FORT KENT — The Paradis Cancer Fund has provided more than $1 million in financial support to eligible cancer patients since the fund was established in 1978, helping more than 1,500 families in the St. John Valley.
The founder of the fund, Edgar J. Paradis, established the resource to assure that cancer patients have the moral support that only the presence of the family can provide when they travel to a medical facility outside the St. John Valley for diagnostic and treatment services. A cancer patient himself, who succumbed to the disease at age 24, Paradis had the foresight to recognize the value of keeping family close at hand, while battling the diagnosis of cancer.
According to established fund bylaws, the patient must reside in the St. John Valley, be diagnosed with cancer and be receiving treatment or seeking further diagnostic services for cancer to be eligible for assistance. In order to sustain the resources necessary to provide this support, the Fund depends on generous donors and fundraisers.
One such fundraiser, the Tour de la Vallee, is the major event held on an annual basis to support the Fund. In its 28th year, the Tour experienced another successful event on Aug. 19. A total of 77 participants registered for the event. Supported by 70 dedicated volunteer individuals and community groups, the event was fully supported with rest stops and support vehicles, on the road as well as on the Heritage Trail. The Boy Scouts served as a source of encouragement to participants this year with their noise makers used to congratulate teams and individuals as they came in to the finish line. To accommodate the various event finish times, participants and volunteers were served brunch this year, in addition to lunch, prepared by Fort Kent Rotary Club volunteers.
Total pledges and sponsorships raised more than $25,000 at this year’s event. Roland Paradis, brother to Edgar Paradis, was recognized for raising the highest amount of pledges, an impressive total of $2,715. According to Claire Moss, event coordinator, planning has already begun for the 2019 Tour scheduled for Aug. 18, 2019. To learn about Cancer Fund eligibility requirements, call Claire Moss at 207-834-1411 or go to www.paradiscancerfund.org.
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