Dempsey’s fundraiser raises $1.1M for cancer

  • Posted: Tuesday, October 15, 2013 12:01 a.m.
AP Photo/Amber Waterman, Sun Journal
Patrick Dempsey applauds seven-year brain cancer survivor Hailey Sontag of Auburn, Maine, right, who is the 2013 Amgen Breakaway from Cancer Survivor Award winner during opening ceremonies Saturday, October 12, 2013, in Lewiston, Maine. Sontag turned 13 on Friday and the crowd spontaneously serenaded her with “Happy Birthday.”
AP Photo/Amber Waterman, Sun Journal Patrick Dempsey applauds seven-year brain cancer survivor Hailey Sontag of Auburn, Maine, right, who is the 2013 Amgen Breakaway from Cancer Survivor Award winner during opening ceremonies Saturday, October 12, 2013, in Lewiston, Maine. Sontag turned 13 on Friday and the crowd spontaneously serenaded her with “Happy Birthday.”

LEWISTON, Maine — Patrick Dempsey’s bicycling, running and walking fundraiser in western Maine to raise money for his cancer center has netted more than $1 million.

Nearly 4,000 participants took part in the fifth annual Dempsey Challenge on Saturday and Sunday, raising $1.1 million for the Patrick Dempsey Center for Cancer, Hope & Healing at Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston. The final tally is expected to grow to more than $1.2 million.

More than 1,100 cyclists rode routes ranging from 10 to 100 miles on Sunday, with the actor making an appearance during the event’s closing ceremony.

Dempsey, a native of Buckfield, plays Dr. Derek Shepherd on TV’s “Grey’s Anatomy.” He launched the Dempsey Challenge after his mother’s experience with cancer. He founded the Dempsey Center in 2008.

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