"Champion the Cure" comes back to Brewer

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BREWER, Maine (WABI)- Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center Champion the Cure is celebrating its 10th anniversary on Saturday.

It’s eastern Maine’s largest cancer fundraising event, and has raised nearly five million dollars.

"All the money goes ton Lafayette Family Cancer Institute," said Sigred Berg, Northern Light Cancer Care's Medical Director. " It's all used right here for patients in the state of Maine, and its helped us keep our patients here with their families, so they can get state of the art care without having to go to Boston for it."

The annual bike ride, walk or run usually draws around three thousand people, but the event is more than just a fundraiser, according to annual participant Katie Mallett, whose eight year old son Henry was a leukemia patient at Northern Light Cancer care from the age of two, until he was released two years ago. She hasn’t forgotten her first Champion the Cure event.

"I remember parking the car and walking down and seeing the amount of people," she said. "Even the people who spend their entire week here- the doctors and nurses- they were here and the tears just flowed. It was so emotional for me to see people that I didn't even know had been touched by cancer that we knew from the community here. It was huge."

"For many its inspiring for people to be able to come and see people who've gone through what they've gone through, either as cancer patients or family members of cancer patients or caregivers of cancer patients," added Berg. "People find it humbling. People smile. People laugh. People cry. People find togetherness at this event. It is a very moving event to attend in many different ways."

Registration for the event is at the Cross Center in Bangor from noon to 6 p.m. through Thursday.