Melanoma Research Foundation
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#GetNaked in 2021

From the desk of MRF CEO Kyleigh LiPira:

It's time to #GetNaked!

With the start of Melanoma Awareness Month tomorrow, the team at the MRF is busy putting the final touches on this year’s #GetNaked campaign – our signature awareness and prevention campaign encouraging the public to check their own skin and see a board-certified dermatologist once a year for a full-body skin check. The new campaign will be revealed on Melanoma Monday, May 3, so make sure to check back and meet our newest spokesperson. We know that early detection saves lives. We also know that many people missed their annual dermatologist visit due to COVID-19. In a recent survey distributed by the MRF’s Global Coalition to over 700 dermatologists around the world we learned the shocking impact of the Coronavirus pandemic on the detection of melanoma. Compared to a normal year of performing patient skin examinations, dermatologists estimate that one fifth (21%) of melanomas may have gone undiagnosed in 2020, with one third (33.6%) of appointments missed due to the pandemic.

If you didn’t #GetNaked in 2020, now is the time.

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Download the MRF Skin Check Guide

Stay Sun Safe and Support the MRF with Neutrogena and Walgreens!

The MRF is proud to announce an exciting new chapter in its long-standing partnership with Johnson & Johnson Consumer Health, its Neutrogena family of brands and Walgreens! With the aim of reaching 45 million consumers in-store and online, this new collaboration features an MRF co-branded line of sun protection products available online and in thousands of Walgreens’ stores nationwide, with $1 from each purchase donated to support the MRF’s work to advance melanoma education and awareness, especially in communities of color.

Additionally, the MRF is featured in the recently released film titled “In the Sun,” an award-winning documentary short from Neutrogena Studios and Executive Producer Kerry Washington. “In the Sun” is a poignant and inspiring look at seven families who are navigating through extremely challenging circumstances while still living active, vibrant lives. Just as melanoma does not discriminate by age, gender or race, the documentary features a diverse cast of skin cancer patients, survivors and thrivers, as well as the loved ones who support them. “In the Sun” is available on Google Play, Apple TV, YouTube and additional video streaming platforms.

The MRF is immensely grateful to Johnson & Johnson, Neutrogena and Walgreens for their commitment to promoting sun protection and skin health, as well as their strong support of the MRF’s mission to eradicate melanoma.

Shop for SPF and Support the MRF

Get Moving During Melanoma Awareness Month

May provides an opportunity to increase awareness about melanoma prevention, early detection and treatment, all while celebrating the courageous patients, survivors and caregivers in our community. Melanoma Awareness Month officially begins with a Celebration Ceremony on Saturday, May 1, so be sure to join us LIVE on the MRF Facebook page at 10 am ET! Throughout the month there is a full calendar of events and ways to get involved, including:

- A Melanoma Awareness Month month-long nationwide run/walk, beginning on May 1 with a goal of reaching 3,000 miles - roughly the distance from coast to coast in the US - and raising a total of $50,000! Don’t forget to track your mileage here to help us reach our goal. New this year is a Miles for Melanoma app to use on race day to time your 5k and see where you rank on the leaderboard! The free app will be available in the Apple App Store and Google Play beginning on May 1. Registration for the virtual race is $10, and participants who raise $100 or more will receive a UPF 50+ race shirt from our National Apparel Partner, Coolibar. The MRF thanks National Sponsors Neutrogena, Coolibar, Novartis, Bristol Myers Squibb, OncoSec and Iovance Biotherapeutics.

- Ask the Expert: Answer questions about skin cancer prevention, early detection and ways to perform your own self-skin check. This weekly series of interactive presentations on Facebook Live will begin on May 3rd and continue every Monday throughout the month. Melanoma patient education, especially in a time of virtual learning is critically important and the MRF is committed to providing education on multiple platforms to reach as many people as possible. This month’s series is sponsored by DermTech. In case you missed it, last month we held an engaging series on the patient journey, sponsored by Castle Biosciences, which can be viewed on-demand on the MRF's YouTube page.

- Unlock the Cure: The MRF’s 25th Anniversary Unlock the Cure Community Fundraiser is live and the first drawing is less than one week away! For just $25 per ticket, you have a chance to win some incredible items donated by advocates, cause marketing and corporate partners. Help us reach our goal this year of raising $25,000 and supporting melanoma patients and their families. Get your tickets today!

There are more surprises throughout the month; make sure you are following the MRF on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and our newest channel, TikTok, so you don't miss any of what we have in store for Melanoma Awareness Month!

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The Impact of MRF Research Support

Since 1998, the MRF has funded 233 innovative, high impact, basic, translational and clinical research projects, supporting researchers at every stage of their careers and totaling more than $20.1 million in melanoma research funding. Recent news and highlights from the MRF Research Program include:

- The 2021 MRF Grant Request for Proposals (RFP) is now available! In 2021, due to COVID, the MRF will focus exclusively on junior investigators by offering Career Development Awards, Medical Student Awards and a Young Investigator Team Award to advance the field of translational immuno-oncology (detailed in separate RFPs which have already been completed). Applications will be accepted until July 12, 2021 at 5pm ET. Additional information about funding opportunities can be found on the Grant RFP page or by emailing research@melanoma.org.

- At the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) on April 10-15th, Dr. Toni Ribas, an MRF grant awardee, gave the Presidential Address, “Using the Immune System to Fight Melanoma.” MRF-funded researchers also presented on topics ranging from resistance to targeted melanoma therapies to elucidating mechanisms of uveal melanoma metastases. During AACR, rare forms of melanoma were spotlighted and included presentations on checkpoint inhibition in acral melanoma, as well as a report on the first systemic therapy to meaningfully improve outcomes in newly diagnosed metastatic uveal melanoma (currently under review for FDA approval). To learn more about one of the largest international cancer research organizations and the annual meeting, visit the AACR website.

- In celebration of our 25th Anniversary, throughout 2021 the MRF is highlighting some of the many incredible researchers, honorees, patients and community members that have made our work possible. This month we shared a guest blog post by 2017 CURE OM Vision of Hope Award recipient Richard D. Carvajal, MD from Columbia University Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center. Dr. Carvajal is a leader in the field of uveal melanoma, a rare subtype of melanoma that occurs in the eye. Read Dr. Carvajal's blog to learn how an MRF research grant helped to advance his work, and why he feels encouraged by potential new breakthroughs on the horizon.

Visit the MRF Research Center

Attend an MRF Event!

The 2021 MRF event season is here! This year will feature a hybrid calendar of virtual and in-person events in our annual Gala and Miles for Melanoma programs. Mark your calendars and join us at:

- Miles for Melanoma: Following the Melanoma Awareness Month month-long nationwide run/walk, the Miles for Melanoma season hits its stride with virtual races in Memphis (May 22), Denver (June 12), Florida (June 19), Atlanta (June 26) and Texas (July 1). Registration is now open for each of these events, and you can view the entire 2021 event series on the Miles for Melanoma page. The MRF thanks National Sponsors Neutrogena, Coolibar, Novartis and Bristol Myers Squibb.

- MRF Galas: The 10th Annual Denver Gala is on September 23, 2021! This inspirational event brings together generous supporters in the Denver community and provides mission critical funding for the work being done to bring an end to melanoma. We will celebrate our past clinician and researcher honorees as well as the brave melanoma patients who have shared their melanoma stories with us over the years. The MRF will present a Leadership Award to Elise A. Barish, who was instrumental in establishing the first Denver Gala in 2012 and has been a longstanding supporter of the MRF, most recently joining the Board of Directors in 2021. The MRF will also present the inaugural Influencer Award to Scott A. Walter, MD, for his achievement in promoting skin health over social media during the pandemic through his @DenverSkinDoc TikTok account reaching nearly 500,000 followers and over 12 million video views. For more information about the MRF Gala program and all of our 2021 events, visit the MRF Galas page.

- In case you missed it, on Thursday, April 29, the MRF's CURE OM initiative hosted its first Eyes On a Cure: Mini Summit. With over 140 people registered for the two hour event, participants heard from leading experts on current clinical trials, surveillance, vision loss rehabilitation and the patient experience. Speakers included Dr. Takami Sato, Dr. Jason Luke, Dr. Sapna Patel and other medical oncologists dedicated to educating the OM community. The recorded presentation will be available on the MRF's YouTube page in the near future.

MRF Events

GuideStar: Give with Confidence

The MRF is honored to have been awarded a Platinum Seal of Transparency by GuideStar, the very highest rating offered by the world's largest source of nonprofit information reporting. By sharing metrics that showcase the progress the MRF is making toward its mission with a commitment to transparency and responsible stewardship of its resources, the GuideStar Platinum Seal helps donors move beyond simplistic and outdated ways of nonprofit evaluation such as overhead ratios and tax filings.

"Since our founding by a melanoma patient in 1996, the MRF has been supported by the generosity of our donors. Our commitment to transparency is imperative when it comes to how our donors’ contributions are used to further our mission and the steps we take as responsible stewards of these gifts,” said Susan Vogel, the MRF’s Chief Development Officer. “As we celebrate 25 years of dedicated service to the melanoma community, the recognition from GuideStar will continue to drive our work into the next 25 years.”

To learn about the many ways you can support the work of the MRF, please visit the Giving page below or email donate@melanoma.org.

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Upcoming Events


  • 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 18: Save the Date - Miles for Melanoma New York City
  • September 19: Save the Date - Miles for Melanoma New Jersey
  • September 25: Save the Date - Miles for Melanoma Chicago
  • October 9: Save the Date - Miles for Melanoma DC
  • October 14: New York Gala
  • November 4: Chicago Gala
  • 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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