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SMMC Offers Third Walk Away From Cancer Program


Available at no charge thanks to grant from Maine Cancer Foundation
Southern Maine Medical Center (SMMC) is pleased to offer Walk Away From Cancer, a program specially designed for people who have been diagnosed with cancer within the last six-to-twelve months or who are currently in treatment. The program provides participants with the tools and motivation to begin and sustain a program of exercise, nutritional education and emotional strength and coping skills. Sessions will run from May 28 to July 11, every Tuesday and Thursday evening from 4:30 to 6:00 p.m. at SMHC and the Eastern Trail. Thanks to a $5,000 grant by the Maine Cancer Foundation, this program is being offered at no cost to participants or their family members. Meetings will not be held the week of July 1.

“We have completed two sessions this past year 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.” 

Past participant Jessica Jarvis of Kennebunk stated, "I had a really wonderful time and was 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 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 an acute care medical center licensed for 150 beds in Biddeford, Maine, offering excellent clinical care and a multi-specialty physician services group with medical offices providing outpatient care located in Biddeford, Kennebunk, Old Orchard Beach and Saco. Non-emergency care is available without an appointment seven days a week at SMHC’s Walk-In Care center in Saco. SMHC is Joint Commission accredited, Pathway to Excellence designated, state-licensed, and is a member of Southern Maine Medical Center and the MaineHealth system. To learn more visit or @smmcHealth.

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


Media Contact:                                                                                                      
Leslie Roberts
(207) 283-7232

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