The American Cancer Society offers a free summer camp for children ages 4 – 18, who have been diagnosed with cancer, and their families. There are three camps in New England, including Camp Rainbow in Ellsworth, Maine. Children from all over Maine are encouraged to attend – no matter where they live. When asked what they liked most about Camp Rainbow, many participants remarked that they like how everyone cares about everyone else and how they were able to share their thoughts with others who have experienced cancer. When asked what they like least about camp, the general consensus was, “It wasn’t long enough!” Money raised through Relay For Life helps support Camp Rainbow – celebrating its 25th anniversary of offering this free service for kids and their families in 2012. [Value of one week at camp: $1,300]

Trained volunteers in our Cancer Resource Centers in community hospitals share American Cancer Society programs, services, and informational books and pamphlets with patients, family members, and caregivers. Currently there are five cancer resources center in Maine (Mid Coast Hospital, Brunswick; Mercy Hospital, Portland; St. Mary’s Hospital, Lewiston; Harold Alfond Center for Cancer Care, Augusta; and EMMC’s Cancer Care of Maine, Bangor). Money raised at Relay For Life helps support these valuable resource centers.

Look Good, Feel Better is an American Cancer Society program using specially trained, licensed cosmetologists to provide free consultations, individually and in groups, to help patients cope with the appearance-related side effects of cancer treatment, including hair loss and skin changes. Money raised at Relay For Life helps us offer this program throughout the state.

The Society offers a Reach to Recovery program where volunteer breast cancer survivors answer non-medical questions and offer practical advice to women facing a breast cancer diagnosis, treatment, and recovery – either in person or by phone. Money raised at Relay For Life helps us support these specially-trained volunteers statewide.

Last year, nearly 45,000 New Englanders dialed the Society’s toll-free number for comprehensive information and services. This cancer hotline – 1-800-227-2345 – is the only one of its type in the world and is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Nationwide, someone calls the American Cancer Society every 30 seconds! Money raised through Relay For Life helps support this important resource for cancer patients and their loved ones. [Value per call: $50]

Through our toll-free number, the American Cancer Society offers a Clinical Trials matching service – a free, confidential program that helps patients, their families and health care workers find cancer clinical trials most appropriate to a patient’s medical and personal situation. Through a partnership with the Coalition of Cancer Cooperative Groups, we can help you find research studies that are testing new drugs or methods to prevent, detect or treat cancer. Cancer patients and their families from throughout Maine are encouraged to learn more about this important program.

Cancer patients with complex needs often struggle to access support services. Hospital-based American Cancer Society Patient Navigators are being deployed in many locations across New England to guide patients to social and emotional support, transportation, and medical and financial assistance services. Maine has two Patient Navigators – one is located at Maine Medical Center’s Cancer Institute, and the other at the Harold Alfond Center for Cancer Care in Augusta. Money raised at Relay for Life helps support Maine’s patient navigator program. In addition, if a Maine cancer patient must travel to treatment in another state, if there is a Patient Navigator at that facility, Maine patients would have access to them as well.

The American Cancer Society offers three Living With Cancer Conferences in Maine – Augusta, Bar Harbor, and Presque Isle. The 34th annual Living With Cancer Conference, held this year on May 2, 2012 in Augusta, is the longest running survivor conference of its type in the country. It is offered free to cancer patients and survivors, and money raised at Relay For Life helps support these amazing events.

The Society’s Road to Recovery program offers free rides to cancer patients needing transportation to and from their treatment appointments. Often these patients are too tired or sick to drive themselves, and their families cannot take the time off from work for the many appointments required. The rides are provided by caring, trained volunteers, and money raised at Relay For Life helps support this program by allowing the American Cancer Society to purchase additional liability insurance for our volunteer drivers. [Average value to patient: $200]

The American Cancer Society is the largest private funder of cancer research in the world – to date, the Society has invested $3.6 billion in cancer research, including $467 million in grants currently in effect. In New England institutions alone, the Society is currently funding 144 researchers with $59.9 million in grants. A researcher at the Jackson Laboratory is currently funded with a three-year, $720,000 grant to study brain cancer. Maine has the highest incidence rate for brain tumors in the U.S.

Since 1960, the American Cancer Society has given over $3 million in grants to Maine research institutions.

Since 1946, when the Society began funding research, Maine has received more than $9 million in grants.

Society-funded Maine research facilities include Jackson Laboratory, Maine Medical Center, and UMaine Orono.

The American Cancer Society has a history of funding scientists early in their careers, and 46 Nobel Prize winners began their careers with an American Cancer Society grant. Two ACS-funded researchers at the Jackson Laboratory went on later in their careers to received Nobel Prizes.

In addition to ACS grants, the Society’s advocacy efforts have been successful in helping to secure federal cancer research and prevention dollars from NCI (National Cancer Institutes) and CDC (Center for Disease Control) for Maine research facilities. In 2010, the Society helped secure $64 million in research funding for Maine organizations including: Bowdoin College, Maine Medical Center, UNE, USM, Jackson Laboratory, Mt. Desert Island Biological Lab, UMaine Orono, Bates College, and Collinge & Associates in Kittery.

More than 30 years ago, the American Cancer Society funded research scientists who helped establish mammography as the gold standard to find breast cancer early, and we work every day to help more women have access to these screenings. Through the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Networksm (ACS CAN), our nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate, we have helped successfully lobby Congress for millions of dollars for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program, which helps low-income, uninsured, and underinsured women get access to critical screenings and follow-up treatment. We are currently working to increase funding for the program so it can serve more eligible women

Money raised at Relay For Life events helps fund life-saving research in Maine, New England, and in other states where important research breakthroughs will benefit Maine cancer patients.

The American Cancer Society offers free lodging for those cancer patients that receive treatment far from home. It is called Hope Lodge, and there are three of them in New England – Boston and Worcester, MA and Burlington, VT. In 2011, more than 40 Maine patients stayed at the Boston Hope Lodge with an estimated total of 1,500 free nights. Since they did not pay for lodging that is an estimated savings of $435,000. Excluding Massachusetts, Maine patients received more free nights than any other state. Money raised at Relay For Life helps support Maine families that stay at Hope Lodge. [Value of an average stay at Hope Lodge: $2,900]

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