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SMMC Offers Second Walk Away From Cancer Program Thanks to Grant from Maine Cancer Foundation


Southern Maine Medical Center’s (SMMC) Walk Away From Cancer participants urge other cancer survivors, diagnosed during the last six-to-twelve months or currently in treatment, to attend the next session of this program.  It provides survivors with the tools and motivation to begin and sustain a program of exercise, nutritional education and emotional strength and coping skills.  The session will run from September 11 to October 18, every Tuesday and Thursday evening, from 4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. and is free to participants or their family thanks to a $5,000 grant by the Maine Cancer Foundation.

“We are in the process of completing the first series of this program and have found the participants have enjoyed and benefited from its success,” stated Peggy Belanger, RN, cancer care program coordinator.  “We are pleased we can continue to offer it to more cancer survivors as they have commented on how much they have learned.” 

Jessica Jarvis of Kennebunk, current participant stated, "I had a really wonderful time and am sad to see it end.  Sessions were informative and helped kick-start my motivation to improve my health.  I really appreciate this opportunity to have been part of this series.  Having been diagnosed with cancer has been life-changing, and SMHC helped make these changes in many positive ways."

Participants spend about half of each meeting walking on the Eastern Trail behind SMHC under the direction of a rehabilitation therapist.  During the remainder of each meeting, a nutritionist provides tips on diet as it relates to cancer or a social worker offers information on coping skills, depression, and other emotional health topics related to a cancer diagnosis.

“It is incredibly gratifying to serve the people of Maine with these grants,” says Tara Hill, Maine Cancer Foundation executive director.  “Twice a year, our selection committee is able to send funding to all corners of the state, from York County to Waldo County.”  In addition to education and patient support grants, the foundation also awards cancer research grants on an annual basis, totaling over $1.1 million in 2011.

To register for Walk Away From Cancer, or for more information about the program, contact SMHC’s Cancer Care Coordinator Peggy Belanger, RN, at 283-7320.

About Southern Maine Medical Center

Southern Maine Medical Center (SMMC) is a national award-winning healthcare system including a medical center offering excellent clinical care and a multi-specialty physician services group. SMHC features one of Maine's leading Emergency Care centers as well as a full range of inpatient and outpatient services at its 150-bed acute care medical center. Non-emergency care is available without an appointment seven days a week at SMHC’s Walk-In Care center in Saco. SMHC's physician services offer high quality medical care through offices located in Biddeford, Kennebunk, Old Orchard Beach, and Saco and a wide array of outpatient services at its diagnostic and therapy centers in Saco, Kennebunk, and Biddeford. SMHC is Joint Commission accredited, state-licensed, and is a member of the MaineHealth system. To learn more visit

About Maine Cancer Foundation

Maine Cancer Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the health and well-being of Maine people by funding cancer research, education and patient support programs.  100% of the funds raised remain here in Maine.  The Foundation was established in 1976 by a small group of concerned citizens who had lost loved ones to cancer.  Thanks to their efforts, and the support of thousands of others, Maine Cancer Foundation has made a difference in the fight against cancer, providing millions of dollars in grant funding.  To learn more visit

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