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Melanoma Awareness Month is in full swing, and, with your help, we have been hard at work to make a larger impact than ever this May. I am pleased to share a brief update on the status of our May campaigns and outreach activities and provide a preview of MRA’s upcoming activities.
The skin health and melanoma communities kicked off May with Melanoma Monday, a coordinated effort to raise melanoma awareness on the first Monday of May. MRA joined many of our corporate and nonprofit allies as we used social media platforms to spread awareness and provide opportunities for public engagement in funding melanoma research. MRA staff also participated in the American Academy of Dermatology’s Spot Orange™ campaign, sporting orange clothing and engaging in social media outreach to raise melanoma awareness. We are well poised to enter the penultimate part of the month, with Don’t FryDay and Memorial Day Weekend outreach.
Earlier this week, we held the second annual Leveraged Finance Fights Melanoma event in New York City’s Rockefeller Center. More than 800 attendees from the leveraged finance community and surrounding industries spent the evening networking and raising funds for MRA’s melanoma research. So far the event has generated more than $1.2 million, with donations still coming in as I write. Look for a full recap and event photos on our website and in the next newsletter. We are so grateful to event hosts Jeffrey Rowbottom of KKR and Brendan Dillon of UBS for their incredible leadership of this annual event.
As you know, MRA launched several innovative collaborations and campaigns during the first half of May, including our Danny Fund social media fundraising campaign. The campaign has already generated significant buzz, with Bruce Springsteen and American Idol’s Phillip Phillips sharing the campaign with their social media followers. We have plans to extend the campaign’s reach beyond the month of May, so stay tuned for more details. We would also like to thank mGive, AT&T, Backstreets Magazine and the Federici family for their ongoing support of this effort. You can participate in the campaign by texting DANNY to 50555, then replying YES to confirm your $10 donation to MRA.*
Engagement with our May allies has reached new heights this month. The stories of MRA Co-Founder Debra Black and other MRA supporters are featured on the Bergdorf Goodman blog as part of the BGSafeSun beauty campaign. MRA also participated in a skin health Twitter party with ally First Aid Beauty, and continues to promote all of our May alliances on the MRA website and through social media. Full updates on these alliances and the overall impact of our May outreach will be forthcoming once the month concludes.
Our initiatives in the remaining portion of May include launching an MRA blog this week, providing us with another channel through which we can interact with our supporters. Check it out at: http://curemelanoma.wordpress.com/
As soon as Melanoma Awareness Month concludes, we will be on our way to the Annual ASCO Meeting in Chicago, where MRA-funded investigators will once again be headlining major announcements about progress in the fight against this disease. Watch this space for updates about the major melanoma stories from that landmark conference,
Thank you for everything you are doing to further this cause. We encourage everyone to remain engaged with us through social media to help spread our message of melanoma awareness and generate vital funds for melanoma research.
Wendy K.D. Selig
President and CEO
The AOL Impact program helps connect AOL's online community with philanthropic causes and groups. As part of MRA's alliance with AOL Impact, MRA appeared on the AOL homepage as the “Cause of the Day” on May 4th and May 15th. With 12.4 million unique daily users, the AOL homepage provided an exceptional awareness-building platform for MRA.
Wendy Selig authored a guest blog post on the Research! America blog highlighting MRA's mission and advocacy work and helping kick off Melanoma Awareness Month. As a member of the Research! America alliance, MRA advocates for making scientific research a national priority, including robust funding for FDA and NIH. Read Wendy's post here.
MRA attended the Milken Institute's 2013 Global Conference in full force, speaking on panels and hosting an exhibit. MRA's CSO moderated a panel titled “Mobilizing the Immune System in the Battle Against Cancer” that featured MRA-funded investigator Suzanne Topalian as well as MRA-Board member and melanoma survivor Jeff Rowbottom. MRA co-founder Debra Black also spoke about MRA's research model and her quest to speed melanoma therapies as part of the panel called “Impatient Patients: How Disease Organizations are Accelerating Research.” You can watch the immunotherapy panel here and the patient organization panel here.
L'Oréal Paris and MRA announced their new alliance on Melanoma Monday, and the campaign has already earned MRA widespread media exposure. A series of print ads featuring L'Oréal Paris' support of MRA, Jennifer Lopez and L'Oréal Paris' Sublime Sun skincare line have begun appearing, and Eva Longoria discussed the collaboration on the Katie Show with Katie Couric on May 7(The video is the third one down on this page). The campaign is also highly visible on social media, with celebrities like Maria Menounos and Molly Simms tweeting about the collaboration.
MRA CSO Louise Perkins was recently interviewed on New York City's Fresh 102.7FM radio station. She discussed Melanoma Awareness Month, MRA's upcoming events, and skin health and melanoma prevention. The interview was also streamed on last.fm. A summary of the interview and the full audio can be found here.
The FDA has released proposed regulations that would require tanning beds and sunlamps to display stronger warning labels, including a recommendation that people under the age of 18 abstain from using these devices. The proposed reclassification moves tanning beds and sunlamps from Class 1 (low risk) to Class 2 (moderate risk) devices. MRA is a strong proponent of banning indoor tanning beds for minors and views the proposed reclassification as an important first step in this process. Read MRA's full statement on the proposed rule here.
MRA recently joined the Public Access to SunScreens (PASS) Coalition, a multi-stakeholder coalition of public health organizations, dermatologists, sunscreen ingredient companies and concerned citizens who are working to establish a timely and transparent framework for approval of the next generation of UV active filters for Over-the-Counter (OTC) sunscreens. MRA looks forward to collaborating with our allies in this coalition to advance efforts to help the public prevent dangerous sun exposure.
MRA will be attending the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) meeting from May 31-June 4 in Chicago. ASCO is the world's largest meeting of oncology professionals, drawing 25,000 people from around the globe. Melanoma is expected to be a hot topic at this year's event, to include reports on the clinical testing of anti-PD-1 immunotherapy agents. Multiple MRA-sponsored investigators will present their research to advance new melanoma treatments. MRA will provide daily dispatches from the meeting and will also deliver real-time updates via Twitter.
Melanoma Research Alliance
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Washington, DC 20005
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