In 2012 a dedicated team of community leaders banded together to raise funds to establish a new treatment space for Eastern Maine Medical Center’s pediatric cancer and blood disorder program. The program had existed since the 1970’s, but it never had a dedicated space in which to offer treatment. Thanks to the efforts of these volunteers, in December of 2012 the program moved into the Lafayette Family Cancer Center in Brewer.
The campaign which supported the move was called Heroes, Hope and Healing. It was co-chaired by Michael Pancoe, MD and Eleanor Pancoe, LCSW. $3.8 million has been raised through the campaign. $2.5 million was directed to support the cost of the move, the construction of the new space and the equipment for the new center. The remaining funds will be applied to an endowment that will provide long-term support for the program.
The endowment is a critically important part of the campaign. As the new center opened, the Pancoes stated: “We are equally excited about the impact this campaign will have on establishing a strong endowment for the Center. It is through the endowment that we can be assured of the long-term viability of the program. Income from the endowment will help pay for social workers and child life specialists and ensure access to cutting edge research. Our campaign has been successful, but we would love to see this endowment be much larger. So, for any of you who have not yet given to the campaign, it is not too late! We would love to have your support at any level – all gifts are appreciated. Just let the folks at EMMC Foundation know.”
The new center has been named in memory of Raish Peavey Haskell, who lost his life to Retinoblastoma just a few days short of his fourth birthday. Ever since young Raish passed away in the late 1970’s, his mother, Anita Peavey Haskell, worked very hard to raise funds to support pediatric cancer care and research. At the inception of the campaign, Anita made the lead gift to the campaign to honor Raish.
According to Anita, “Every step was taken with compassion for the sick children, in memory of Raish…with love for Raish. There are still many mornings when I awake and for a few fleeting seconds, I think, “Maybe it was a nightmare. It really didn’t happen. He is still here.” It was a nightmare, but it did happen and he isn’t here. Sadly, other children are fighting the battle Raish did—and we must help them. I’m striving to make that happen; I have done the easy part. Raish did the hard work. He made the ultimate contribution. This is happening because of him.”
If you would like to join hundreds of others who have helped to support this campaign, your gift will be used to support children of Maine who are battling cancer. It will go directly into the campaign endowment and provide ongoing support for services that are not covered by insurance, including research, new equipment, staff training and direct patient support. To make a gift online, click here or contact the EMMC Foundation office at 973-5055.