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Patrick Dempsey announces cancer center merger

Actor and founder Patrick Dempsey was in Portland Monday to make the announcement. (WGME)

PORTLAND (WGME) – The Dempsey Center in Lewiston is planning to merge with the Cancer Community Center in South Portland, to reach more Mainers affected by cancer.

Actor and founder Patrick Dempsey was in Portland Monday to make the announcement.

“We have a shared mission,” Dempsey said. “It's to reach as many people who have been affected by cancer, that's the goal.”

Both aim to improve the quality of life for anyone impacted by cancer, including patients, their families and care-givers. They offer everything from emotional support to acupuncture and massage.

Once the merger goes through, operations will continue at the Lewiston location and in South Portland, both under the name Dempsey Centers.

The Hollywood star founded the center in 2008 to give back to the community where he grew up, and where his mom received cancer treatment.

Statistics show cancer is the leading cause of death in Maine, with more than 8,000 diagnosed each year.

To keep all care free, fundraising is key. Dempsey would like to host more events like the Dempsey Challenge, a run, walk and ride held every fall.

“Maine in the winter is really my favorite time,” Dempsey said. “I've always loved skiing and ski racing so we'd like to incorporate some of that.”

The merger is expected to be finalized early next year, and Dempsey is already anticipating expansion into central and northern Maine, when the time is right.

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