LEWISTON, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — Actor Patrick Dempsey is spending more time in Maine these days, and becoming more involved in the cancer center that bears his name. Right now, he is busy helping in planning the Dempsey Challenge, which is the primary fundraiser for the Dempsey Center for Cancer, Hope and Healing in Lewiston, where all the programs are free to anyone touched by cancer in Maine.

The center is adding new programs this fall including community acupuncture — and more Reiki, which is really popular with patients — and promoting wellness so that people don't get sick in the first place.

This will be the eight Dempsey Challenge and Patrick says he feels more invested and excited than ever.

"It is such an amazing and emotional journey when you ride along with someone and you hear their story and understand why they are riding. Who they are riding for, or that they are a survivor going through treatment.

"You spend this brief moment in time riding through the countryside at a great time of year and people's hearts are open. There's no agenda," Dempsey said. "That's such a beautiful place to live and there's such a strong sense of community. It's beautiful."

Dempsey said the older he gets, the more he wants to return to Maine. He said he wants his three kids to know and love this place, and understand their legacy in the community.

The Dempsey Challenge this year is Oct. 1 and 2 in Lewiston. You can run, ride or walk and there are events geared toward the whole family.

They are hoping to get more people to take part this year.

Click here for more information on the Dempsey Center, or click here to register for the challenge.