West Virginia has an older population, and with age comes a higher risk of developing cancer. West Virginians have the second-highest death rate from cancer in these United States.
In 2009, the Charleston Area Medical Center Foundation announced plans to build a $50 million state-of-the-art, comprehensive outpatient treatment center. CAMC would finance $35 million of the cost and approach the public for the other $15 million.
In a community where many efforts compete for broad support, it was an ambitious goal.
But this week, the CAMC Foundation announced victory. The $15 million goal has been reached. Construction of the new David Lee Cancer Center will follow.
"I'm almost speechless over it," said foundation president Gail Pitchford, who said it "took many, many people to make this happen with many, many gifts.
"It's been a very humbling and amazing experience."
That a whole community would so readily rally around an effort in so short a time really is an accomplishment - something the foundation and the community should be proud of.
The campaign began with an approach to CAMC employees, who contributed $570,000. Then the foundation reached out to the public at large. With gifts ranging from $2 to $2 million, the community responded.
The result will be more comfortable, convenient treatment for tens of thousands of southern West Virginians.
That is a wonderful thing.