Sarah McElveen Shares Her Story and Her Gratitude


Sarah McElveen was raised in Pamplico along with 10 brothers and sisters. They worked on a farm. She is the sixth of her siblings to be diagnosed with cancer.

When Sarah was informed that she had both colon and breast cancer, her surgeon Dr. Amy Murrell, explained to her that she would need six weeks of radiation therapy as part of her treatment.

Sarah, who has a naturally positive outlook, knew she needed help. She did not have a car or money to afford the daily trips from Pamplico to Florence for the lifesaving treatments. Dr. Murrell’s office referred Sarah to the McLeod Radiation Oncology staff, who contacted Raquel Serrano, a Certified Oncology Social Worker in the McLeod Cancer Clinic. Raquel arranged transportation assistance for Sarah through the LIFT program.

“When you become sick and do not have the means to get well, you need help. I am so very thankful that McLeod had a program to help me," Sarah says.

Sarah celebrated the completion of her cancer treatment by ringing the bell in Radiation Oncology. She was surrounded by other patients she had grown close to during her appointments. Although from various walks of life, these patients shared the common bond of a cancer diagnosis and Sarah became their uplifting guide. She encouraged them by sharing “that while the body ages, the spirit is forever young.” Sarah firmly believes that God provided for her care and wishes to thank the donors whose gifts made the LIFT program available for her and many others.

The LIFT Program: Impacting Lives

McLeod Health offers the only remaining hospital-based cancer clinic in the state of South Carolina, providing care to patients with limited or no resources. Many of these patients struggle to pay monthly bills, have to decide whether to buy food or medication, and often do not have access to transportation.

Transportation to a cancer clinic visit or scheduled treatment for radiation or chemotherapy poses a deep concern for many clinic patients. Understandably, a lack of transportation for scheduled appointments is a barrier to the successful treatment of a cancer patient’s disease. Consider, for example, a radiation patient who must receive treatment seven days a week for six weeks. Without transportation, this is not possible.

Of 200 McLeod Cancer Clinic patients, approximately 20 to 30 of their appointments are missed per month due to transportation issues. These appointments include treatment services provided by the clinic, infusion services and radiation oncology.

The Loving Initiative for Transportation (LIFT) program provides assistance to patients diagnosed with cancer who do not have any other form of transportation so they are able to receive their cancer treatments. The program provides assistance either by a contracted driver, gas vouchers, taxi vouchers or shuttle services. LIFT is funded entirely through generous gifts to the McLeod Foundation.

Your gifts support efforts to help increase the quality of care for these patients and provide a positive impact on both the patient and their families.

Learn more about the new McLeod Cancer Center for Treatment and Research.