Planned Giving: Establishing Your Enduring Legacy in the Melanoma Community
From the desk of Senior Development Officer, Endowment and Planned Giving, Liz Reilly:
August is National Make a Will Month and a reminder that in our shared journey, the desire to create a lasting impact in the melanoma community is universal. A will is the invaluable means by which you can convey your wishes regarding the future of your assets and the causes you support. It provides a clear path to articulate your intentions, offering guidance that simplifies the process for your family or cherished loved ones to fulfill your wishes. Without a will, state regulations step in, shaping the destiny of your resources according to legal mandates.
You don't need a minimum amount to include an organization in your will, and there are no upfront costs involved. Legacy giving offers everyone the chance to make a lasting impact on their community, without altering their current lifestyle. Your support empowers the advancement of melanoma research, ensuring a legacy that resonates with your heart's intentions.
FDA Approves First Liver-Directed Drug for Metastatic Uveal Melanoma
On August 15, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved HEPZATO KIT (melphalan/Hepatic Delivery System), the first liver-directed therapy for patients with metastatic uveal melanoma (UM), developed by Delcath Systems, Inc. Following the approval of Kimmtrak in 2022, this represents the second FDA-approved treatment for metastatic UM, and the only therapy that is designed for the liver, an important treatment target. “Approximately half of all ocular melanoma diagnoses eventually metastasize beyond the eye, most often to the liver, with significantly lower rates of survival due to the lack of treatment options," said Sara Selig, MD, MPH, Co-founder and Director of the MRF's CURE Ocular Melanoma initiative. "The approval of HEPZATO KIT represents an important and encouraging advance for many patients with metastatic disease, and a new reason for hope in the OM community.” More information about this historic advance, as well as treatment eligibility, can be found in the press release announcing the approval.
TOMORROW: Ask the Expert About New Tools to Detect Melanoma
Want to learn about the latest tools and techniques that can help to monitor for and detect melanoma? Ask the Expert! Join us TOMORROW on August 29 at 7pm ET for an informative discussion featuring Dr. Alan Tan, Director of the Genitourinary Oncology Program & Co-Lead of the Precision Medicine Program at the Rush University Medical Center. Advanced pre-registration is required to participate in this webinar. Please share this opportunity with your friends and family, register today, and then bring your questions and join the conversation on Tuesday, August 29!
Thank you to Natera for sponsoring this educational opportunity.
New and Upcoming Education Resources and Opportunities
Increasing melanoma education is a key pillar of our mission, and we are excited to share a number of recently added and upcoming education materials and events.
Patient Symposia: The next in-person cutaneous melanoma patient symposium will be hosted in partnership with Weill Cornell Medicine on Saturday, October 28. Additional information including a draft agenda will be available in the near future; mark your calendars today and plan to join us for an informative symposium in October. Recordings from the recent patient symposium held in June at Case Comprehensive Cancer Center are now available to view on the MRF YouTube page.
Virtual OM Meet and Greet: On August 15, Director of Patient Engagement and Education Miriam Kadosh hosted a virtual Meet & Greet for OM patients and caregivers to learn more about how our education program can be most helpful and what additional resources would benefit the community. A second event will be held via Zoom on September 21 from 4-5pm ET; register today and join Miriam for a "virtual coffee" next month!
Celebrate at the Denver Gala!
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.
For further information about the gala, to purchase tickets, learn about sponsorship opportunities, or make a tax-deductible donation, please visit the Denver Gala event page or email email@example.com.
Welcome Andy Cohen to the New York Gala!
We are excited to welcome Emmy award-winning host, producer, New York Times best-selling author, melanoma survivor and advocate, Andy Cohen as emcee of the 22nd Annual New York Gala! Andy is an incredible supporter of the melanoma community, using his own melanoma experience to increase awareness, encourage prevention and help to raise life-saving funds for research and treatment development. “It is an honor to be a part of an unforgettable evening celebrating melanoma patients, caregivers and clinicians while honoring the tremendous achievements made across the melanoma community,” said Andy. “As a melanoma survivor, I am aware of the critical need to support continued research to foster effective clinical trials and treatments that will one day help eradicate melanoma!”
The New York Gala will be on Thursday, October 26 at The Plaza Hotel, featuring cocktails, a fabulous dinner and an incredible auction and awards program. 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 the New York Gala, to purchase tickets, learn about sponsorship opportunities, or make a tax-deductible donation, please visit the event page or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Miles for Melanoma Races Ahead
The Miles for Melanoma season kept up the pace with 3 events in August where our community celebrated friends and loved ones in Cleveland, OH (August 6), Twin Cities, MN (August 19) and Philadelphia, PA (August 26). Together, these three events raised nearly $250,000 for life-saving melanoma research and education. Check out a video recap from the Cleveland run/walk, which significantly exceeded their fundraising goal by raising more than $134,000! In September, we have a back-to-back, coast-to-coast weekend in Seattle, WA (September 16) and Morristown, NJ (September 17)! Heading into the fall, registration is now open for run/walks in Los Angeles (October 7), San Diego (October 15), New York, NY (October 21), Atlanta, GA (October 29) and San Francisco, CA (November 12). 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.
Young Adult Melanoma Survivors Reconnect with True North Treks
The inaugural wilderness retreat for young adult (18-39) melanoma survivors is almost here and there are a small number of spots still available! The mission of True North Treks is to empower young adults and caregivers affected by cancer to "find direction through connection" on free multiday treks through remote wilderness destinations where they can reconnect with nature, each other and themselves. On September 28 - October 1, young adult melanoma survivors are invited to join a trek on the forested shores of Lake Superior in northern Michigan for education sessions, outdoor excursions and mindfulness activities to promote whole body wellness. Lodging, meals, activities and a day pack will be provided free of charge, and a $500 travel reimbursement is available. There are only a few remaining openings still available, so we encourage those interested to act quickly. For more information about this exciting new program and how to register, please email email@example.com.