Southern Maine Health Care’s (SMHC) Center for Breast Care has received more than $30,000 from the 2019 Shipyard Maine Coast Half and Full Marathon, which took place on May 11. The Center is the main charitable partner of the annual race and has received more than $100,000 from the event since 2014.
Runners have the opportunity to leverage their commitment to the race by raising funds for SMHC with a personal fundraising page. This year, SMHC “fund-racers” alone raised almost $15,000. This group of dedicated participants included community members, breast cancer survivors, and SMHC employees. First-time half-marathon runner Allison Kenty, Director, Communications and Public Affairs for SMHC, who raised more than $1,000, was strongly motivated by local breast cancer patients in her training and fundraising efforts.
"During long runs when I was struggling, tired and cold, I would think about patients going through the breast cancer journey and the mental and physical challenges they were experiencing in treatment," said Kenty. "It encouraged me to work hard for them and keep their strength in mind."
In addition to being a charitable beneficiary, SMHC provided volunteer support along the race route. SMHC leaders Mike Hersey, Director of SMHC’s Sports Performance Center, and Mike Schmitz, DO, Emergency Physician for SMHC, managed the medical volunteers in partnership with Ria Isacke, DO, Associate Program Director of the Maine Medical Center Sports Medicine Fellowship. Their partnership enabled runners to have a safe race day, with volunteers attending to common race injuries. Other SMHC volunteers assisted at water tables and helped coordinate at the start and finish lines.
Two water tables were staffed by cancer survivors led by Helene Langley, Breast Nurse Navigator in the Center.
"We cannot thank enough the marathon organizers, sponsors and runners who have worked hard and contributed such an amazing amount of funds for our breast center. These funds directly help women diagnosed with breast cancer in our community through educational materials, gas and grocery cards, speakers and activities for patients, better equipment for the program, and continuing education for our providers. We are honored to be a part of this continued partnership with the race."
SMHC’s Center for Breast Care offers a breast care experience designed by women, for women, which offers a coordinated, multi-disciplinary approach to cancer care. This year’s funds will support patient resources at the Center.
SMHC would like to share a special appreciation for its dedicated Corporate Sponsors that helped to make this fundraising achievement possible: Platinum Sponsor Ouellet Construction; Gold Sponsors Kennebunk Savings, P&C Insurance and Saco & Biddeford Savings Institution; and Silver Sponsors Champagne’s Energy, Partners Bank and SMRT Architects & Engineers.
More than 3,500 runners participated in the half and full marathon races on May 11, which runs along the beautiful coastlines of Kennebunk, Kennebunkport and Biddeford Pool every spring. To sign up for next year’s race on May 9, visit mainecoast262.com.
About Southern Maine Health Care
Southern Maine Health Care (SMHC) is a national award-winning healthcare organization with a non-profit mission "to improve the health and health care of the communities we serve." SMHC includes a full service, acute care medical center in Biddeford, with York County’s only inpatient mental health unit. Emergency care, surgical services and diagnostic and therapy services are available at SMHC’s Medical Centers in Biddeford and Sanford. SMHC offers primary care and multi-specialty physician services, diagnostic and therapy services and Walk-In Care centers in York County communities including Biddeford, Kennebunk, Saco, Sanford and Waterboro. SMHC is Joint Commission accredited and has been recognized for quality excellence by numerous outside organizations. SMHC is part of the MaineHealth system, a growing family of health care services in northern New England. To learn more, visit smhc.org.