Melanoma Research Foundation

A Sun Safe Summer Begins with UV Awareness Month

From the desk of MRF CEO Kyleigh LiPira:

July is Ultraviolet (UV) Awareness Month and as the heat wave continued across the United States, many of us have experienced the intensity of the sun. Our goal at the MRF is to educate and empower the community about how to stay sun safe and ultimately prevent melanoma – the deadliest form of skin cancer. A safe tan doesn’t exist, and intentionally tanned skin is actually the result of damage to skin cells and too much UV radiation from the sun or a tanning bed. This exposure causes as much as 90% of melanomas. The good news is that 9 out of 10 cases of melanoma are considered to be preventable and that is why we are so focused on education and awareness at the MRF from babies to adults. In addition to sun safe clothing choices and avoiding peak hours of exposure, applying broad spectrum sunscreen is an important way to prevent sun damage. Neutrogena is currently offering a co-branded sunscreen available at Walgreens locations across the country and generously donating $1 to the MRF for every bottle sold; look for our logo on the bottle and stock up today! You can learn more about ways to prevent melanoma and stay sun safe by visiting our Education Institute.

Another key part of the MRF’s mission is supporting research and investing in cutting-edge science that will directly benefit melanoma patients and their loved ones. During Melanoma Awareness Month we partnered with TV Personality, Wellness Coach and co-host of the top-rated podcast, Two T’s in a Pod, Teddi Mellencamp who shared her stage II melanoma story. We also announced a new Prevention Research Grant in honor of Teddi, with a goal of raising $100,000 to fund a two-year research award. You can donate here to support this important prevention grant opportunity.

On behalf of the entire MRF team, we hope you are enjoying a happy, healthy and sun safe summer, and are so grateful for your support.

With gratitude,

Donate Now for Melanoma Prevention

Community Highlight: Bob's Bobbers

If you have attended the Miles for Melanoma DC 5k in recent years, you've probably seen Bob's Bobbers, one of the largest teams each year clad in their signature red and white attire. Team Captain Amy Wychulis Vallance, a two-time melanoma caregiver, recently shared a guest blog post about the inspiration for the team and why she is a strong supporter of the melanoma community in memory of her father, or as he was known to his family, "Jojgee." In recognition of her dedication to the Miles for Melanoma community, Amy is a recipient of the 2023 Team Captain Excellence Award and will be honored at the 2024 DC Miles event. We are extremely grateful to Amy, Team Bob's Bobbers and all the incredible individuals and teams in communities across the country who come together to walk, run and raise critical funds for life-saving melanoma research.

Ask the Expert: If a Treatment Stops Working, What's Next?

Although melanoma treatments continue to improve, for some patients, therapies can become less effective over time and it's important to know what options may be best in each individual case. On Monday, July 24, our monthly Ask the Expert webinar series hosted an engaging discussion on this topic with Dr. Michael A. Postow, Chief, Melanoma Service, Co-Director, Melanoma Disease Management Team and Associate Attending Physician from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and patient advocate Bennie Lunsford. If you were unable to join the live webinar, or want to revisit the presentation, the recording is now available on the MRF YouTube channel.

Thank you to Replimune for sponsoring this educational opportunity.

Gala Season is Almost Here!

On Thursday, September 21, we will celebrate the 12th Annual Denver Gala with cocktails, a gourmet dinner, one-of-a-kind auction items and an awards program honoring melanoma patients, survivors and physicians. During the program, Stacey Sepp will receive the Advocate Award for being a powerful voice for the melanoma community, Zeina Dajani, MD will be presented with the Excellence in Prevention Award and Courage Awards will honor the bravery of Crystal Crowley, Mary Harty-Prather and Keith Woolley as they faced melanoma.

On October 26, join us at The Plaza Hotel for cocktails, a fabulous dinner and an incredible auction and awards program at the 22nd Annual New York Gala. A Humanitarian Award will be presented to Udai S. Kammula, MD, FACS for his contributions to melanoma research and treatment, the Excellence in Prevention Award will honor Samer Jaber, MD for his commitment to the prevention and early detection of melanoma. A very special Courage Award will celebrate #GetNaked spokesperson, Teddi Mellencamp, for sharing her own melanoma experience and using her platform to increase awareness. Chris White, a mucosal melanoma survivor, thriver and advocate, will be honored with a Courage Award for his bravery in facing melanoma and dedication to increasing awareness of this rare melanoma subtype.

For further information about MRF galas, to purchase tickets, learn about sponsorship opportunities, or make a tax-deductible donation, please email

Miles for Melanoma Summer Events Are Heating Up

On July 16, an incredible community of Windy City walkers and runners came together at the Miles for Melanoma Chicago 5k and raised over $69,000 for melanoma research, education and advocacy! We're keeping the momentum going with 3 events next month in Cleveland, OH (August 6), Twin Cities, MN (August 19) and Philadelphia, PA (August 26) followed by a back-to-back weekend in Seattle, WA (September 16) and Morristown, NJ (September 17)! We'll be heading to California in the fall, with registration now open for run/walks in Los Angeles (October 7) and San Diego (October 15). Even more events will be open for registration soon. Visit the Miles for Melanoma homepage to find a run/walk near you, mark your calendars and get ready to run, walk and raise life-saving funds to cure melanoma!

Thank you to our National Prevention Sponsor, Neutrogena and National Apparel Partner, Cabana Life, for your generous support of the Miles for Melanoma program.

Donation Corner: What is Planned Giving?

You've probably heard the term, but have you ever wondered what Planned Giving is or how it works? Planned Giving is a way for donors to help people and causes they care about, and to have this support continue even after they're no longer here. It's like PLANNING AHEAD to leave a special gift to a charity or organization that will use the money to do good things. You can do this by including the MRF in a will or using other financial arrangements to make sure your support continues, making a positive difference and lasting legacy. It's a thoughtful way to have a long term impact and continue helping others in the future.

Let us help you tailor your charitable gift to your financial, tax or estate planning objectives. Visit our gift planning website to learn more about the Planned Giving options that are available and discover the various ways you can get involved. Every contribution, big or small, will bring us one step closer to a world without melanoma.

Supporting Life Saving Melanoma Research

Funding the latest advances in melanoma research and treatment development is a key pillar of our mission, and we are proud to support a scientific agenda that includes a broad grant program totaling more than $23 million since 1998. To capture bright minds early and sustain them in a career of research, the MRF’s grant program provides support to medical students through established investigators, from the lab to the clinic, in cutaneous as well as rare melanoma subtypes.

The Request for Proposals (RFP) for Mid-Career Bridge Grants, supporting researchers with a pre-existing NIH R01 who needed more data for a second NIH R01 grant, is currently open with two remaining application deadlines on August 15 and December 15, 2023.

The 2023 MRF Breakthrough Consortium Young Investigator Team and the internationally competed CURE OM Request for Proposals deadline was July 17, and proposals are currently under review. Learn more about all of the current and upcoming research grant opportunities by visiting the Grant RFP page, and the many additional ways we advance the field of melanoma science on the Research and Science section of our website.


Upcoming Events


  • October 29: Miles for Melanoma Atlanta
  • November 12: Miles for Melanoma San Francisco
  • Date TBD: Miles for Melanoma New York City
  • Date TBD: Miles for Melanoma Florida

View MRF Events



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