When a child is diagnosed with cancer, it is the realization of a parent's worst fear. Cancer is in a very real sense a family disease, and families dealing with cancer need the best possible care.
The patient needs state-of-the-art treatment, based upon up-to-the-minute clinical research. The family needs support services to help its members cope and live their lives as normally and happily as possible.
The Maine Children's Cancer Program (MCCP) was created to provide these comprehensive medical and psychological services to Maine's children with cancer and their families. The program is based in Scarborough, but serves infants, children, and adolescents from across the state.
MCCP is the only comprehensive cancer treatment program for children in Maine. A subsidiary of Maine Medical Center, the program is linked to research centers throughout the country and beyond, to provide children with treatments here in Maine. Because of this, there is rarely a need to send the children and families elsewhere for treatment.
Because Elks Care and Elks Share, the Maine Elks Association adopted the program as a major project in 1985, and since that time, the association has donated over $1 million dollars to the program. All monies raised for MCCP stays here in Maine, for Maine kids with cancer.
Thanks in part to the efforts of the Maine Elks Association and Subordinate Lodges, 70% of children in the MCCP Program are cured of cancer. However, there is still much work left to be done.
The MCCP program currently averages 65-70 new children diagnosed with cancer each year, and now has a total of 180 active patients at the clinic receiving regular treatment. Since its inception, the program has treated over 800 children here in Maine.
Unfortunately, due to the unpredictability of childhood cancer, the program sadly loses 10 to 15 children per year. The goal of the Maine Elks Association and the Maine Children's Cancer Program is to bring that number down to zero.
To help make this happen MCCP will require a substantial amount of funding. To assist MCCP in their efforts, the Maine Elks Association's MCCP Committee works tirelessly throughout the year to raise the money needed. Last year (2013-2014), the combined efforts of the committee, including the association and the subordinate Lodges raised a total of $187,000.00 for the program.
For more information contact the Maine Children's Cancer Program, 295 Forest Avenue, Portland, ME, 04101-2018, (207)755-5481.