Cancer Resource Center of Western Maine Celebrates New Location


NORWAY – The Cancer Resource Center in Western Maine has moved to new premises on the Stephens Memorial Hospital campus at 59 Winter Street in Norway. An upgrade in space, its new site will allow the association to expand its services in western Maine.

The center celebrated last Wednesday with an open house.

“We used to be at 199 Main Street in the barn,” said Sue Craib, who co-founded the center, volunteers there and serves as secretary to its board of directors. “We had a single room in this building. We feel like we have gone from a school to a room to a whole house. It’s more like walking into someone’s living room here, it’s a lot more relaxing.

Judy Stone, chair of the centre’s board of directors, gave a tour of the new facilities during the open house.

“The exercise room, which we call the healing room, we can use for almost any activity,” Stone said. “We borrowed a smart TV and are looking for our own, so that we can organize educational sessions here. “

Craib and his co-founders Barbara Deschenes and David Wilson were honored at the open house, with the healing room dedicated to them. All three are cancer survivors and began working together in 2012 to realize their vision of creating a support network for cancer patients who navigate diagnosis, treatment and spiritual well-being.

The Cancer Resource Center of Western Maine honored its founding members Sue Craib, Barb Deschenes and David Wilson by dedicating its healing room to them during an open house to celebrate its new location at 59 Winter Street in Norway. In the photo, Craib (left), secretary of the board, and Deschene, director of the board. Photo provided

The center offers virtual wellness programs like yoga, meditation and stress reduction. He is offering a chair yoga class in Harrison and adding another “Yoga Warriors” to Posabilities in Norway starting September 24th.

Recognizing that travel can be difficult for cancer patients in treatment, the center contracts with providers in communities across western Maine for therapies like massage, Reiki, reflexology and yoga so that patients and their caregivers can find respite close to home. Services are paid for by the Cancer Resource Center of Western Maine.

The center also provides transportation and food assistance to clients through grants.

“Travel assistance is available for people who live in the area and we provide transportation for treatments,” Stone explained. “Sometimes people have to go to Boston for chemotherapy or radiation therapy. Many of them go to Central Maine Medical Center for services, or to Maine Med (in Portland). “

Customers also receive Hannaford gift cards. During the COVID shutdown, volunteers delivered emergency baskets to cancer patients in western Maine with household cleaning supplies, personal protective equipment and personal hygiene items.

The center has a part-time oncology social worker, Stephanie LeBlond, LSW, who meets with patients to meet their needs during treatment and recovery, provide health insurance assistance and connect them. with agencies that provide heating assistance, advice and other resources.

During the pandemic, access to services was limited to appointments. With more space now, the center will begin to open for walk-in tours one day a week; the other days will continue to be by appointment only.

“We brought in about 80 new patients this year alone,” said CEO Diane Madden. “Three or four news each week. We have also recently received referrals from Rumford and Bridgton.

She said clients of the Cancer Resource Center of Western Maine come from all over western Maine. For the past five years, residents of the Township of Albany, Andover, Bethel, Bridgton, Brownfield, Bryant Pond, Buckfield, Casco, Denmark, Dixfield, Fryeburg, Greene, Greenwood, Hanover, Harrison, Hartford, Hebron, Lewiston, Mechanic Falls, Mexico, Milton Township, Naples, Newry, North Waterford, Norway, Otisfield, Oxford, Paris, Parsonfield, Patten, Peru, Poland, Rumford, South Paris, Stoneham, Sumner, Sweden, Waterford and West Paris benefited from the services provided by the center.

Madden joined the center over two years ago, but has been involved in oncology care within the Maine healthcare system throughout her career, first as a radiation therapy technologist and then working in the administration of oncology.

“All of our services and therapies are free for cancer patients and their caregivers,” Madden said. “It’s a rural model where we connect our clients with therapists and instructors in their communities and pay providers.

“We’re unique in that Stephanie is here part-time to meet with patients about any emotional, physical or financial needs they may have and then connect them with the appropriate resources. “

As a 501 C3 non-profit organization, the Cancer Resource Center of Western Maine accepts financial and volunteer assistance. To learn more or get involved in its mission, people should visit their website at www.crcofwm.org; follow them on the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/CRCWesternMaine or call (207) 890-0329.

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