2018 Healthcare Hero Spotlight: Chuck and Jan Vermillion

Chuck and Jan Vermillion, American Cancer Society volunteers

Chuck and Jan Vermillion of Spring Valley have been married for 53 years. For the past year, the couple has volunteered for the American Cancer Society’s (ACS) “Road to Recovery” program, which offers free rides to escort cancer fighters to their medical appointments and treatments.

When the Vermillions learned about the need for volunteer Road to Recovery drivers in East County, they stepped forward. Some rides have totaled up to 120 miles round trip.

“Some people are very talkative, others are contemplative and quiet, but all are very grateful,” said Chuck. “Sometimes, we drop them off and return several hours later. We’re just trying to give back and help people in our community.”

Jan is a breast cancer survivor who has been cancer free for the past six years. “Every one of the people we drive is special in their own way,” she said. “Some people have called us their guardian angels.”

For the past six years, the couple has also supported the ACS Relay for Life, a 24-hour fundraiser for cancer survivors and supporters to take turns walking around a track in honor of those fighting cancer and loved ones lost to the disease.

Chuck is a retired San Diego Police Department traffic patrolman who served for 28 years before retiring in 1999. He has also volunteered as an umpire and scorekeeper for the Valley de Oro Little League for over 40 years.

Grossmont Healthcare District holds an annual awards event to recognize front-line volunteer caregivers and other individuals like Chuck and Jan who improve health and quality of life for East Region residents. Nominated by their peers, honorees are considered as true unsung heroes of healthcare whose day-in and day-out work might not otherwise be celebrated. For more information on criteria, nomination deadlines, and more, visit our Healthcare Heroes special events page.