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Fight cancer locally 

Several financial donations and lots of community support have led to plans for a new cancer center in southern San Luis Obispo County.

On Dec. 11, the Arroyo Grande Community Hospital Foundation announced that it will soon begin construction on the Coastal Cancer Care and Diagnostic Center. The facility will help cancer patients seek treatment locally.

"At this point, so many people are leaving our community for cancer treatment," said Montisa Phelan-Lopez, the foundation's executive director.

She speculated that the closest cancer treatment center is in Santa Barbara.

"With the addition of the cancer center [in Arroyo Grande], we hope more people will be able to stay in the community for cancer treatment," she said.

Phelan-Lopez added that it would be an accredited cancer center.

According to Anna Scott, Arroyo Grande Community Hospital's communications manager, the foundation received donations of $250,000 from former Major League Baseball player Robin Ventura, Nick and Kathy Tompkins, and Carol and Joan Pruett--for a total of $750,000.

The Coastal Cancer Care and Diagnostic Center will be located at the Pismo Beach Medical Plaza at Oak Park Boulevard in Pismo Beach. Construction is expected to begin soon, and the center could open in spring 2008.

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