Imagine having the stress of a journey to a chemotherapy appointment taken away by having a luxury car like a Rolls Royce or an Aston Martin arrive at your door. This is exactly what might happen when you get a call from Your Ride Is Here.
Sitting in front of a backdrop of luxury cars, Ken Adams explains that his inspiration for Your Ride Is Here came from his own experiences of being ill with neck cancer three years ago.
When he would arrive at the doctor's office, "There would be people sitting waiting and when I'd leave, the same people would be sitting and waiting, and they were either riding the bus, waiting for friends to pick them up."
While at one of his own cancer treatments, he was particularly struck when he met a woman who arrived just in time for her chemotherapy appointment, though extremely out of breath, due to her bus being late.
Adams decided he wanted to do something that would help people in the same way that he was helped by his own friends and family. "I know how bad I felt when I'd left. I just wanted to go immediately home into bed."
He approached his friend, Sonny Morgan, owner of a luxury car dealership, who immediately saw the great work they could do together. "The difference of picking someone up in a Rolls-Royce, a Bentley, an Aston Martin, or a Lotus versus a city bus picking them up is a real uplift for somebody," he says.
At its most basic level, Your Ride Is Here's goal is to get people "from point A to point B" for their cancer treatments, explains Adams. Volunteers take patients to their appointments on their way to work or on their days off.
It ensures that people are able to get to their treatment on time and without the additional stress of having to catch the bus. Added to this, Adams explains that "there are too many people who choose what kind of treatment to get based on whether they can get to treatment or not."
Your Ride Is Here gives the patient the chance "to talk about things you don't normally talk about with your family and friends" and to forget about the reason for their journey.
It also offers rides to people on days when they might not have treatment but "when they're not feeling well, and brighten their day."
A Dream Ride takes the experience even further. By using luxury cars to take patients to their appointments, Your Ride Is Here adds some glamour and extravagance to the ride.
It provides "a little bit of inspiration and uplift to somebody's day who's either just starting treatment or it's their last day of treatment or they need an uplift somewhere in between," says Adams.
One such recipient of a ride is Will Allen who has always loved fast cars. He says that "it kind of takes your mind off of it" and it becomes "something to hold onto for a while and something happy and fun to look back on."
Even for people who are not life-long fans of luxury cars, the experience can most definitely take the edge off the journey to their treatment. "It was obvious that people weren't talking about cancer anymore. They were talking about a really, really wonderful experience, and so we tried to do that more and more and more," says Adams.
Your Ride Is Here is expanding quickly and has attracted a lot of interest from luxury car clubs across Texas and beyond whose members have signed up to volunteer. "There's no doubt that it gives us a real good feeling inside, just to see the expressions and see how they feel," says Morgan.
Adams explains that cancer changed the way he looks at things and is always excited to bring a smile to people's faces. "If I knew that everybody had a ride to treatment that needed a ride, that would be what we would define as success."