On May 3, Maine Cancer Foundation held the third annual Challenge Cancer 2020 conference at Hilton Garden Inn in Freeport. Over 125 individuals from the 4 preferred collective impact sectors, including non-profits, government, businesses, and those with lived experience with cancer, attended and contributed to the success of the day.
We examined and discussed the current state of cancer in Maine through a data walk exercise and presentation from Tim Cowan of Maine Health. Then, we heard a legislative update about making cancer a priority in both Augusta and Washington, DC from Hillary Schneider of American Cancer Society.
To bookend lunch, we heard about promising practices and takeaways from some of our grantees, including: Theresa Knowles of Penobscot Community Health Care; Angela Fochesato, Marianne Moore and Michael Reisman of Healthy Acadia; Jessica Reed of Maine Quality Counts; and Paul Han and Leo Waterston of Maine Lung Cancer Coalition. Each of these presentations used a fun approach to demonstrate best practices and suggest process improvement take-aways for everyone to consider.
The day also included two very poignant speakers. Jana Richards, a childhood cancer survivor and public health professional, shared her inspirational story of being a teen cancer patient, and her struggles and victories navigating her adult life as a cancer survivor. To end the daylong conference, we heard from Maine Cancer Foundation Board Member and MEMIC President and CEO, Michael Bourque, who shared about losing his wife to cancer at a far too young of an age, and the impact her loss has on his twin teenagers. His powerful presentation reminded us all why we do the work we do – to lessen the impact of cancer in Maine so we have fewer of those stories to tell.
Thank you to all who presented and attended the 2018 Challenge Cancer 2020. We look forward to another year of impactful work together.