LANSING, Mich. — Having reliable transportation to take you to and from medical appointments is so important. Yet, thousands of mid-Michigan residents don't have that luxury. This week's good neighbors are stepping up to help and making a lot of people smile.
Shyannea Mansfield is pregnant with twins and on her way to a doctor’s appointment thanks to Julie Brower. Julie is a driver with The Davies Project, a non-profit staffed by volunteers who provide transportation for pregnant women and seriously ill children to get to medical appointments.
Shyannea says Julie and the Davies Project helps her a lot.
“Honestly, I don't think I would get to the appointments if it wasn't for the Davies Project.”
Julie says once she retired from her position as assistant director at MSU Child Development Laboratories, she still wanted to be active and help others. So, for the last two years, she’s been volunteering for The Davies Project.
“It’s just nice to know that you are able to help get them to get the health care that they need and that feels really good. And you really are filling a void,” she said.
Shyannea says The Davies Project has really helped her and her family.
“I came to the service because some days I'm unable to get rides because my family is either at work or they just live across town. I'm happy I found this service that takes me and my kids to doctor's appointments and make sure they're fine,” she said.
Pam Miklavcic says she founded the Davies Project after her son was diagnosed with leukemia at age three.
“We saw lots of families struggling who clearly did not have the same resources that our family had. You can have the best health care in the world. But if you don't have a way to get back and forth to that health care, you're sunk,” she said.
Pam’s son is now 25 and cancer-free.
Pam says the statistics on how many people can’t get to the doctor are startling and she felt compelled to help.
“When you look at the Lansing area, 70 percent of the children who rely on the specialty clinics are on Medicaid, 70 percent, and they are missing 60 percent of their outpatient appointments mostly because of transportation. So, what we do at the Davies Project is really very, very simple for giving rides to families. That need them,” she said.
For Shyannea, the Davies Project is a lifesaver.
“It means a lot because they take their time out their day to drive people around," she said. "They don't have to because they're retired you know they should be staying home chilling laying back relaxing, but they like to help other people and I'm grateful for that.”
Julie Brower agrees.
“It's an easy thing to do. I've never been in a situation met a person I didn't like it's just lovely to meet new people. And I think if you have the time and you want to give back, this is a great way to do it”
If you would like more information on The Davies Project visit their website at thedaviesproject.org.
We want to say thank you to The Davies Project and all the volunteer drivers who help take people to and from important medical appointments.
You are this week’s Good Neighbors.