The Dempsey Challenge Returns to Maine!

The Dempsey Challenge Returns to Maine!

This year’s event offers a global option so that anyone in the world can participate in this annual fundraiser for people impacted by cancer. The goal is to raise $1.5 million while collectively moving 1.5 million miles over the weekend. Saturday’s in-person 5K walk/run and 10k run will begin at Simard-Payne Park, in Lewiston, with the bike event launching from the same location on Sunday. Event organizers said they also have Challengers who kayak, hike, and even horseback ride. Registration is $50 per person, with a $250 fundraising minimum to participate locally. For more information or to register, visit DempseyCenter.org. 

Mary Frances Barstow of Maine Seniors Magazine spoke recently to Patrick Dempsey to learn more about him and the Dempsey Challenge. Here is their conversation! 

Mary: 

What led you to start this charitable organization, the Dempsey Center, and this event, the Dempsey Challenge? 

Patrick: 

My mother and seeing what she was going through during her cancer journey. I could see the doctors were doing their part on the medical side, but I knew she needed more to get her through the journey she was facing. 

Mary:  

What have been some of the Dempsey Center’s accomplishments that you are most proud of? 

Patrick:  

We founded the Dempsey Center in 2008 in Lewiston, Maine, where I am from. We’re proud bring high-quality, personalized care to people impacted by cancer—all at no cost. We treat the person, not the disease, and meet all of our clients, wherever they are in their cancer journey.  

We’ve grown from one to two physical Centers, adding a location in South Portland, Maine. We’ve added focus to programming for clients who are post-cancer treatment, and augmented our offerings to serve children, teens, and families through our Healing Tree Program.  

During the COVID-19 pandemic, and recognizing the fragility of our clients’ health, we pivoted the delivery of our services and now offer our workshops, classes, and support programs across the state of Maine and beyond through our third, virtual Center Dempsey Connects. 

Mary:  

Looking back, how did you get started in acting? What was you career path from Maine to Hollywood? 

Patrick:  

I started off with the Maine Acting Company, in a production of On Golden Pond. Before that, it was community theater. And I entered a talent competition, placing second. I then signed an agent, and my first audition was Torch Song Trilogy. 

Mary: 

What aspects of Maine do you particularly appreciate? 

Patrick: 

The natural beauty, the rich history. It is the place where I come to center myself and to take stock of where I have come from and where I hope to be going. 

Mary: 

Has fame been comfortable for you? 

Patrick: 

I have learned to embrace fame, and I am grateful for the recognition I found. At the same time, it gives you a platform that you have to be careful with. You must know the influence you can have on others, and it is very important to me to make it a positive one. 

Mary: 

What did you learn in Maine that was helpful to your career? 

Patrick:  

Never forget where you come from. The sense of the community that Maine has. And the values it teaches. 

Mary: 

What gives you the most joy? 

Patrick:  

Being with my family brings me the most pleasure, along with being in nature. 

Mary: 

What is on your bucket list? 

Patrick:  

I have checked off a lot of the things on my bucket list, but this question gives me food for thought! 

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