Mike Barlas first got behind the wheel three years ago. A proud navy vet, and retiree, he likes helping others.
“It just makes me… I feel exhilarated,” says Barlas.
He drives cancer patients to treatment and takes them home. Sometimes he volunteers his entire day, but it’s not a day wasted.
“I get a better appreciation of what life is all about,” says Barlas.
It’s all part of the road to recovery program in Lancaster County. He decided to help because he can relate. A cancer survivor… not just once.
“First surgery was back in November of 2009,” says Barlas.
“We found a lump in my throat that was related to the same type of cancer,” says Barlas.
But three times.
“A spot on my gum on the other side of where all the surgery was,” says Barlas.
He’s had four surgeries and part of his jaw replaced with bone from his leg. He spent most of March in the hospital and was released from nursing care the last week of May.
“So immediately in June I started driving again,” says Barlas.
But this time.. he started his third road to recovery with his passengers.
“Whatever I can give, or whatever I can share I’m more than happy to do. I’m happy to be here,” says Barlas.
Barlas says as long as he can drive, nothing will stop him.