The Mission and History of the Barbara Sosman Support Center
The Barbara Sosman center exists to provide help and support for patients and families affected by cancer.
We provide a non-clinical sanctuary for folks impacted by cancer. Because cancer and its treatment affects the entire family, we provide a place where both the patient and caregiver can go and access those things that are not provided in a clinical setting.
We provide space to:
Relax, have a cup of coffee & meet other folks in a similar situation.
Do some research in our library unit.
Explore other available therapies and services.
Take advantage of continuing informational programs.
And, most importantly, network and make connections with other patients and caregivers.
Come visit a quiet place out of the clinical setting. This is your living room!
Paul Trommer, a successful businessman with a Can Do Attitude lost his vibrant wife, Barbara to pancreatic cancer in 2017. Speaking with other cancer patients and their families, he realized that they all shared a similar experience, "It's very hard on people when they bring their loved ones for treatment. I've seen that hopeless look on peoples' faces sitting next to their loved ones undergoing treatment. It is a look I will never forget."
Paul realized that if there was a comfortable place to wait while treatments were being done, away from the hospital experience where he could meet and just talk to people going through the same thing, it would be an easier experience for everyone.
The Lafayette Center opened as Eastern Maine Medical Center's state-of-the-art cancer facility in 2009. While The Lafayette Center is "equipped with the most advanced cancer treatment technologies in northern New England and families can share treatment spaces with their loved ones, it can take many hours and months of treatment and many family members need a break from the hospital environment. That is where the idea of the Center was born. Paul rented a building, 1 mile from the Lafayette Center and the Barbara Sosman Center was born.
For Paul, having a center just made sense. "When Barbara was assigned an oncologist, and we showed up for the first appointment, she had blood drawn. then we met with the oncologist and proceeded to a tiny room for an infusion treatment. For Barbara it was about three hours of chemistry and then we were sent home. We really didn't have anyone to talk to due to confidentiality concerns. Frankly, we didn't know what to expect. Even though Barbara had no trouble researching pancreatic cancer, it would have been wonderful to interact with people going through a similar thing."
Paul met with patients who inspired him to pursue this dream of a center. This center would be a haven for caregivers, patients and their families coming to the Lafayette Center for treatment where they could meet others and know that they were not alone.
Paul hopes to have a room for various therapies and counseling, nooks for privacy, a kitchen area and a wall packed with informative pamphlets and contacts. The space has honey knotty pine paneling and a warm, comfortable feel to it. Negotiations are currently underway to purchase the building and the land to expand the center.