UA-8412995-1 The Southport Globe: Cancer survivors center set to open

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Cancer survivors center set to open

FAIRFIELD -- In 2005, Jeff Keith, a cancer survivor from Fairfield, co-founded Connecticut Challenge to help other cancer survivors live healthier, longer lives through sports.
Since then, the Fairfield nonprofit agency has raised more than $6 million for cancer research through an annual bike ride and other sporting events.
It also works with 16 hospital-based survivor clinics in the state to help bring better services to survivors.
In the fall, Keith plans to take his agency's mission a step further with the opening of its own Center for Survivorship in the town's Southport section.
"We wanted to build something with the most impact for our survivors," Keith said recently, pointing to one of the facility's 10 rooms. "I can tell people that room is providing hope."
Keith co-founded Connecticut Challenge with Jeff Ragland Jr., an entrepreneur from Westport who grew up in Fairfield. Bob Mazzone, a marketing professional from Darien, serves as the agency's chief operating officer.
Keith also founded Swim Across America and Swim Across the Sound, which, with Connecticut Challenge, have raised $50 million for cancer survivors over the past 20 years, according to Connecticut Challenge's website.
Prior to co-founding Connecticut Challenge, Keith raised $1 million for the American Cancer Society after college as the first amputee to run across the country.
The 7,800-square-foot venue at 250 Pequot Ave., a former radiology practice with no windows, has been transformed over the past nine months into an open floor plan comprised of two large, glass-walled studios, a personal training room, a spinning room and a support group room. The center, outfitted with many windows to let in sunlight, also has a kitchen for teaching nutrition, a library, and men's and women's locker rooms with showers. READ MORE:

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