Melanoma Research Foundation
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Hope Changes Everything: The MRF at 25

The Melanoma Research Foundation was founded in 1996 by Diana Ashby, a melanoma patient who was frustrated by the lack of treatment options available. Twenty-five years later, Diana's legacy lives on as the MRF has grown to the largest independent organization devoted to melanoma and a leader in the medical research field. To see how MRF funding has advanced the scientific frontier over the years, read this new guest blog post from Keiran Smalley, PhD, a previous MRF grant recipient and current MRF Grant Scientific Research Officer.

As we begin this year of remembrance and celebration, MRF Board Chair and stage 4 melanoma survivor Steve Silverstein shared a special message about how far we've come together, and why he's so optimistic for the future.

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Anniversary Highlight: Team Farrell

Miles for Melanoma is a nationwide tour of 5k run/walks that unites thousands of melanoma advocates in cities across the country, increasing melanoma awareness and raising hundreds of thousands of dollars each year for life-saving treatment advances. But it all began with a melanoma patient named Steve Farrell who fought through a grueling clinical trial by setting and accomplishing a goal of running in the iconic New York City Marathon to raise funds for the MRF. Today, Steve's family honors the memory of his courageous fight and generous spirit by staying involved with the MRF and the melanoma community, and the annual Miles for Melanoma New Jersey 5k wouldn't be the same without TEAM FARRELL. In a new guest blog post, Maryann Farrell recalls how "Miles for Melanoma" came to be and how her husband's legacy lives on today.

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Form a Team in 2021

After an unforgettable, completely virtual series of run/walks in 2020, the 2021 Miles for Melanoma season is here! In accordance with ongoing public health guidance, the 2021 event series will begin with virtual events and transition to in-person races as soon as it is safe to do so. The season will begin with a month-long, nationwide celebration of Melanoma Awareness Month in May, kicking off a coast to coast tour of 17 events throughout the country - including two NEW locations added by popular demand. Registration is opening in the coming days, so click below to see the 2021 Miles for Melanoma season and we look forward to seeing you at an event this year!

Miles for Melanoma Calendar

MRF Advocacy Days

Join the largest melanoma advocacy event of the year at MRF Advocacy Days on March 1-5, 2021! Each year, melanoma patients, caregivers and advocates from all across the country convene on Capitol Hill to meet with lawmakers, share their stories and ensure that the fight against melanoma remains a national priority. MRF Advocacy Days will be held virtually this year, including a full agenda of advocacy trainings, policy briefings, guest speakers and more! The MRF will also schedule virtual meetings with lawmakers and Congressional offices for participants in each state delegation, allowing you to share how melanoma has affected you and urge their support for our community. Registration closes on Monday, February 15, so click below to learn more about the event and sign up today!

The MRF thanks Platinum Level Sponsor Bristol Myers Squibb and Gold Level Sponsor Pfizer for their support of MRF Advocacy Days.

Join MRF Advocacy Days

Survey: COVID-19 and Melanoma

To better understand the continuing impacts and challenges COVID-19 is having on the melanoma community, the MRF developed a short, confidential survey for melanoma patients and caregivers. This feedback will help us to define the ongoing challenges facing the melanoma community and will inform our strategies and development of meaningful educational and support resources. To better understand the variables of US-based healthcare versus that of Canada, we have partnered with Save Your Skin Foundation (SYSF), a Canadian non-profit committed to playing an active role in reducing the incidence of skin cancer in Canada.

All answers are confidential and individual responses will not be shared with any healthcare provider, other organization, or any other entity. Results will be presented as a summary.

The MRF thanks Gold Level Sponsor Bristol Myers Squibb, Silver Level Sponsors Pfizer and Merck, Bronze Level Sponsor Novartis and Start-Up Level Sponsor Castle Biosciences.

Take the COVID-19 Survey

Out of the Shadows: Mucosal Melanoma

February 28 is Rare Disease Day, an occasion to raise awareness and support those fighting rare diseases like acral, ocular, pediatric and mucosal melanoma. On that day, the MRF will celebrate the courage and commitment of these communities by promoting education and awareness for each rare melanoma subtype and sharing the voices of those they affect.

Leading up to Rare Disease Day, the MRF will launch its newest awareness campaign focused on mucosal melanoma, a very rare form of melanoma that affects areas of the body it's not always comfortable to talk about. The campaign will feature powerful stories from courageous patients and survivors, shareable graphics and fact sheets, a new Facebook profile picture frame and more. Click below to learn more about mucosal melanoma and hear from patients and survivors who are coming Out of the Shadows.

Learn About
Mucosal Melanoma

Apply for Research Funding

Apply now for research funding! The 2021 MRF Breakthrough Consortium-Bristol Myers Squibb (MRFBC-BMS) Young Investigator Translational Immuno-Oncology Team Science Award is now accepting applications. The goal of this grant is to help identify and support the next generation of melanoma scientists, improve clinical outcomes and advance the scientific understanding of immuno‐oncology and the role of the immune system in melanoma. Applications will be accepted through March 15, 2021. Award decisions will be made by June 30, 2021. Visit the MRF Research Center for additional details, application instructions and more.

Visit the MRF Research Center

Global Coalition for Melanoma Patient Advocacy

Founded by the MRF in 2014, the Global Coalition for Melanoma Patient Advocacy is an international alliance of organizations united to advance melanoma prevention, research and treatment. Recently, the coalition surveyed over 700 dermatologists in 36 countries and found that lockdowns and burdens on healthcare systems caused by COVID-19 resulted in a 33% reduction in medical appointments in 2020, and over 60,000 melanomas that may have gone undiagnosed worldwide. Monthly self-skin checks are incredibly important between dermatologist visits, especially if those visits are delayed during the pandemic. The Global Coalition has launched a new voice-activated 'Skin Check' app that will remind you when it's time for a check, and even walk you through the process. The app can be downloaded for free from Amazon, and is compatible with both Amazon's Alexa and Google Assistant devices. A step-by-step skin check video is available on the MRF's YouTube page, and more information can be found in the Global Coalition press release below.

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Join the Conversation and Find Support

The MRF Patient Forum began in 1994 as the Melanoma Patients Information Page (MPIP), and for more than two decades it has served as a valuable support resource for melanoma patients and their loved ones. In recent years our community members offered helpful suggestions and recommendations to modernize the site and in December, the MRF launched a newly updated, feature-rich MRF Patient Forum. New features include focused communities for rare melanoma subtypes, custom profile pages and experience badges, expanded chat features and more. We invite you to visit the new MRF Patient Forum at the link below!

Visit the MRF Patient Forum
 

Upcoming Events

  • April 10: Northwest Melanoma Symposium
  • May 1-31: Month-long Miles for Melanoma Virtual Race
  • May 22: Save the Date - Virtual Miles for Melanoma Memphis
  • June 12: Save the Date - Virtual Miles for Melanoma Denver
  • June 19: Save the Date - Virtual Miles for Melanoma Florida (NEW for 2021!)
  • June 26: Save the Date - Virtual Miles for Melanoma Atlanta
  • July 1: Save the Date - Virtual Miles for Melanoma Texas (NEW for 2021!)
  • August 1: Save the Date - Miles for Melanoma Cleveland
  • August 21: Save the Date - Miles for Melanoma Twin Cities
  • August 28: Save the Date - Miles for Melanoma Philadelphia
  • September 11: Save the Date - Miles for Melanoma Boston
  • September 23: Denver Gala
  • October 14: New York Gala
  • November 4: Chicago Gala
  • Date TBD: Save the Date - Miles for Melanoma New York City
  • Date TBD: Save the Date - Miles for Melanoma New Jersey
  • Date TBD: Save the Date - Miles for Melanoma DC
  • Date TBD: Save the Date - Miles for Melanoma Chicago
  • Date TBD: Save the Date - Miles for Melanoma Los Angeles
  • Date TBD: Save the Date - Miles for Melanoma San Diego
  • Date TBD: Save the Date - Miles for Melanoma San Francisco
 




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