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Hundreds of volunteers will take to the streets of Santa Maria, Lompoc, Solvang and Nipomo on Wednesday, April 11, during the fifth annual Day of Hope, a regional fundraiser benefiting Mission Hope Cancer Center.

All proceeds will benefit programs that support local cancer patients and their families.

“Each time we hear of a neighbor who is undergoing cancer treatment we set aside our heartache, visit with flowers and cards, then stand aside unable to do much else to ease their pain. That is until Wednesday, which is when we as a caring community can make a difference in the lives of local families who are battling cancer,” said Cynthia Schur, publisher of the Santa Maria Times and Lee Central Coast Newspapers.

The fundraiser began early as teams registered for the event, then sought donations online in advance. To register, or to see any team’s fundraising status, visit http://supportmarianmedical.org/dayofhope.

“Wednesday is a chance for each of us to buy the Santa Maria Times, or Lompoc Record, from local volunteers for $1, with all proceeds going to families under the care of Mission Hope Cancer Center. This the fifth year in which funds have been raised under the stewardship of Jessa Brooks and her team at the Marian Foundation, and the staff of Lee Central Coast Newspapers is proud to be their partner in the Day of Hope.”

Volunteers will spend the morning waving signs, competing for best costumed team, and encouraging motorists to drive carefully, roll down their windows and pick up a paper in trade for your donation.

When Dr. Robert Dichmann and Katherine Guthrie imagined the future of cancer care in the region, they pictured an all-inclusive center with services from diagnosis through treatment and a vast array of support services all under one roof. Since opening its doors in 2012, Mission Hope Cancer Center has turned that vision into reality as the only integrated cancer center on the Central Coast.

Medical professionals at Mission Hope have diagnosed thousands of cancer patients from a service area which stretches from Paso Robles and Morro Bay to Lompoc and the Santa Ynez valleys. On-site medical services have continuously expanded to include medical oncology, radiation oncology, a breast surgeon, a gynecological surgeon, CT scanner, labs, mammograms and more. The center works in partnership with other medical centers to bring cutting edge care and clinical studies to Central Coast patients.

In addition to providing medical services, the center’s programs have expanded to include an array of complimentary services including: support groups for patients, family members and caregivers; massage therapy; acupuncture; nutrition education; exercise classes; and Look Good/Feel Good, a class dedicated to helping cancer patients use makeup, beauty tips and wigs as they go through treatment.

Community support has been key. In its first four years, Day of Hope activities raised more than half a million dollars to help provide emergency funds to patients for basic needs such as groceries, making rent and auto repair bills.

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