Skin cancer accounts for nearly half of all cancers in the United States, according to the American Cancer Society. More people are expected to be diagnosed with skin cancer this year than lung cancer, breast cancer, and prostate cancer combined.
Yet, skin cancer hasn’t gotten much attention – until now.
Amalyn Martin founded Miles Against Melanoma three years ago to raise funds for skin cancer research, and to increase public awareness of the disease. The event currently has spread to 17 different cities across the United States.
“Our core purpose is to make a difference in the lives of people affected by skin cancer by providing financial support, memorializing loved ones who lost their battle, and finding hope for a positive future,” Amalyn Martin said.
This year’s St. Louis Miles Against Melanoma event begins at 7:30 a.m. June 8 with a 5k run at the Chesterfield Amphitheater, 631 Veterans Place Drive, Chesterfield. An honor walk begins at 8:30 a.m., and live music and family activities follow.
The event benefits the Foundation for Barnes-Jewish Hospital, directed specifically to melanoma research at the Alvin J. Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine.
The Michelob Ultra Team, a group of highly trained, elite runners, has joined Miles Against Melanoma and the fight to end this cancer. Forty Michelob Ultra Runners will run the race and then volunteer by handing out free Michelob Ultra to all run finishers who are 21 and older.
Jessica Rogowicz, director of Miles Against Melanoma, Pennsylvania, knows first-hand the dangers of skin cancer. She was diagnosed with melanoma at age 24, after frequently visiting tanning beds over a two-year period.
“I cared more about what I looked than my health, and I thought I was invincible,” Rogowicz said. “You never think you’re going to be the one to get cancer.”
The American Cancer Society estimates that nearly 9,500 people will die this year from melanoma – the most serious skin cancer.
“The best chance for a cure with melanoma is to catch it early before it’s gotten deeper and had a chance to spread elsewhere in the body,” said Dr. George Hruza, clinical professor, dermatology/oncology at Saint Louis University.
In efforts to help people detect it early, dermatologists will offer free skin cancer checks during the Miles Against Melanoma event.
Activities at the event will include:
7:30 a.m. for the 5k and the kids run. The honor walk will follow at 8:30 a.m.
5K and fun walk/kid’s run
concert and family health event
631 Veteran’s Place Drive, Chesterfield, Mo.
The event will feature the live bands, Acoustic Edge, Surrender Dorothy and more.
The Children’s Run, plus activity area will have facepainting, glitter tattoos, hair chalk, a coloring station, and sun safety education
There will be cheers from the sidelines from Batman, Mario and Disney Princesses, plus a Mater (from Disney’s Cars) photo opportunity.
Free skin checks by a dermatologist, plus a Dermaview to personally view existing sun damage.
A lotus flower release will honor of melanoma fighters, survivors, or angels no longer with us.
Miles Against Melanoma is a national non-profit organization founded in 2010, with the mission of providing the public with education about the extreme damaging effects of the sun and tanning devices. MAM seeks to fight melanoma by increasing awareness, supporting patients, survivors, and their families, and raising funding for research.