Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Paying Tribute to Melanoma Warriors

Only Skin Deep? ‘Cancer Crusaders’ seeking stories of hope, survival, and inspiration

Provo, UTAH (August 8, 2007) – As the temperature rises this summer, so does melanoma incidence—across the globe. In fact, another American is succumbs to melanoma every hour according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Yet, The Cancer Crusaders Organization wants to reassure people that there is hope.

“Skin cancer incidence in the U.S., and across the globe, continues to rise at an alarming rate,” says Danielle M. White, co-founder of The Cancer Crusaders Organization. “In fact, melanoma is killing more women ages 20-39 than any other cancer. Yet, this disease is very preventable! Prevention brings message of hope, and we want to emphasize to people, especially young adults, that while melanoma is a serious [disease] that is one the rise, it is extremely preventable—if we are proactive,” White says.

The 28-year-old White, who is also the author of the book ONLY SKIN DEEP? An Essential Guide to Effective Skin Cancer Programs and Resources says that her award-winning organization is collecting stories from melanoma survivors and family members touched by melanoma to include in a special edition of her book is set to release sometime next year.

“We want to include a section in the book that features a variety of stories from individuals touched by melanoma in this next edition,” White says. “In doing this, we hope to put face to this often misunderstood disease, and inspire people to be more proactive about prevention [and] to pay tribute to melanoma warriors and their legacy.”

White who is an inducted member of the American Academy of Dermatology’s National Coalition for Sun Safety and teaches skin cancer prevention to young adults says melanoma is a particular concern for women in their 20s. White’s next book, Preventing the Most Preventable Cancer, is also due out next year.

“Melanoma is the number one cancer-killer of women ages 20 to 39,” she says. “Every day I receive another email or phone call from someone who has lost a loved one to melanoma. The alarming increase in melanoma incidence reminds me that there is a need to not only disseminate information and statistics, but to put a face to the disease; to show people that melanoma is real and touches real people—your brother, your daughter, your friend.”

White mentions friend and co-founder, Natalie Johnson-Hatch. “Natalie’s brother passed away due to complications associated with a malignant melanoma just two months after his diagnosis. He was only 21-years-old. This is just one, of the many, stories that we want to share with others. Melanoma needs more attention and support from the public, thus we need increase awareness through education and prevention.” Hatch is the creator of the National Skin Cancer Awareness Symbol® and has been featured in various publications such as SHAPE Magazine. White also mentions Brittany Lietz (pictured above), Miss Maryland 2006, who is a melanoma survivor.

Individuals interested in sharing their stories of melanoma survival are encouraged to follow the prescribed guidelines for submission:

- If you are a melanoma survivor submitting a story for inclusion in the special edition of ONLY SKIN DEEP? An Essential Guide to Effective Skin Cancer Programs and Resources, please include:

• Your first and last name, mailing address and hometown, email, and age at the time of diagnosis. (We can, upon request, omit last names when publishing stories but request first and last names during submission to verify authenticity and accuracy of the information; to ensure the submission received is from the actual individual and that individual is authorizing publication of the story).
• How you learned of your diagnosis (and what stage melanoma you had), treatment options you explored, recovery, and how many years you have been in remission.
• Personal details such as: how you told your family; how you felt when you were initially diagnosed; what you wished you knew before diagnosis and what you would like people to know about melanoma now; ideas on effective ways of teaching youth and what you are doing to help protect and educate others.
• A jpeg photo (optional).

- If you are the family member of an individual who succumbed to melanoma and would like to share their story, please also send in the aforementioned information.

Stories should be sent to The Cancer Crusaders Organization via email by October 11, 2007. The organization is also hosting an essay contest for skin cancer.

Individuals submitting stories for the special edition of White’s book ONLY SKIN DEEP? An Essential Guide to Effective Skin Cancer Programs and Resources must realize that their content will become property of The Cancer Crusaders Organization. The first 15 individuals who submit stories will receive a complimentary Skin Cancer Awareness pin featuring the National Skin Cancer Awareness Symbol®.

For more information, sponsorship opportunities, and to make a tax-deductible charitable donation, please contact The Cancer Crusaders Organization at PO BOX 2076 Provo, Utah 84603 or send an email to:



Chris said...

Danielle, I have added a link to your blog onto my blog; under "My Favorite Blogs". I am not sure if I have the time to enter your essay contest but I may enter my husbands story. I will email you with more information on my project. Thank you for visitng my blog.

Nice blog, you are doing great work!

Danielle said...

Thank you, Chris, for the support. And THANK YOU for helping spread the word.

I was thrilled to hear that you turned a class project for technology management into a means of providing melanoma prevention education. You provide a great example to others that there are a variety of innovative ways to use your talents on behalf of the cause.

Thank you, again, for your email/comment. Thanks for maintaining a great Blog on melanoma. Keep up the fantastic work that you are doing, and please keep in touch.


PS: Send my well-wishes to your husband. I hope his recovery is speedy and that is diligent about following-up with his dermatologist/oncologist. Melanoma is an extremely aggressive cancer, thus regular follow-up and check-ups are vitally important.

PPS: I look forward to your essay entry! Feel free to encourage others to participate, too. Thanks!