Help DEAR MELANOMA Launch Their 501c3 Organization
Organized by: Fonda Upp
Fighting melanoma by increasing awareness, supporting patients, survivors, families and fundraising for research. EARLY DETECTION IS THE KEY TO SURVIVAL! Mission • To increase awareness of malignant melanoma and skin cancer through education, advocacy, and research. • To advocate for detection and to obtain skin examinations. We help people find dermatologists in your area. • To ease the burden and to provide support for melanoma patients, caregivers and medical professionals through financial aid. • To ultimately find a cure for melanoma. General Information about our Founder and Executive Director. I have a deep passion to spread awareness about melanoma and raise the much-needed funds for research and education. I'm doing this in honor of my daughter, Michele Vasquez who is fighting with stage IV with mets to her lung and brain, and my dad, Arnold "Zim" Zimmermann who lost his battle on November 1, 2014. Both were diagnosed in March of 2012. I was diagnosed with stage zero in August of 2014. When I first found out about melanoma, it was hard for me to find resources and information to help the ones I love. On this journey, my life has been beyond blessed in so many ways. I've met some amazing people in the last 3 years! I am shocked at the lack of awareness and that people just think skin cancer is something you cut out and then you're done with it. That could not be further from the truth! Once diagnosed with melanoma, your life will never be the same. You will live from test to test with the fear of it spreading to other organs. As a very involved caregiver like me, you don't want to see your loved ones' going through this, either. It's ugly, and you are at the mercy of drug trials and the uncertainty of what's next. I've learned California has ownership of 5 of the cities listed on a list of the ten worst places in the US for melanoma deaths. That's right, the highest death rate per capita from melanoma! This is horrible, and why do more of us not know about it? We need a cure! I knew right away I was supposed to step up and get loud about this. If we can help just one person understand how damaging the sun and UV lights are, we've made a huge difference. But my hopes are so much bigger than that. We want to target schools, kids' sports teams, sports fans, medical offices, young adults who are addicted to tanning, new parents, and even nail salons that use uv lights to dry gel manicures. We want to shut down the tanning salons that use uv lights. EVERYONE really needs to know that more people die from melanoma than the top 5 cancers combined. One person dies every hour of melanoma. Someone is diagnosed every 8 minutes. All of us may not get melanoma, but all of us are at risk of getting it. We want to remind you that we don't have to be tan to be beautiful. We advocate teaching safe tanning methods and the use of all natural spray tanning products, if you must tan, so it doesn't kill you. Trust me, a tan is not worth dying for! The way we can make a difference is by teaching awareness early in life, and setting up daily habits to protect the skin, preventing DNA damage from occurring at all. Did you know that the more tan you are the more damage you have. It's that simple! The tan is the DNA damage that can develop melanoma. By getting regular checks of your moles, and checking your skin every month, you can save your life. Regular exercising, eating the right foods, and taking the right vitamin supplements can be like "edible sunscreen." We want you to get educated. There are many things we can do to prevent melanoma, but once it's grown too deep into the skin or into the bloodstream, you will be fighting for your life for the rest of your life in many cases. You can fulfill our greatest wish if you help us spread the word about the dangers and consequences of tanning and getting sunburned even one time. If you would like to volunteer, be a sponsor, host an event, suggest an idea, donate products and/or services to be auctioned off, or give a monetary donation, it all is very much needed and appreciated! Thank you!