Melanoma Research Foundation
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Why YOU & Giving Matters

From the desk of MRF CEO Kyleigh LiPira:

Today is #GivingTuesday, a global day of giving. We hope that both today and throughout the charitable holiday season, you will consider choosing the Melanoma Research Foundation as the charity you wish to invest in. For those who choose to give today, your generosity will go twice as far thanks to our partners at Neutrogena, who have pledged to match our donors' #GivingTuesday gifts up to $20,000!

The MRF exists to serve the more than 1.3 million patients and families impacted by melanoma, including rare subtypes like ocular, mucosal and pediatric melanoma. Whether it is helping to educate a new patient about their diagnosis, providing support resources as a family navigates their loved one’s treatment or creating an outlet for our community to come together like a Miles for Melanoma 5K run/walk, our work is needed more than ever before – and only made possible by you.

An additional way we support patients is by funding research and to-date the MRF has granted over $20.4 million to clinician-scientists across the United States to advance their work towards a cure. While funding research is critical, so is convening the research community to overcome scientific challenges and barriers to progress. For instance, melanoma patients currently face the highest risk of neurological death due to their disease but often times they are excluded from clinical trials. This was a key topic of discussion earlier this month when the MRF held its third Melanoma Brain Metastases Summit with leading investigators from across the country and it will remain a priority item on our scientific agenda.

The MRF is not funded by the government or a benefactor. Our work is made possible by individuals like YOU and driven by the generosity of our melanoma community. Thank you for all you do to support this community and for joining us this #GivingTuesday.

On behalf of the MRF staff and Board of Directors, I wish you a joyous, healthy and safe holiday season.

With gratitude,

Support the MRF

On November 11, the MRF convened its third Melanoma Brain Metastases Summit to coincide with the 2021 Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) Annual Meeting. The MRF is committed to this important area of research, as melanoma patients account for approximately 5-10% of all cancer patients who develop brain metastases. Further, up to 30% of stage IV melanoma patients have brain metastases at the time of their diagnosis. Therefore, this summit continues to fill a critical need in the field of oncology: to focus on improved strategies, treatments and research for patients with this disease. To learn more about the Melanoma Brain Metastases Summit, or the many other scientific initiatives led by the MRF, visit the MRF Research Center at the link below or email

MRF Research Center
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Ocular Melanoma Patients: Join the VISION Registry

In May, the MRF's CURE OM initiative launched a first of its kind patient reported ocular melanoma (OM) registry, and enrollment has since expanded to patients around the world. What are the possible causes of OM? How can it be more effectively treated to improve outcomes? The VISION Registry will help to answer these questions and more by uniting OM patients and caregivers with leading physicians and scientists in groundbreaking research efforts to develop more effective treatments and, one day, a cure for OM. To learn more about this global initiative and to join the VISION Registry, click below.

Join the VISION Registry

#EyeGetDilated in November

During the month of November, the MRF's CURE OM initiative worked to increase awareness and highlight those fighting ocular melanoma (OM), the most common form of eye cancer in adults. This year's theme was "Increase Your Eye-Q," featuring patient stories and campaign messages to highlight the importance of dilated eye exams to monitor for a range of common eye conditions as well as rare but serious cancers like OM. Additionally, a 4-part "Ask the Expert" series sponsored by Castle Biosciences covered multiple OM topics on Facebook Live, including ocular melanoma biology, surveillance for metastatic disease and current treatment options.

A highlight of the month was the 10th Annual Eyes on a Cure: Patient and Caregiver Symposium, held virtually on November 19-20, 2021. An international audience of OM patients and caregivers learned about the latest news in research and treatment, received initial data from the VISION Registry, discussed OM advocacy opportunities and more. Presentation recordings will be available in the near future.

Remember: even if you have no vision issues, a dilated eye exam is an important part of everyone's comprehensive annual wellness routine. If you haven't already, now is the perfect time to schedule your yearly exam to increase your Eye-Q and then tell your friends and loved ones that #EyeGetDilated!

The Pediatric Melanoma Summit is Back!

Out of an abundance of caution related to the COVID-19 pandemic, earlier this year the Pediatric Melanoma Summit was rescheduled for January 28-30, 2022 at the Great Wolf Lodge in Phoenix, Arizona - which is now less than two months away! We can't wait to welcome back these courageous patients and families to share the very latest news in pediatric melanoma research and treatment, offer education and support resources from leading physicians and melanoma experts, and make a splash in the giant indoor water park! The Pediatric Melanoma Summit is free to attend, but space is limited and registration is required. Click here to learn more about the event, how to make a hotel reservation and more. For any additional questions about the summit or the MRF's pediatric melanoma program, please email We look forward to seeing you in Phoenix!

7th Annual Chicago Gala

On Thursday, November 4, the Chicago melanoma community came together to celebrate the third and final MRF Gala of 2021. The 7th Annual Chicago Gala honored courageous patients, melanoma advocates and leading physicians during an incredible evening that raised over $190,000 for melanoma research, education and advocacy. The MRF welcomed back melanoma survivor, Emmy Award-winning journalist and WGN Midday News Anchor Dina Bair as our gala emcee - and later surprised her with a Courage Award! Sunandana Chandra, MD, MS was recognized with the Humanitarian Award for the unparalleled compassion with which she treats her patients. For their commitment to melanoma prevention and education, the Excellence in Prevention Award was presented to Tracy Campbell, MD and Jessica Sheehan, MD. ChicagoNow blogger Howard Moore received the inaugural Influencer Award for his commitment to increasing melanoma awareness through his online platform. The Corporate Leadership Award was presented to our partners at Johnson & Johnson and Walgreens for their longstanding commitment to sun safety and skin health.

Click below to see photos from the event and relive the celebration. Thank you to the incredible Chicago community for an inspirational and unforgettable event!

Chicago Gala Photos

Miles for Melanoma at the Finish Line

As the 2021 Miles for Melanoma season races to its conclusion, our California community came together for back-to-back run/walks in November. The San Diego 5k was on Saturday, November 13, followed by San Francisco on Sunday, November 14. After a brief break for the holidays, the season will conclude with the Miles for Melanoma Los Angeles 5k on January 22, 2022. Thank you to all of our California friends for helping make our return to in-person run/walks such a success, and we are looking forward to crossing the finish line together in LA!

Don't forget: you can now download the new Miles for Melanoma app to track your fastest times, view top teams on the leaderboard and more! Download the free app in the Apple App Store or Google Play.

The MRF thanks Miles for Melanoma National Sponsors Neutrogena, Coolibar, Novartis, Natera and Pfizer. Stay tuned for the 2022 calendar of events coming soon!

Miles for Melanoma Event Calendar

MRF Gift Planning: 3 Simple Steps

Interested in learning about ways you can support the MRF or how to maximize the impact of your giving? Thanks to a new website enhancement, we have several resources to assist you and with a few simple clicks, you can reach out for details or download information on a variety of topics including:

  • Articles on personal planning and savvy living for every age and stage of life
  • Free estate planning guides and gift calculators to illustrate gift and tax benefits
  • Naming the MRF as a beneficiary of a retirement, investment or bank account, or a life insurance policy
  • Donating appreciated real estate such as a home, vacation property, undeveloped land, farmland, ranch or commercial property which can make a great gift to our organization.

Accessing this literature is as easy as 1-2-3:

  1. Visit our gift planning site at the link below.
  2. Explore the top headers for how to give, what to give, donor stories and more.
  3. Each section offers opportunities to connect with us or download a brochure for details. Simply select the ‘brochure’ button, submit your name and email and select the "download" button to instantly deliver the resource to you.

For more information on gift planning, please contact the MRF’s Chief Development Officer, Susan Vogel, at!

MRF Gift Planning Resources

Upcoming Events

  • November 30: Giving Tuesday
  • November 30: MRF Pigmented Lesion Consensus Conference
  • December 6: Fall MRF Breakthrough Consortium Virtual Meeting

View MRF Events



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