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LEWISTON, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Amanda Dempsey, mother of actor Patrick Dempsey, has passed away at age 79 from complications of ovarian cancer. Patrick Dempsey founded the Patrick Dempsey Center for Cancer Healing and Hope in 2008 in honor of his mother, who CMMC treated for cancer several times.

The Dempsey Center offers a support system for families experiencing cancer. The Center said Amanda was active behind the scenes of the center and like a mother "to all who walked through the doors of the Dempsey Center, whether they even knew it or not."

The Demspey Challenge is the main fundraiser for the center and has raised over $5 million. It has brought thousands of participants from 38 states and 12 countries to the Dempsey family hometown of Lewiston, Maine.

"We will miss Amanda deeply, but we were all blessed by knowing her and being inspired by her life story," said Peter Chalke, president and CEO of Central Maine Healthcare, in a Dempsey Center statement.

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