10/15/2011 08:29 am ET

Patrick Dempsey Encourages Human Connection At Cancer Charity Fundraiser (VIDEO)

When Patrick Dempsey isn't saving lives on screen as "Grey's Anatomy" character Dr. McDreamy, he's saving people in other ways with his charity work.

The actor spoke about cancer patient treatment during a fundraising event in his home state of Maine, reports.

Dempsey's organization , The Dempsey Center for Cancer Hope & Healing, provides support, education and health services to patients at The Central Maine Comprehensive Cancer Center and affiliated cancer clinics at Bridgton and Rumford hospitals. He recently spoke at the organization's annual fundraiser, The Dempsey Challenge, a run, walk and cycling event that benefits the center.

The actor told the news network that he believes cancer treatment should be about the human connection, going beyond basic treatment to actual physical connection through services such as massages.

"I think that's a big thing that we've noticed in the center is the massage, a lot of people haven't done it," he told "All of that stuff makes a big difference because it gets back to when you're a child and you're being touched and hugged. You know, we're human beings and we need to be held and loved. That's so important, you need to feel that emotion and that physicality, and that's part of the healing process."

According to the Washington Post, the event raised about $1 million.


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