+ Meet Our International Friends
     + Dempsey Challenge World Map

It's never been easier to register and participate in the Dempsey Challenge! We are amazed to see how many people are supporting the Dempsey Center, from all around the globe. We are all united together to make life better for people impacted by cancer. 


Serena Panzeri, Italy

Serena has been involved with the Dempsey Center since 2008, after her father was diagnosed with lung cancer. Upon researching treatments and services in the U.S., she learned of the Center through her father's oncologist, who was from Boston and traveled to Italy as part of an exchange program. Through a simple email, Serena was connected with the Dempsey Center and learned how complementary services could help. Inspired, she became an active volunteer in her own community, helping cancer patients through her charity, "The Bridge of Hope" which also provides free services to people impacted by cancer and always looking to the Center as a source of inspiration. She participated in her first Dempsey Challenge in 2013 and was hooked - this would have been her 8th trip this year.

"Nel corso degli anni, ho avuto la possibilità e il privilegio di vedere da vicino cosa fate, come avvicinate le persone, qual è l'impatto dei servizi che offrite. La Dempsey Challenge è un vero viaggio di speranza per me, per ricordare coloro che abbiamo perso , per onorare la loro eredità, per celebrare la vita, per sentirmi parte di qualcosa che mi ha aiutato a diventare una persona migliore , per sentire sulla mia pelle cosa possiamo fare quando agiamo in modo disinteressato e in unione con altre persone ". - Serena Panzeri "Throughout the years, I had the chance and privilege to see closely what you do, how you approach people, which is the impact of the services you provide. The Dempsey Challenge is a real journey of hope for me, to remember those we lost, to honor their legacy, to celebrate life, to feel part of something which helped me to become a better person (at least, to try), to feel on my skin what we can do when we act selflessly and in union with other people." - Serena Panzeri

Desiree Zimmermann, Germany

Desiree became familiar with the Dempsey Center through her love of car racing. She started following Patrick Dempsey's racing career, which took him through Europe in 2015 where she had the chance to meet him in person, and learned more about the work of the Dempsey Center. Inspired, she and a tight-knit group of international race friends decided to make the long trip to Lewiston, Maine to participate in the 2016 Dempsey Challenge.

Since then, she has attended every year to support the Dempsey Center and to meet back up with friends she has met from all over the world. This year would have been her 5th trip to Maine - but will instead be participating from her home in Germany for Dempsey Challenge 2020.

"Leider habe ich die Auswirkungen von Krebs aus erster Hand miterlebt - einige meiner Freunde und Kollegen waren zuletzt leider sehr stark betroffen. Ich weiß, dass es - wie im Rennsport - das gesamte Team braucht, um den Kampf zu gewinnen. Seitdem ist die Challenge für meine Freunde und mich jedes Jahr ein fester Bestandteil, um das Dempsey Center zu unterstützen. Obwohl dieses Jahr alles ein bisschen anders ist, kann ich es kaum erwarten, nächstes Jahr wieder nach Maine zu kommen." - Desiree Zimmermann  "Sadly, I‘ve witnessed the impact of cancer firsthand, with some of my friends and colleagues deeply impacted. I know - like in racing - it takes the whole team to win the battle. Since then, it‘s been become an annual event for my friends and I to come and support this cause. Although a little bit different this year, I can't wait to come back to Maine next year." - Desiree Zimmermann

Gladys Chow, Venezuela

As with many international friends, Gladys learned of the Dempsey Center in Lewiston, Maine U.S.A. as a fan of Patrick Dempsey, both as an actor and as a fan of racing. With social media becoming popular in 2008, information of the first Dempsey Challenge spread through circles and online communities. She decided to donate to the Challenge each year in memory of her grandfather, who passed away from liver cancer. In 2012, a virtual friend and Challenge participant invited her to make the trip to experience the event for herself. Feeling nervous about not knowing anyone in person, she chose to make the trek from Venezuela to Maine - and has continued to do just that for the past 8 years. She will be participating in her 9th Dempsey Challenge virtually for 2020.

“Admiro el hermoso y considerado trabajo del Dempsey Center. Soy una trabajadora de la salud, médico en mi país y sé cuánto ayuda esto a todos aquellos afectados por el cancer y sus cuidadores. El fin de semana del Dempsey Challenge es inspirador, uno que siempre me recarga de esperanza y me hace ver todo lo que  podemos hacer cuando asi lo queremos. Un fin de semana para celebrar y honrar la vida, la amistad y mostrar lo mejor de nosotros. Y esa es la razón por la que sigo viniendo cada año, porque es una experiencia de vida en la que vale la pena estar en cada ocasión, cada viaje”.  - Gladys Chow "I admire the beautiful and kind work the Dempsey Center does. I work in healthcare in my country and I know how much this help those impacted by cancer. The Dempsey Challenge is such an inspiring weekend, one that always recharges me with hope and a belief in all we can do when we want to do it. A weekend to celebrate and honor life, friendships and show the best of us. And that’s why I keep coming...because it is a life experience that is worth the trip every time." - Gladys Chow


View the map below to see who will be walking, running, cycling and more - tracking miles alongside you on Dempsey Challenge weekend.

View 2020 Dempsey Challenge in a full screen map

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