips including medical appointments and is able to accommodate his large wheelchair.
“They were scheduled to come in for their first appointment but called to cancel because of transportation issues,” Underwood said. “I spoke with Jane, who told me the ambulance company they were counting on canceled at the last minute, literally the day before the appointment.”
Fortunately, RCC Charities was able to secure transportation for Frank’s initial consultation with Skyland, which will provide all of his transportation needs to the office going forward.
“We had to change oncologists mid-stream due to my husband’s spinal cord being compressed by a tumor on his spine and leaving him pretty much paralyzed from the waist down,” Jane said.
That meant the Gorlis would no longer have to commute to Morris County. However, while Frank’s original visit was to be a telemedicine appointment, Dr. Abdo-Matkiwsky wanted an in-person visit, due to the nature of Frank’s condition, and it was difficult to find affordable transportation. After getting several quotes that Jane said were “exorbitant,” RCC Charities came to the rescue.
“When we were advised Mr. Gorli would not be able to make it for his much-needed appointment, I asked Shelly to evaluate the ability to secure transportation and help him get to his appointment,”
Dr. Abdo-Matkiwsky said.
In a note to Dr. Ethan Wasserman, board chair of RCC Charities, Jane wrote:
My husband became unable to stand, walk, sit up or roll due to the tumor on his spine, which was removed partially and radiated partially. We needed to visit the cancer doctors and your charity helped to fund the medical transport cost for us to get there. A miracle for us, for which we are very grateful!
Jane and Frank Gorli