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The Maine Children's Cancer Program Walk is now happening virtually for 2023

Because of Hurricane Lee, organizers say the walk will happen online. Dozens of people will "gather" in solidarity with Maine teens and kids going through cancer.

PORTLAND, Maine — Before knowing of Hurricane Lee's impact, this Saturday, Sept. 16, the Maine Children's Cancer Program Walk was set to take place in Portland's Payson Park. Now, that ceremony and event has been changed so people can "attend" virtually. But despite the change, the effort remains the same.

The Maine Children's Cancer Program is part of Maine Medical Center, and it offers cancer and blood disorder treatment and care for kids and teens.

"Teams and individuals will sign up, and they will reach out to their friends, their family members and say, 'I'm going to walk, on Saturday Sept. 16. Will you support my efforts?' So there is a fundraising component to it, and something that's so special about it is that in addition to fundraising and raising awareness, it is like a big family reunion, so it really checks all those boxes and just creates a really special morning for us all," Grance Jandro, MCCP's philanthropy manager, said.

The walk is also a big fundraiser for the program. Jandro says the money raised will support the program's social work team and its services, and also its research efforts to improve treatment options for kids and teens battling cancer.

This year, 8-year-old Colton Walker who had leukemia and was treated at MCCP designed the shirt for this year.

His mother Ashley Horne says the support from MCCP was like no other in one of the toughest times for her and her family.

Credit: MCCP

"They really just again were there for everything that we needed, Colton's treatment was difficult and easy at the same time, so not only with the doctors but with the child life specialist and the nurses and just everyone from the second that you walk in the door, into the second that we leave you just feel like you are the only patient here. Colton is doing amazing, he is 8 years old now, he is in second grade, he is making tons of friends, he is your basic normal little boy as he would say," Horne said.

If you would like to support the fundraising efforts or register for this walk, you can click here.

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