Construction already has started on a new cancer center at St. Charles-Bend, and Tuesday brought the official groundbreaking ceremony.
There is a great need for a new cancer center in Central Oregon. Experts expect the number of cancer patients in the area to double by 2015.
Right now, the hospital shuttles patients between two locations for treatment, both of which are outgrowing the facilities as the need keeps growing.
That makes it the perfect time for the hospital to receive a big donation.
The Les Schwab family recently donated $1 million to the center in honor of Margaret Schwab Denton, the daughter of Les and Dorthy Schwab, who died in 2005 after a two-year fight with colon cancer.
So far, $5.7 million of the $12.9 million needed for the project has been raised.
Lisa Dobey, executive drector of the St. Charles Foundation, says it is a promise for world-class cancer care on the High Desert.
"The fact that you get to stay close by, your family gets to see you. If you want to bring your dog up, you can bring your dog in -- and all of that wrap-around that goes with making the experience the best possible," Dobey said.
The 16,000-square-foot cancer center is expected to be done by next summer.
For information on how to donate, visit stcharlesfoundation.org.