EASTPORT, Maine — More than 300 people of all ages gathered recently to remember and celebrate the life of beloved community member, Helen Archer, who died in 2012 from cancer. Helen was a longtime public servant in Eastport and her husband, Rocky Archer, decided to bring the community together to support other cancer patients, especially those from Washington County.
The community raised more than $7,000 for Sarah’s House at its Octoberfest. Bob Del Papa, owner of the Waco Diner and Eastport Chowder House, opened his restaurants to host the event. He and John Bouchard, Performance Foods in Augusta donated food and Kendall’s Fine Jewelers donated a stunning diamond ring that was raffled off.
Recently, Archer and a group from Eastport visited the future Sarah’s House in Holden to present a check for more than $7,000. Lindsay Turner, Sarah’s identical twin sister, accepted the check on behalf of Sarah’s House. Turner stated that this very generous gift will help the campaign move closer to the $895,000 needed to complete the Phase 1 goal. This amount will help with the purchase of property (formerly Fox Run Furniture Gallery), cover renovation cost, and provide approximately three years of operating cost.
Sarah’s House, located two miles from EMMC’s Cancer Care in Brewer, will provide much needed lodging for many Mainers faced with cancer diagnosis. Cancer patients and their families often find themselves in a raging storm of emotions, treatment choices, and financial challenges. Some patients opt to forgo treatment. They do so because long, frequent trips to Brewer cause physical and financial burdens on both the patients and their families. Sarah’s House will serve all of these people, and make much needed treatment options more accessible to those who would otherwise choose not to travel.
Archer was inspired by Sarah Robinson’s vision. At age 24, Sarah was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2010. She and her husband, Ben, traveled to Boston for treatment. Through that experience, they learned about places where cancer patients could stay for little or no cost during treatment. When Sarah returned to EMMC’s Cancer Care for treatment, she met many patients who had spent hours in the car, traveling from Maine’s most rural areas for treatment. Sarah, determined to help, invested time and energy into bringing people together around her vision.
Sarah died in December 2011, but with the two years given to her, this beautiful young woman worked diligently to establish what will open in 2014 as Sarah’s House for residents of eastern, central, and northern Maine.
PHOTO: Left to right—Aaron Surles, Alison Archer, Rocky Archer, Tammy
Deschene, Sally Mahoney, Bob Del Papa, Lindsay Tunrer, and Mary Pelletier.