Team Running for Cover will participate in the 2015 Boston Marathon in order to raise funds to support the Melanoma Foundation of New England. The team has graciously offered me an opportunity to join and I have enthusiastically accepted the challenge. This will be my first Boston Marathon. I will be running in memory of Dr. Steven Eisen, a good friend and mentor, who died from a malignant melanoma less than two years ago and in memory of Bob Reitzel, my dear friend and college roommate, who passed on February 20th, 2015, from the same disease. I will also be running to generate donations for the MFNE in order to help all of those patients with malignant melanomas as well as their families. It is the foundation’s hope that by improving awareness through education while simultaneously accruing funds, it will be better positioned to continue a proactive approach towards prevention, early detection, patient and family support and much-needed clinical and laboratory research. For those of us who may not be familiar with malignant melanoma, I have listed a few startling facts below. Some have already been mentioned by other runners on this web site but because of their importance, certainly deserve to be reinforced.
Malignant Melanoma is now the fastest growing cancer in the U.S.
Melanoma is the most common form of cancer in men and women between 20-29 years of age and is the 2nd most common cancer in teens and young adults between ages 15 and 29.
An estimated 80,000 people will be diagnosed with and 9000 people will die as a result of malignant melanoma each year in the US (Almost one person every hour).
About 85 percent of melanomas can be attributed to exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation either from the sun or from tanning beds.
While melanomas are most commonly found on the trunk in men, they are often found on the lower extremities in women.
Melanomas can also develop in areas not directly exposed to the sun such as the inside of the mouth, the retina of the eye and underneath fingernails and toenails.
Regular daily use of an SPF 15 or higher sunscreen reduces the risk of melanoma by 50 percent.
Skin self-examination done monthly after a shower can help to identify a newly-developed skin lesion leading to early diagnosis and treatment and affording the best prognosis.
I am asking that all of my family, friends, coworkers, students and anyone affected by this disease, help me to reach my goal of $20,000 by contributing to the Melanoma Foundation of New England. You can visit their website for more information. This foundation has already done so much for so many patients and with your support, it can continue to carry on its work. I thank all of you and I’ll see you at the finish line.