– Mercedes-Benz donates an R320 BlueTEC clean diesel vehicle to The Patrick Dempsey Center for Cancer Hope & Healing in Lewiston, Maine during the inaugural Dempsey Challenge with the goal of making a difference in the safety and comfort of transporting those receiving cancer care and bringing down the organization’s fuel costs.
The Patrick Dempsey Center for Cancer Hope & Healing serves multiple cancer treatment facilities, including The Comprehensive Cancer Center at Central Maine Medical Center (CMCC) and affiliated cancer clinics at Bridgton and Rumford Hospitals, making transportation assistance an integral part of the free support, education and wellness services it provides to cancer patients, survivors and caregivers.
The Dempsey Center currently assists cancer patients who are having difficulty with transportation to treatment by linking them with the American Cancer Society’s “Road to Recovery” program as well as other area transportation resources. “Despite the existence of these programs, a fair number of cancer patients still fall through the cracks,” according to Kerry Irish, Program Director of The Dempsey Center. “Some services require that a patient meet certain age or income requirements, and others rely upon volunteer drivers. Coverage in the outlying, rural areas is spotty at best.”
In response to this need, ConnectShuttle was created in 2008, establishing a free transportation service between Bridgton Hospital and Central Maine Medical Center. Nearly 400 patients have been served by ConnectShuttle since its inception and it’s particularly valuable to patients undergoing daily radiation therapy, a treatment which lasts for 4-6 weeks. According to Laird Covey, President of CMMC, “the donation of the Mercedes vehicle allows the ConnectShuttle service to expand its coverage, providing vital assistance to the hundreds of patients who travel from the rural Rumford/Mexico area to CMMC for radiation therapy and other services.”
“The center provides a warm, healthy, and inviting environment for cancer patients and caregivers and we wanted to build on that by offering safe and comfortable transportation to and from the clinics,” says Patrick Dempsey. “Area residents will benefit for many years thanks to Mercedes-Benz generous donation.”
The six-passenger Mercedes-Benz R320 BlueTEC is one of today’s modern diesel vehicles that are extremely quiet, environmentally clean, and can achieve a range of 500 miles on a single tank of diesel fuel and a 20-30 percent fuel economy over a comparable gasoline engine.
Mercedes-Benz, a sponsor of the Dempsey Challenge 5k run/walk event, will have the R320 BlueTEC clean diesel on display at the start of the race and is using ML450 Hybrid SUVs as support vehicles for the weekend’s festivities.
“Mercedes-Benz BlueTEC vehicles make a difference for drivers every day by providing better fuel economy and we felt this benefit could be extended for a good cause.” says Lisa Holladay, Manager of Brand Experience Marketing at Mercedes-Benz USA. “Ultimately this vehicle will provide better support for cancer patients and caregivers at the Dempsey Center and that’s the most important benefit of all.”
About BlueTEC Clean Diesel
According to the EPA, the nation would save 1.4 million barrels of oil a day if just one third of all light-duty vehicles in the USA were state-of-the-art diesel vehicles. Owners of new clean diesel vehicles are also eligible for the same alternative-powertrain tax credit as hybrids. The current IRS Diesel Tax Credits for owners of a 2009 Mercedes-Benz BlueTEC are $1,800 for the GL320; $1,550 for the R320; and $900 for the ML320.
The BlueTEC vehicles combine Mercedes-Benz highest standards in luxury and safety features with a smooth, quiet ride that delivers 20-30 percent higher fuel economy than a comparable gasoline engine. BlueTEC clean diesel vehicles have become the GREEN choice for several celebrities including Kim Cattrall, Patrick Dempsey, Liv Tyler, Molly Sims, Sarah Jessica Parker, Jeremy Piven, Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber.
About the Dempsey Challenge
Established by actor of the popular show Grey’s Anatomy and Lewiston, Maine, native Patrick Dempsey, the inaugural Dempsey Challenge is expected to draw thousands of participants to support the cause, as well as professional cyclists George Hincapie, a five-time Olympian, and David Zabriskie, who holds the record for fastest time trial in Tour de France history. A weekend filled with health, fitness and heartfelt support, The Dempsey Challenge includes 10, 25, 50 and 100 mile cycling routes, a 5k run/walk and Kids’ Fun Run, along with a day-long Festival in the Park that will provide family entertainment and raise cancer awareness. More information can be found at www.dempseychallenge.org
About The Patrick Dempsey Center for Cancer Hope & Healing
Founded in March 2008, The Patrick Dempsey Center for Cancer Hope & Healing at Central Maine Medical Center provides high-quality education, support and wellness services at no cost to cancer patients and their caregivers. During its first year, the Dempsey Center had over 6,000 direct patient contacts and served over 2,000 on its toll-free cancer helpline. More information can be found at: www.dempseycenter.org