The foundation is dedicated to our daughter Emily and everyone who is touched by melanoma.
We are a non-for-profit organisation that educates Australians in the prevention and early detection of Skin Cancer, especially melanoma. We aim to reach as many people as possible through direct or media contact to encourage the use of sun protection and the importance of early detection of this insidious disease.
Since losing our daughter to melanoma in 2006, the foundation has worked tirelessly to promote awareness, early detection and prevention at numerous outdoor and sporting events. Our signature event was the annual MARCH for MELANOMA and our bookend to summer. This event supports melanoma survivors also gives family and friends the opportunity to remember loved ones taken by this deadly cancer and at the same time promotes awareness with our melanomore concert
Awareness - To create a public awareness that melanoma is a serious disease, and that, the earliest removal of dangerous moles is the only way to prevent the disease seriously establishing itself.
Early detection - To promote the absolute necessity of regular self-examination, for any new or changing moles. It is also important to have an annual mole check by your dermatologist, of all moles, whether changed or not, regardless of your age and exposure to the sun.
Prevention -To promote the Sun Smart message; SLIP on a long sleeve shirt, SLOP on SPF50+ broad spectrum sunscreen, SLAP on a broad rimmed hat, SLIDE on sunglasses and SEEK shade. Protect yourself and your loved ones while outdoors between 10am and 4pm. Don't forget that UV starts to rise in the southern states from September, but is high all year round in the northern states.
Fundraising for worthy melanoma projects:
The Foundation raises funds to promote awareness through our special information brochures and marketing merchandise to give away at sporting and outdoor events, including awareness at schools etc. At all our events we provide free show bags which includes SPF-50+ sunscreen. We also sell hats at most of our melanomore awareness events.
Since the foundation was formed in February 2007, we have donated to melanoma research at Princess Alexander Hospital in Brisbane, and Melanoma Patients Australia in Brisbane to help establish support groups throughout the east coast of Australia. Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Melbourne Melanoma Project, including The Alfred Hospital's - Victorian Melanoma Services special project, the "Melanoma Risk Calculator" a link to the calculator can also be found on our home page. This website will help calculate your melanoma risk within the next 5 years. www.victorianmelanomaservice.org/calculator/index.php
MARCH for MELANOMA survivors and MARCH for MELANOMA awareness
The History of MARCH for MELANOMA now known as MARCH against MELANOMA:
In 2006, I was surprised to learn there was nothing in the community which raised awareness, education or understanding about Melanoma that people could relate to, despite it being one of the fastest growing cancers. There was no active foundation or website dedicated to a loved one that was informing and promoting melanoma awareness. Nothing was happening! Melanoma needed a voice like Breast Cancer awareness had many voices. After the experience of my and my family’s own loss, with the passing of our daughter Emily, we decided to be that voice. It would have been easy to hide and lament in our grief but I could not sit back knowing how insidious this cancer was and not try to make a difference.
Like so many families who have been affected by melanoma and have also started foundations and march's in all the states these past five years, we are all working towards a goal to give melanoma a voice and most importantly for all to understand the importance of early detection.
The March was designed to remember all our loved ones and a ‘voice’ for education and awareness, but it soon emerged that the March was also a much-needed avenue for people touched or struck by melanoma to come together, to recognise, understand and support each other. It was that rare chance to feel a friendship between melanoma sufferers, because all too often melanoma is misunderstood by the victim’s friends and/or family, and just taken to mean a ‘funny mole’ instead of an aggressive and lethal cancer. Hearing and Understanding melanoma are usually two different things. Tragically for some families and friends, the March is also a chance to remember and grieve those lost to melanoma. I remember we had people in wheelchairs who marched with us one year, but were not here the next. Over the years, the March has waxed and waned in its support, 2009 was a particularly difficult year with the terrible Victorian bushfire's taking people’s focus, but we’ve seen the march reach large numbers, especially when we had the support of Julia Morris and David Hobson in 2008. We look forward to even more support in the future. While it’s still in its ‘infancy’ we look forward to getting to the point where it is a National March day; of education, support and remembrance.
Over the years, it’s been amazing to see the number and range of people affected by melanoma, step out for this day together. We’ve seen regular groups Like friends and family of Richarda and Pandora’s family and friends joining us in 2011 together with her in a wheelchair. Last year we had a very large group of family and friends remembering Matt.
Julia Morris, Jay Allen and in 2013 Samantha Stynes have also Lent their support over the years, all touched by this very real cancer.
THE HAND OVER:
After 6 years and humble beginnings with MARCH for MELANOMA, now MARCH against MELANOMA, I felt this baby had grown up and was ready to go to the next stage of her development. I feel confident to hand over the March to the Skin and Cancer Foundation Inc, and under its network, it will grow and prosper. The Foundation’s members are experts in their field and carry out the critical role of training and supporting future dermatologists including research.
I hope the message from the MARCH Against MELANOMA is that you simply need to be ‘Alert’ .. ‘Aware’ .. and ‘Active’ in dealing with melanoma on yourself, and your loved ones. I look forward to the day the message in the media is that ‘Natural Skin’ and not ‘Tanned Skin’ is beautiful. They still have a long way to go.
As we all know Australia has the highest rate of melanoma in the world. And our skin is, after all, our largest organ.
I would like to thank my family and all our friends who volunteered and worked hard to make this special event a success these past 7 years.
I am always quoting Gandhi when he said, - "The future depends on what we do in the present"
2012 2013, 2014
Inaugural MARCH for MELANOMA AWARENESS – 4th March 2007
© Copyright Emily Tapp Melanoma Foundation Inc. 2010
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