After five years of planning and fundraising the construction of the new cancer center at Jamestown Regional Medical Center could break ground before the end of the year, according to Trisha Jungels, chief nursing officer and acting CEO of JRMC.

"We are nearing the end of the journey," Jungels said.

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Work should start within 60 to 90 days, and the cancer center will hopefully be in operation by summer 2019, she said. The cancer center will serve the approximately 252 people who are diagnosed or pass away from cancer each year within a 60-mile radius of Jamestown, she said.

"We are in partnership with the Roger Maris Cancer Center at Sanford Health in Fargo and together we will be rolling out this new service line for our community," Jungels said. "The projections are that in the first year 100 lives should be touched in our center with well over 800 infusions."

There are currently more than 100 people from the Jamestown region who travel 200 miles for chemotherapy infusions on monthly, weekly or sometimes daily trips, according to JRMC. The JRMC Cancer Center will eliminate 160,000 miles of travel each year for these patients.

JRMC has so far raised $1.2 million of its $1.5 million goal to build the cancer center, said Lisa Jackson, executive director of JRMC Foundation. Two upcoming events will hopefully help JRMC reach its goal of funding this building phase that also includes updates to labs and the pharmacy, she said.

The events this week could complete the construction phase fundraising goal for the cancer center, Jungels said. Both events will be held in the JRMC Cancer Center shell space at 2422 20th St. SW, she said.

The JRMC Cancer Center Journey to Mile 256: a Private Debut, starts with a 5 p.m. social, followed by a 6 p.m. dinner on Thursday, Sept. 27. "Mile 256" is the name for the Interstate 94 exit ramp nearest JRMC.

The event is a formal gala including a catered meal, entertainment and live auction. Tickets are $50 to $100 with seating limited to 200.

Don and Sharon Caine will serve as emcees for the event. A group of middle and high school students and community will tell stories of people who have had a cancer journey in the Jamestown area. There will be a raffle and silent auction.

The Brunch Out Cancer event is open to the public and from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 30 at the same location and includes a light brunch and tours. Guests can come anytime during the brunch and pay with a freewill offering.

For information and tickets, call 952-4880.