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Directors, Volunteer Drivers & Dispatchers.

Every year hundreds of cancer patients living in the lower mainland require help getting to and from life-saving cancer treatments. This cannot happen without hundreds of volunteers covering a variety of roles. Since 2016, over 1.6 million kilometers have been driven by volunteer drivers who are organized by a team of volunteer dispatchers matching over 200 drivers to patients.

The hard reality is that everyone has been touched by cancer in their lifetime. It is this reality that fuels our volunteer drivers to year after year dedicate their days to being community champions.

The Volunteer Cancer Drivers Society needs help both monetarily to keep our transportation program going as well as a donation of time for driving patients to get the care they need.

Donations can be made here | Donation of time can be made here

OUR VISION
A ride for all cancer patients to care.

OUR MISSION
To serve cancer patients in need with compassionate and personalized transportation to care with community funding.

OUR VALUES
As dedicated Society Members, we value the;

  • opportunity to help cancer patients
  • generosity of the community
  • respect and appreciation for the committment of our fellow volunteers
  • patients trust

OUR COMMITMENT

  • to serve all patient needs in a timely and courteous manner
  • to support the health care providers in their scheduled treatment of their patients
  • to provide the VCDS with ample driving time options to avoid unmet patient rides
  • to represent the VCDS as passionate and proud community volunteers
  • to assist the VCDS with its charitable funding needs

Service Levels To Date

Drivers & Dispatchers 200
Volunteer Hours 77,272
Patient Trips 50,852
Kilometres Driven 1,508,658

Service Levels - Previous Years

Annual Reports

Founders & Board Members

We would like to introduce our Members of the Board who made the Volunteer Cancer Drivers Society a reality.

BobSmithPresidentSociety President
Bob Smith, BCom., MBA, FCCHL
 
Bob is currently a health management consultant. He led a long career in executive positions in the health industry in Canada and served on a number of national boards focused on health policy, strategy and research. More recently he was an Adjunct Professor in the Sauder School of Business at UBC. He is committed to community service and serves as a Public Adjudicator for the BC Law Society and President of the Volunteer Cancer Drivers Society. He is a resident of Surrey.

GeorgeGarret Vice President - Fundraising
George Garrett

George was born Nov 16, 1934 in Mortlach, Saskatchewan and educated in Moose Jaw. He completed a Diploma Course in Marketing at the University of British Columbia. He spent 47 years in radio (43 at CKNW) as a news reporter, covering everything from crime to politics. He has a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Jack Webster Foundation and from Canadian Association of TV/Radio News Directors. In addition, he received 2 Broadcaster of the Year Awards from the BC Association of Broadcasters, is an Honorary Lifetime Member – RCMP Veterans Association – Vancouver Division, an Associate Member Vancouver Police Superannuated Police Officers Association and an Honorary Constable New Westminster Police Department.
 

GeorgeMcCaffer-BioExecutive Vice President
George McAffer
 
George retired after 49 years in a number of fields. He served as a fighter pilot and senior officer in the RCAF for 30 years, serving in most provinces of Canada including the high Arctic, as well as in Europe, the United Kingdom and the U.S.A. Subsequently, he served in an executive position with the BC Government and then as Vice President Asian Operations for Canadian Standards Association, based in Singapore. On return to Canada, he owned two successful businesses in the Lower Mainland. He has volunteered on the YMCA board of directors, as an executive in youth hockey and swim organizations and as a Crisis Line worker where he resides in Surrey.

GeorgeMcCaffer-BioDirector Operations
Bill Ruppel

Bill Ruppel began a 40-year career in aviation with the Cdn Armed Forces as an ROTP candidate and acquired a BA degree from the University of Waterloo and served for six years as a fighter pilot at CFB Bagotville QC. A 31-year career with Air Canada based in Vancouver followed with his retirement in 2009. His volunteer work includes organizing an annual motorcycle ride for Air Canada’s Dreams take flight charity, White Rock South Surrey Hospice and is currently the Driver/Dispatch Coordinator for the Volunteer Cancer Drivers Society. He is a resident of Surrey.

DaveLudwar-BioDirector of Technology
Dave Ludwar
 
Dave is currently a management consultant, focusing on financial and operational initiatives in the Lower Mainland. He has spent 30+ years in senior management roles in the Canadian Financial Services Industry. He served on the Retail Board of Governors for the Investment Funds Institute of Canada and President’s Council for several Canadian Mutual Fund Companies. His volunteer work includes the Canadian Kidney Foundation, Canadian Cancer Society, VGH Hospital Foundation, and the Canadian Diabetes Association. He resides in White Rock
 

LarryColeman-BioDirector
Larry Coleman
 
Larry has been a superintendent for a general contractor for approximately 40 years throughout BC and Washington State. The structures ranged from apartments to concrete warehouses, shopping plazas, schools and hospitals. His volunteer activities range from the Make-A-Wish Foundation of BC, Lifeline Crisis Centre, Eagle Ridge Hospital, Ride2Survive, Cops for Cancer and the Volunteer Cancer Drivers Society. He resides in Port Moody.

Orrie-BioDirector Secretary
Orrie Babiuk B.Ed. and M.Ed
 
Orrie taught school for 35 years in the New Westminster School District at the elementary and secondary levels and as the school teacher on pediatrics at R.C.H. She has volunteered at the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games, the Terry Fox Run in New Westminster, and has been a dispatcher/driver for the Canadian Cancer Driver Program and Area Coordinator for the April Canadian Cancer Daffodil Campaigns and the March Kidney Campaigns. Orrie is currently the treasurer for the New Westminster Retired Teachers, treasurer for the BC Delta Kappa Gamma Women Educators’ Society, and is a board member of the Canadian Harambee Education Society. She resides in New Westminster.
 

DeanDirector
Dean Callaghan, B.Sc., M.Sc.

Dean is originally from New Brunswick and has a B.Sc. from U.N.B. and an M.Sc. from McGill. He has enjoyed working in the pharmaceutical industry where he has held progressive positions from Drug Discovery, Development, Regulatory Affairs, and Sales. His most recent role was as an Oncology Liaison serving the major cancer centres of Western Canada, where he advocated for advanced genetic testing for cancer patients. Dean has participated in numerous government stakeholder meetings dealing with pharmaceutical and environmental issues. He resides in South Surrey and is very proud of his two sons, both attending UBC
 

DaveLudwar-BioTreasurer
Tom Akam, CPA, CA
 
Tom has worked in accounting, taxation and business valuations both in industry and public practice since 1964. Tom also serves on the boards of two recreational organizations and volunteers his time in support of the Alzheimer Society of British Columbia. He has served on strata councils for more than thirty-five years. Now retired, his interests are lawn bowling and RVing. He is a resident of Surrey.
 

GarthPinton-BioGarth Pinton
Past President

Following 5 years as a volunteer driver for the Canadian Cancer Society, Garth became a founding member and first President of the VCDS. As a founder of PFM Executive Search, he recruited a number of high profile senior executives in Canada and created a worldwide network of like-minded firms. He served on the Greater Vancouver Food Bank board for 11 years. Born in Vancouver he obtained his BA from UBC in 1972. He and his wife share their time between residences in North Vancouver and Harrison Hot Springs. Garth continues to drive cancer patients and provides assistance in VCDS community relations.

Volunteer Communications Team

Melissa Godinho,
RN, BSCN, CON(C).
Originally a founding VCDS dispatcher for the Langley area, Melissa’s role within the VCDS has evolved just as the VCDS has grown since its inauguration. Melissa assisted with the VCDS’ initial administrative functions and is now involved with the management of the online dispatching system, Ride Scheduler.  She is currently a Registered Nurse at BC Children’s Hospital in the Oncology, Hematology, and Bone Marrow Transplant Department, Melissa has been working in the nursing profession for several years with experience within the specialties of medicine, oncology, and palliative care. It is from her foundational participation on the front-lines in the public healthcare system that inspires her dedication and advocacy to community service. Melissa is a resident of Vancouver.
 

Liesa Billings
Digital Marketing Coordinator

Before launching her own small business marketing company, Liesa was the Director of Marketing in the hospitality industry. She uses her expertise in design, branding and business development to assist the Board where ever she is needed. Liesa’s constant drive is evidence of her commitment to improving the lives of those in her community and beyond. She has worked on fundraisers for various charities that involve feeding and clothing people in need. She is a resident of Tsawwassen.

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