Amanda Dempsey Award

An award given each year to a cancer survivor who has a passion for helping others with cancer in Maine.

About the Amanda Dempsey Award

The Dempsey Center was founded in 2008 by actor and Maine native Patrick Dempsey after experiencing the cancer journey as one of his mother’s care partners. Patrick’s mother, Amanda Dempsey, was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 1997. After experiencing her journey, and inspired by Amanda’s passion for helping others, Patrick created a space where those impacted by cancer could find relief, comfort, resources, and support—all at no cost.

During Dempsey Challenge each year, one survivor’s work and commitment to inspiring others diagnosed with cancer within Maine was recognized through an annual award. After Amanda’s passing in 2014, both the Dempsey family and the Dempsey Center team chose to keep her legacy of strength and service to others by naming this award after her, and thus, the Amanda Dempsey Award was created.

“The Amanda Dempsey Award means keeping who she was alive. Her strength, hopefulness, and willingness to help anyone – never knowing how powerful her words were. It demonstrates how a modest and unassuming individual can have a lasting impact on others. It means honoring someone who impacts others in a raw, beautiful form just as mom(gram) did. She inspired others just by her presence. She gave back to her community silently and humbly which drew more people to her. She was strong, she was influential, and she was truly one of a kind. When looking for a deserving recipient of this award, those qualities first come to mind.” – The Dempsey Family

Criteria for Nominations are as follows:

  • Individual must be a cancer survivor,
  • Individual must demonstrate a passion for helping and inspiring others diagnosed with cancer, and
  • Individual lives and/or helps others in the state of Maine.

Awards are presented during Dempsey Challenge weekend each year. Nominations open on National Cancer Survivor Day (first weekend in June).

Winner(s) of the Amanda Dempsey Award will lead the Survivor Walk held during Dempsey Challenge and participate in the annual Champions for Hope Celebration, as well as have opportunities to represent the Dempsey Center and fellow cancer survivors at various events throughout the year.

Past Winners

Tony Achille (2023)

Trevor Maxwell (2022)

Sue Craib (2021)

Jon Henry (2020)

Priscilla “Pat” Rollins (2019)

Barbara Deschenes (2018)

Christina Parrish (2017)

Brooke Ismail (2016)

Dr. James Campbell (2015)

Nel Bernard (2014)

Hailey Sontag (2013)

Kristen Short (2012)

Laura Davis (2011)

Scott Thomas (2010)

Carlene Sperry + Allen Lariviere (2009)