Weekly health news, Sept. 29

Posted Sept. 27, 2011, at 8:24 p.m.

Jacob’s Ride

HERMON — Jacob Tozer’s family got a good deal this summer on a van to help them transport the 13-year-old, who uses a wheelchair because he has leukodystrophy, which affects the way his brain communicates with his muscles.

It costs thousands of dollars to customize a vehicle for use by someone with disabilities. That’s where Jacob’s Ride comes in.

Jacob’s Ride is a community effort that will sponsor a spaghetti supper, plus a silent auction and live auction, 4-6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 29, at Hermon High School.

Tickets are $5, $20 for a family. Donated items are being accepted for the auctions.

In addition, donations may be made to Jacob’s Ride, at Camden National Bank, Route 2, Hermon 04401; or sent to Jacob’s Ride, 53 Pineview Ave., Glenburn 04401. Donors also my contribute at facebook.com/jacobsride. All contributions will help with this important project to benefit Jacob, who attends Hermon Middle School.

For information, call 848-5110.

Walk for Azheimer’s

BANGOR — The 15th Bangor Walk to End Alzheimer’s will recognize people affected by the disease with the introduction of the Promise Garden at the 9 a.m. walk on Saturday, Oct. 1, at Bangor Raceway, Bass Park.

When people register for the walk, they will be offered a flower to write a personal message. Once the message is written, participants will come together for a ceremony. Together, the Promise Flowers will create a dynamic, colorful and meaningful garden that walkers will enter as they conclude their walk.

Participants can stroll through the garden, read each other’s stories and take their promise flower home as a remembrance of their walk experience. The Promise Garden will be made up of flowers in four colors to recognize the ways that Alzheimer’s affects individuals and families.

Blue flowers represent “I have Alzheimer’s”; yellow says “I am supporting or caring for someone with Alzheimer’s.” Purple blooms mean “I have lost someone to Alzheimer’s,” and orange flowers say “I support the cause and a vision of a world without Alzheimer’s.”

People may form a walking team, participate as individual walkers, become financial sponsors, help with registration on the day of the walk and cheer on the walkers.

There will be 13 walks in Maine this year. For information on registration for the Bangor Walk or one in your area, visit http://www.alz.org/walk and click on the state of Maine.

Physician’s assistant

BANGOR — Penobscot Community Health Care has announced that Teagan O’Toole-Roy, physician’s assistant, has joined the medical staff of Penobscot Community Health Center at 1012 Union St.

Her practice focuses on all aspects of high-quality family medical care, including patient physicals, acute visits and health care maintenance.

O’Toole-Roy earned a bachelor’s degree, cum laude, from the University of Maine; and a master’s degree in physician assistant studies at Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences in Boston. Dr. Robert Allen, executive medical director, said, “Teagan is a very outgoing and thorough provider who is well trained and will be a great addition to our staff of excellent providers on Union Street.”

O’Toole-Roy, a member of the American Academy of Physician Assistants, will be seeing new patients. For information, call 945-5247.

Make-A-Wish

BANGOR — The Make-A-Wish Foundation will sponsor a Women’s Fall Expo with free admission 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 2, at Spectacular Event Center, 395 Griffin Road.

Thirty-five vendors and businesses will participate. There will be an activity room with spa and massage services, face painting and raffle prizes. Serendipity will offer free Locks of Love haircuts. To purchase raffle tickets or obtain information, call 947-6392.

Since 1980, the Make-A-Wish Foundation has enriched the lives of children with life-threatening medical conditions through bringing hope, strength and joy when a family needs it most.

The foundation’s mission reflects the life-changing impact that a Wish experience has on children, families, referral sources, donors, sponsors and communities. The goal is to raise enough money to fund one wish for a child, usually $6,000.

Hope Award

BANGOR — The Leadership To Keep Children Alcohol Free Foundation met Sept. 18-19 in Washington to discuss ways to change the conversation on childhood drinking and promote child well-being.

Karen Baldacci, former first lady of Maine, received the Hope Award, given to deserving emeritus spouses who have shown exceptional leadership after leaving the Governor’s Residence. Karen Baldacci has led the recruiting effort, and stayed on as chairwoman of the Leadership Foundation beyond the normal term. She has represented the Leadership Foundation at national conferences. The award was named for Hope Taft, former first lady of Ohio and current president of the foundation, and was presented to Baldacci by Patricia Kempthorne, first chairman of the Leadership Foundation and former first lady of Idaho.

First lady Sally Ganem of Nebraska was awarded the Theresa Racicot Leadership Award for her outstanding efforts in Nebraska. Leadership Foundation Chairwoman Karen Baldacci presented her with the award for her work to create several videos that are widely used in Nebraska and available to other states that serve as discussion openers, and for her visits to countless communities to talk on the importance of dealing with childhood drinking.

The Leadership Foundation Board, composed of current and former first ladies and other interested people, met with Kathryn Palmer, director of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s Center of Mental Health Services, and served as an expert panel regarding their desire for a national dialogue on mental health and substance abuse issues.

Grants to RSVP

ORONO — The University of Maine Center on Aging received grants from the United Way of Eastern Maine to continue two popular programs, the center’s RSVP organization of community volunteers over age 55, and the RSVP Bone Builders exercise education program.

The Center on Aging RSVP, Retired Senior and Volunteer Program, is a part of the national Senior Corps, an organization of volunteers age 55 and older who respond to community needs by serving nonprofit organizations, schools and government agencies. It has 400 active members, whose average age is 75, working with more than 80 partnering agencies in Hancock, Penobscot, Piscataquis and Washington counties.

RSVP provides elders with opportunities for physical, mental and social stimulation, which enhances their quality of life and independent living. It is supported by the Corporation for National and Community Service, Maine’s Office of Elder Services and the United Way of Eastern Maine, which recently allocated $14,516 to help continue RSVP programs.

Bone Builders is an exercise and educational program which has volunteers trained to lead exercise classes to strengthen bone density in hopes of preventing or lessening the effects of osteoporosis. Of more than 400 volunteers, 20 are Bone Builders leaders, with most having begun the program as class participants.

The United Way’s allocation of $6,214 for fiscal 2012 will enable RSVP staff to expand Bone Builder classes in the four-county service area, purchase weights, pay a fitness consultant to train lay leaders and support operating and program promotional costs. Last year, 129 seniors — average age 70 — participated in Bone Builder programs led by RSVP lay leaders.

Two other RSVP volunteer programs include “Born to Read,” through which RSVP volunteers read aloud to community day care centers and Head Start classes, and “Community Educator,” in which volunteers provide public presentations on topics related to elders’ health and safety. The programs are free to participants.

RSVP Director Paula Burnett can be reached at 262-7926 for additional information. For information, visit http:// www.alcoholfreechildren.org.

Blood drives

The American Red Cross, Northern New England Blood Services Region, will hold blood drives throughout Maine. All eligible and new blood donors are encouraged to give blood. Donors are needed every day to make sure there is an adequate blood supply for patients in need. All presenting donors in October can enter to win a seven-day cruise for two from Boston to Bermuda aboard the Norwegian Dawn. Prize is not redeemable for cash and is nontransferable.

Blood drive sites:

Oct. 4: Bucksport High School, 8 a.m.-1 p.m.

Oct. 5: Eastern Maine Development Corp., Bangor, 10 a.m.-2:30 p.m.

Oct. 29, Bay School, Blue Hill, 9 a.m.-2 p.m.

The American Red Cross Donor Center, 900B Hammond St., Bangor, is open for donations 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Friday and 8 a.m.-2 p.m. the first and third Saturday of each month.

Donors are encouraged to call 800-RED-CROSS or visit online at http://www. redcrossblood.org to make an appointment or obtain information.

Hospice volunteer training

EDDINGTON — New Hope Hospice will hold a hospice volunteer training session at its office at 1344 Main Road. Sessions will be held Saturday, Oct. 22, and Saturday, Nov. 5, as well as unspecified Tuesday and Thursday mornings. This comprehensive 24-hour training session is designed to sensitize volunteers to the physical, social, emotional and spiritual needs of patients and families who are coping with the impact of terminal illness.

A screening interview and application process are required prior to attending the volunteer training. There is no fee to attend. For more information, contact Constance J. Eye, volunteer coordinator, at 843-7521.

Benefit 5K race

John Bapst Memorial High School Student Environmental Action Committee will the Peace, Water, and Wisdom 5K Race to benefit the BARKA Foundation on Sunday, Oct. 2, at the Waterfront.

BARKA is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that works with the people of the West African country of Burkina Faso to increase their overall quality of life. Thousands of people in Africa are suffering from the water crisis. BARKA has set out to end this suffering by drilling and repairing wells, as well as beginning a hygiene and sanitation program for the village of Tantiaka, population about 500.

Those interested can participate by walking or running, competitively or noncompetitively, to aid BARKA in spreading access to sanitary drinking water.

The registration form is at http:// www.peacewaterwisdomrace.org. Also available are the team registration and individual pledge forms.

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