Aroostook County Action Program (ACAP) was generously awarded an initial two-year grant of $35,000 for Project TEACH (Transportation, Education, Access, Care, Housing) from the Maine Cancer Foundation (MCF) to help realize the foundation’s mission of reducing cancer incidence and mortality in Maine.
Cancer is the leading cause of death in the State of Maine. As a state, we have cancer rates that are higher than the national average, and cancer kills more than 3,000 Maine people each year – that’s more than Ashland, Limestone and Stockholm combined! Research shows that 1 in 3 Mainers will face a cancer diagnosis in their lifetime, with about 8,600 being newly diagnosed each year (for comparison, Presque Isle’s entire population is an estimated 8,939!).
Project TEACH is a comprehensive initiative for cancer patients of Aroostook County to have access to the best care possible, regardless of their household income or geography. Therefore, beginning on January 18th, the MCF, with support locally from ACAP, will provide direct client benefits to Aroostook County residents who are undergoing cancer treatments. This funding may be used for gas cards, other transportation expenses, food and lodging for a cancer patient receiving treatment in Aroostook County or in a facility outside the local area.
“This grant from the MCF came at the perfect time,” said Andrea White, ACAP Community Educator. “The residents of northern Aroostook drive on average over 100 miles to regional cancer centers, approximately double that of those who live elsewhere in the state.” She continued, “The need for the supports made possible by this partnership are growing based on the vast geographic size of Aroostook County, combined with regional economic instability, coupled with the fastest growth rate of older adults in all of Maine.” The award will ensure to a growing number of individuals and families in Aroostook getting the care they would otherwise struggle to receive.
“Maine Cancer Foundation is committed to reducing cancer in our state and ensuring all Mainers, regardless of where they live, have access to cancer care,” said Katelyn Michaud, MCF’s Director of Grantmaking. “We are proud to support ACAP in providing transportation assistance to cancer patients in Aroostook County.”
ACAP is encouraging anyone who is facing challenges attending oncology appointments due to transportation or lodging issues. to contact Andrea White at 764.3721 or email@example.com to learn more about the program. There are no income guidelines for this program and the goal is to ensure all cancer patients have the necessary tools to receive the care they need.