Hundreds of cancer survivors participate in the 2017 Dempsey Challenge Survivor Walk.

By Lindsay Houff

NCCS Public Policy Manager

On behalf of the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship (NCCS), I had the wonderful opportunity to visit Lewiston, Maine, in October for the annual Dempsey Challenge. Hundreds of cyclists rode between 10 and 100 miles to raise funds for the Dempsey Center.

After attending the cancer survivors’ walk with hundreds of local survivors, patients and advocates, I had the chance to visit the Dempsey Center to see first-hand the incredible programs and services the Center provides to local cancer survivors and their families.

Dempsey Center LobbyFrom the moment you walk through the doors at the Dempsey Center, you are greeted with warm smiles and surrounded by beautiful art created by cancer survivors and their families. Each room was an oasis designed to improve the quality of life for anyone who enters. I couldn’t pick a favorite room from the tranquil indoor garden, the colorful children’s room, the test kitchen, or the yoga space.

It was truly incredible to see that in the middle of the mountains in Lewiston, Maine, cancer survivors have access to resources designed to improve the quality of life for them and their families. The Dempsey Center is an amazing place for all those facing cancer, and hopefully more places like it can support more and more people across the country in the near future.

Inside the Dempsey CenterIn case you have not heard about the Dempsey Center, its website describes it as “a leader in quality of life care for individuals and families impacted by cancer. Founded in Lewiston, Maine by actor Patrick Dempsey, the Dempsey Center provides a personalized, holistic and integrated approach to cancer prevention, education and support. All services are provided at no cost to anyone impacted by cancer regardless of their socioeconomic circumstances or where they receive their medical treatment.”

NCCS is a proud partner of Amgen’s Breakaway from Cancer®, a national initiative to increase awareness of important resources available to people affected by cancer, from prevention through survivorship. The four Breakaway from Cancer advocacy partners provide information and resources during the Amgen Tour of California each May and the Dempsey Challenge each fall.

Patrick Dempsey has been a Breakaway Ambassador since 2007, and we are grateful to him for his passion and dedication to cancer survivors and the organizations that serve them, like NCCS.

Patrick Dempsey poses with staff from all four Breakaway From Cancer partner organizations.

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