Maine Cancer Foundation was established in 1976 by a small group of concerned Mainers who lost loved ones to cancer and felt compelled to make a difference. Noting that there was no organization dedicated 100% to helping and protecting Mainers from the disease, Maine Cancer Foundation was created.
In its early years, MCF focused on patient and caregiver support, and education for oncology professionals. As scientific advances around cancer biology increased during the 1980's, the Foundation dedicated increasing resources to fund cancer research happening in Maine. Bench research was augmented by educational symposia around the fundamentals of DNA science and genetics as it applied to cancer in medical and increasingly, in legal frameworks.
Although we knew that our support was contributing to remarkable advances in cancer research, the MCF Board of Directors believed that our resources could be better utilized in helping Mainers more directly. They determined that by funding programs that focused on prevention, early detection, and access to care, our grant-making could have an enhanced focus with more concrete and immediate impact. Following a 2-year planning process, in 2015 MCF launched its Challenge Cancer 2020 initiative, committing $15 million to achieve our ambitious goal of reducing cancer incidence and mortality in Maine 20% by 2020. By shifting our funding priorities away from research and towards reducing the impact cancer has on the State, we are investing directly in improving the health of every Mainer on a daily basis.
In 2016, MCF merged with the Maine Cancer Consortium, bringing the Consortium's talented oncology practitioners into an MCF Membership structure that fosters collaborative energy to study and support the best possible cancer interventions. Likewise, in 2016, we spearheaded the launch of Maine's Impact Cancer Network, using a collective impact model to involve those impacted by cancer in the development and implementation of community-based solutions. Today, we work across the state to protect the people of Maine from the impact of cancer, convening professionals and those with lived cancer experience to identify and execute the best possible fight against cancer in Maine.
MCF has always been funded through a combination of direct donations and community fundraisers. We are fortunate to maintain a network of generous supporters who donate through our Annual Fund, our Major Gifts program, and a variety of Planned Giving structures and Bequests.
In addition, we host the largest single-day fundraiser in Maine, the Tri for a Cure, which has generated more than $12 million to fight cancer in Maine. We also count on our Twilight 5K Walk and Run, Mary's Walk in Saco, and a variety of other community fundraisers to round out our programming budget. As it was in 1976, every dollar we raise is invested back into Maine communities from Cumberland to Calais, from Farmington to Fort Kent. Thank you for all of your support through our first 40 years - Learn more about how you can support our work to ensure a cancer-free future.