Priscilla “Pat” Rollins stands beside a Sarah’s House van on her way to an event for the cancer patient hospitality house. Rollins is the winner of the 2019 Amanda Dempsey Award. Delores Landry photo

LEWISTON — Priscilla “Pat” Rollins is 84. She has metastatic cancer. She volunteers to help other people with cancer through Sarah’s House in Holden.

And she has been named this year’s winner of the Amanda Dempsey Award.

“Despite the aches and pains and ups and downs on her own cancer journey, Pat has logged over 1,200 volunteer hours since April 2015,” said her daughter, Delores Landry, who manages Sarah’s House. “She does laundry, cleans rooms, tracks donations and answers phones at the house for people undergoing cancer treatment in the area. Pat never focuses on her own cancer, but uses her journey to inspire others. She has won the hearts of guests and fellow volunteers with her positive attitude.”

Named in memory of Patrick Dempsey’s mother, the Amanda Dempsey Award is given annually to a cancer survivor who demonstrates a passion for helping others. It is presented in conjunction with the annual Dempsey Challenge, the Center’s largest fundraiser.

Rollins, who lives in Brewer, was surprised and overwhelmed to be named the winner.

“I’m not into this kind of thing,” she said. “But I’m very pleased. I’m very honored. I wasn’t expecting this.”


Rollins was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2006. While she underwent surgery and radiation, she decided the side effects of chemotherapy would be too hard for her to handle at 71.

In the fall of 2012, doctors found Rollins’ breast  cancer had metastasized to her bones. The bone cancer now goes from her skull to her tailbone. She continues to receive treatment at Northern Light Cancer Care with the goal of slowing the cancer’s growth.

“I always look forward to coming in (to Sarah’s House) and seeing my guest that’s been here before. They’ll come back after a while and it’s kind of nice just to share where we are at and how well we’re all doing,” she said. “I really think it’s a beautiful place. Relaxing. I really enjoy the folks that I’ve met here.”

Rollins will accept the award Saturday during this weekend’s Dempsey Challenge.

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