SCARBOROUGH, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- For fifteen years, the Cancer Community Center has helped cancer patients and their loved ones turn a cancer diagnosis into something that makes them stronger.
"Friends and family want to help, but they don't really know what you are going through," explained Michele Johns, executive director of the center, which offers wellness classes, support groups and art programs to anyone impacted by cancer free of charge.
"We've found that peer-based support, people who have had that or have had similar experience, really add so much more to the recovery," she added.
Katie Hawkins' father, a well-known educator in southern Maine, was diagnosed with cancer in 2000. Her father and her family turned to the center for help.
"It was really important to have the support from the center," said Hawkins. "He met a lot of people going through similar situations and it has always been a really special place for us."
To thank the folks at the Cancer Community Center for all they have done for her and her family, she is training to ride in the 5th annual Cycle4Care fundraiser on January 31st. She has already raised more than $500 and intends to tackle the Endurance Challenge by spinning for three hours straight.
"It brought together two areas of my life and two things that I care about, it was perfect for me," she stated. "It will be a really great personal achievement, but it is also a really good way for me to give back to an organization that I care about."
The event seeks to raise more the $30,000 to support the center, its mission and its staff.
Cycle4Care takes place Friday January 31st from 4pm to midnight at the University of New England's Westbrook College Campus in Portland at the Finley Recreation Center. There will be food, music and roughly a hundred spin bikes with hundreds of people spinning for an hour or several hours at a time, raising their heart rates and money for the Cancer Community Center. There is still time to sign up, and if spinning is not your thing, you can also volunteer to help out.