I’m running the 2015 Boston Marathon as a member of the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge Team. Any money raised by the team goes to support the Barr Program, which funds young scientists doing cancer research.
One project this program funded in the past untangled some of the genetic mutations that can lead to melanoma, the most deadly type of skin cancer (and one that several members of my pale, Irish family have been diagnosed with). This line of research, led by Robert Fisher, M.D., Ph.D., both helps us understand how melanoma develops and provides insights into how it can be treated. An overview can be found here.
It’s exciting to know that the fundraising I do will support this type of research. Knowing people who have experienced melanoma makes prevention and cure feel all the more meaningful to me. At the same time, melanoma is a growing threat in the United States following the popularity of indoor tanning, particularly among young women my age.
So please wear SPF every day (even in the winter–a moisturizer with SPF is a great way to remember to do this), have an annual skin exam, and consider donating to my Boston Marathon fund to support research to cure melanoma.