Maine Cancer Foundation Board Member Sarah Mayberry recently attended the Community Change Institute, a week-long conference in Toronto. Sarah is the Program Coordinator for the Breathe Easy Coalition of Maine, whose mission is to "reduce exposure to secondhand smoke through the promotion of strong voluntary policies that lead to reduced tobacco use and increased tobacco-free living throughout Maine."
In our guest blog series, Sarah shares insights about the conference, including a call for Mainers to help us Challenge Cancer 2020.
Challenge Cancer: 2020 is our visionary initiative to cut cancer rates in Maine by 2020. Our goal of a future for a Maine less burdened by cancer requires active participation from people and communities across the state. Our success depends on inviting key stakeholders to the table to share strategy, tactics, and experience.
Recently we sat down with one of our stakeholders: Theresa Knowles, Vice President of Quality Improvement for Penobscot Community Health Care (PCHC). Since 2015, PCHC has received two Maine Cancer Foundation grants to create patient navigator positions to increase colorectal, breast, and cervical cancer screenings. These positions are responsible for outreach to PCHC and St. Joseph’s Healthcare’s adult population for gender and age-related cancer screenings. Theresa recently served on our 2016 Patient Navigation grant review team to help award $466,725 to strengthen positions across the state.
This past summer, more than 1,000 women raised over $1.65 million in support of Maine Cancer Foundation’s largest event of the year, the Tri for a Cure. For the Tri’s 10th anniversary on July 23, 2017, we are setting our sights even higher – and some participants have already started fundraising to help us get there.
There's another triathlon brewing in Maine! On September 17, the 14th annual Lobsterman Triathlon will kick off from Freeport's Winslow Park, with charitable proceeds supporting our Challenge Cancer 2020 Initiative. The Lobsterman Tri is an Olympic-distance race open to men and women who want to push themselves to the next level and challenge cancer along the way.
This event is life changing, the camaraderie is unbelievable and the cause is so important.
This year I am participating to honor 3 special friends. Kieara Robinson, a nurse who works with me in the NICU at MMC who is a special person fighting a battle to cure a stage 3 astrocytoma (brain tumor) and two very special friends in Texas who have battled lung cancer and lymphoma in the last 12 months. All of these are very special and extremely important people to me. I am constantly amazed by their bravery and perseverance. Cancer touches everyone.