NORWAY — Although the Cancer Resource Center of Western Maine is closed until further notice, it is still —virtually — business as usual.

Thanks to the innovation and generosity of many wellness providers throughout western Maine, the center is able to continue its programming by offering a variety of virtual wellness classes and support to anyone impacted by cancer, according to Executive Director Diane Madden.

And, like other similar agencies, while the office is closed, staff are still available by phone or email to provide resources and support.

Kathryn Gardner of Song Body Soul in South Paris leading Friday morning’s chair yoga class from her home. The Cancer Resource Center of Western Maine is offering virtual services and programming, including Gardner’s yoga class. Submitted photo

“We are very grateful to the wellness providers and others who have helped us to rethink how we reach our audience during this time of social distancing,” Madden said. “Having the ability to offer a variety of classes, such as yoga, meditation, EFT/Tapping and self-reiki via videoconferencing, allows clients to connect with their computer or smartphone and, in some cases, only a telephone is needed to participate.”

The center also has plans to add additional virtual programs, including social and support groups, over the next few weeks.

“We want to reduce the isolation that many people are experiencing and help them keep mentally and physically well,” Madden said.

“Having the ability to continue our program virtually is so important to the individuals impacted by cancer who we serve,” said Judy Stone, board president of Cancer Resource Center of Western Maine.  “The Cancer Resource Center also recognizes the critical role of caregivers while tending to the needs of their loved one or friend during this difficult time. Virtual wellness programs can provide an opportunity for them to address their own self-care,” she said.

In the following weeks, center volunteers will mobilize to call current and former clients for social interaction and to triage any extreme needs they might have and then assist them in connecting to the needed resources. In the meantime, Madden is available to take calls at 207-890-0329.

A list of virtual classes and instructions for connecting are available at www.crcofwm.org and will be updated frequently, and the center’s Facebook page offers daily class offering reminders. Instructions for connecting to classes will be provided to individuals after they sign up for class.

The Cancer Resource Center of Western Maine offers a variety of comfort items in addition to wellness programs, and all are free to anyone impacted by cancer.

The center is funded through foundation grants, donations from individuals and companies and fundraising events such as the annual Turkey Trot 4 Hope, held on Thanksgiving Day.

For more information, go to www.crcofwm.org; find them on Facebook; or call 207-890-0329.

Donations to the Cancer Resource Center of Maine may be mailed to CRCWM, PO Box 263, Norway, ME 04268 or made online at www.crcofwm.org.


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