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Desert AIDS Project dedicates new cancer center

By Jason Sloss, KESQ News Channel 3 Anchor & Reporter, jsloss@kesq.com
Published On: Nov 30 2012 07:31:30 PM CST

A big celebration Friday at the Desert Aids Project in Palm Springs. The new Annette Bloch Cancer Center was dedicated and made possible by a million dollar gift.
    

PALM SPRINGS, Calif. -

The Desert AIDS Project is now home to the Annette Bloch Cancer Care Center.

The new center, dedicated Friday, was made possible thanks to a million dollar gift from Rancho Mirage resident and cancer survivor Annette Bloch.

"I'm so impressed with the Desert AIDS Project and what they do for AIDS patients, the facilities they have.  It was just my joy and pleasure for them to have a cancer cure center," said Bloch.

People living with HIV or AIDS are at high-risk for developing certain cancers.  The center will provide cancer treatment and prevention.
     
"We're able to catch people early on with cancers.  For people with HIV that's very important because once they get cancer it progresses much more quickly than it does in someone's body who does not have HIV," said David Brinkman, CEO for the Desert AIDS Project.

The new care center is expected to ease the financial burden of the nearly 50 percent of clients who live in poverty.

"Our patient population, in general, lives on $800 a month.  They're primarily uninsured people.  So access to advanced care or specialty care is not something that's easy for them," said Brinkman.

Before the funding, someone was available to provide cancer services at DAP about two days a month.
     
Now, those services will be available every day.  The cancer center's namesake hopes it will save lives.

"They're very unique.  There's not another AIDS facility in the country that does as much as what they do here.  I'm so proud of them and we're so lucky to have them here," said Bloch.