Ontonagon cancer group receives $10,000 donation
May 4, 2022
ONTONAGON — Ontonagon County Cancer Association officials have announced that the association has received a $10,000 donation from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.
Chris Maksym, a member of the BCBSM Board of Directors and former White Pine resident, said the aim of the donation is to increase access to affordable health care and improved, quality health care to the region.
Maksym said he feels that is what the OCCA does with its free breast and prostate testing programs for Ontonagon County residents and its effort to spread cancer awareness information. Early detection is the key to good health. Volunteers help to spread that word to others in each community.
He said his mother, Joanne, was one of those volunteers. He also noted, since the hospital in Ontonagon is small, many cancer patients must travel outside of the area for treatment and the OCCA also helps with the costs for travel and funds for some treatment. That is why he chose Ontonagon County for the donation, he said.
Although the Maksyms, Chris and wife, MaryJo (Meneguzzo) Maksym, live in Dexter, they consider themselves “true Yoopers and proud White Piners.” They still have their family home in White Pine and visit and recreate in the U.P. often with their three children and three grandchildren.
Maksym graduated from the White Pine High School in 1978 and received his bachelor’s and doctorate degrees from the University of Michigan as a pharmacist. Although he retired from the university after 35 years, he still maintains his license and consults with health care systems across the country.