Noteworthy news Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2011

Posted Sept. 27, 2011, at 6:38 p.m.
Denise Hodsdon
Courtesy photo
Denise Hodsdon
Michael S. Haenn
Courtesy photo
Michael S. Haenn

The Susan G. Komen Maine Race for the Cure-Bangor and Survivor Sponsor Hollywood Slots have announced that Denise Hodsdon of Brewer is its fourth “Survivor of the Week” in connection with the 15th annual event held Sept. 18 along the Bangor Waterfront.

Hodsdon was co-chair of the 2011 Bangor Race, a position she has held since 2009.

“My journey with Susan G. Komen started in 2003,” Hodsdon said.

“My town manager’s daughter-in-law was diagnosed with breast cancer in her early 20s.

“It’s frustrating when you want to do something to help, but you don’t know what to do.

“My sister had been involved with the Race for Cure and she mentioned … a committee meeting coming up. I went, and immediately decided this is something I want to do to try and help.”

From 2003 to 2007 Hodsdon was a registration co-chair and then, in the fall of 2007, she resigned from her Race for the Cure activities, believing it was time to move on to something different.

But, Hodsdon said, “somebody had a different plan for me,” because she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008.

When she learned she had the disease, she immediately sought out her sister, who called Sally Bilancia, race director at the time, and told Bilancia, “‘We need to come back to the committee.’ We were welcomed back with open arms.”

Hodsdon’s cancer was discovered through a mammogram, which she had been having annually since she was 40. Hodsdon opted to have a mastectomy on Aug. 25, and reconstruction surgery immediately afterward.

A municipal clerk, she took three weeks off but, with a special election that September, she went right back to work.

“It was good for me; it felt good to be back on a regular routine,” she said. “Fortunately for me, I didn’t have to lose a lot of work.”

Denise Hodsdon celebrated three years being cancer-free on Aug. 25.

For more information about the Komen Maine Race for the Cure, visit komenmaine.org or call 262-7117.

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United Cerebral Palsy of Maine has announced that Michael S. Haenn of Hampden has been elected to serve as the new UCP board president.

Haenn is the owner of the Law Office of Michael S. Haenn and, for nearly 30 years, has been a member of several nonprofit boards dedicated to advocating for children and adults with disabilities.

“Michael has been a very active part of our board of directors since 2006, and we are pleased that he accepted the nomination of board president,” said Bobbi Jo Yeager, UCP of Maine’s CEO.

“Michael has such drive and dedication for the causes that he is passionate about, we are very fortunate to have him supporting our mission.”

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The Rev. Tom and Teile Benson of Bangor were honored Sept. 14 when the Medical Office Building Conference Room in the nurses and hospice suite at the Eastern Maine Healthcare System Mall on Union Street was renamed in their honor.

The Bensons were recognized for their three decades of service to Bangor Area Visiting Nurses and Hospice of Eastern Maine and, particularly for their perseverance in championing compassionate, quality patient care.

Among their many community activities, Tom is a member of Eastern Maine HomeCare’s Professional Advisory Committee, and Teile was one of the co-founders, 30 years ago, of COPES, which is now Hospice of Eastern Maine, serving as its first president.

COPES introduced hospice to the community, which has brought compassionate comfort care to end-of-life experiences for patients and families.

The Bensons were two of the first patient care volunteers for COPES, at times working together to provide emotional and spiritual support.

The wooden plaque with an image of the couple states: “The Tom and Teile Benson Conference Room. In grateful recognition of their distinguished service, devoted support and leadership in advocating for quality patient care on behalf of Bangor Area Visiting Nurses and Hospice of Eastern Maine.”

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