BENEFITING: Melanoma Coalition
EVENT DATE: Nov 01, 2016
In the US, one person dies from Melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, every 52 minutes. The vast majority of melanomas are caused by UV radiation. In fact, studies have shown that about 85% of melanomas can be attributed to UV exposure. This means that many melanomas can be prevented! The Melanoma Coalition is a fully recognized 501c3 non-profit organization that was founded in January, 2015 in memory of Connor M. Cockerham, who lost his life to this disease after a 2 month battle - at the age of 20. We are focused on funding research for a cure, but also and just as importantly, we are focused on funding melanoma education and prevention programs about because many melanomas CAN BE PREVENTED! We have partnered with The Melanoma Foundation of New England (MFNE) and are working with that amazing team to expand The MFNE award-winning prorgrams nationally!
Tracy Cockerham, Founder of The Melanoma Coalition and MFNE Board member, and Paul Gourley, Advisor to the Board for The Melanoma Coalition and MFNE Board member have joined forces and established a personal goal to raise $100,000 for prevention and education.
Both Paul and Tracy have been personally touched by this awful disease. Paul's wife, Lynn was first diagnosed in 2011. She is a melanoma surivivor who still bears the scars of this disease. She and Paul have committed to raising awareness through education and we are thrilled that today Lynn is still No Evidence of Disease. Tracy's son, Connor, was only 18 when he was first diagnosed. After numerous surgeries to remove the melanoma and reconstruction, he was declared No Evidence of Disease in May 2012. But less than 18 months later he was diagnosed with a recurrence and succombed to metastatic melanoma just 2 months and 9 days after the recurrence was diagnosed. One person dies from this disease every hour of every day in this country. Connor's hour was the hour between 2am and 3am on January 9, 2014. Together, Paul and Tracy, with their spouses, are working so that other families don't have to go through the horrors of melanoma.
About the programs: The MFNE's mission is to reduce the incidence of melanoma in New England through education, prevention and support. Their programas include Your Skin is In, a program teaching high school and college students the dangers of tanning, and The Skinny on Skin, which teaches beauty professionals to recognize potential melanomas on areas of their clients bodies that their clients might not normally see (head, neck, scalp, ears, back, etc). In addition, The MFNE aims to further their prevention mission by offering suncreen and suncreen dispensers through public and private distribution across the country. The Melanoma Coalition is working hard to help them in their efforts. Our hope is that sunscreen dispensers will become as commonplace as hand sanitizers over the next few years.