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The Fight Against Melanoma Ramps Up in Philadelphia

Philadelphia-Area Advocates Inaugurate Wings of Hope for Melanoma Gala to Support Research for a Cure

For Immediate Release: August 19, 2013 (updated October 23, 2013)
Contact: Lauren Smith
Melanoma Research Foundation
(202) 347-9675 ext. 19 
The Fight Against Melanoma Ramps Up in Philadelphia
Area Advocates Inaugurate Wings of Hope for Melanoma Gala to Support Research for a Cure
WASHINGTON, D.C. — For many families in the Philadelphia area, melanoma has struck far too close to home. Now these families have intensified their fight against the disease by launching the city’s first-ever Wings of Hope for Melanoma gala in Philadelphia, aimed at marshaling more resources for prevention, detection and treatment.  
“After decades of research, we’re seeing improvements in the treatment landscape with several new drugs being approved since 2011, and other promising therapies in the pipeline,” says Dr. Lynn Schuchter, Chief of Hematology/Oncology at the University of Pennsylvania’s Abramson Cancer Center, member of the Melanoma Research Foundation (MRF) Board of Directors, founding member of the Melanoma Research Foundation Breakthrough Consortium (MRFBC) and internationally renowned melanoma expert. “But people with melanoma need the research field to work harder and faster to give them the treatment options they need now – not tomorrow – to support a better quality of life.” 
The Wings of Hope for Melanoma gala will bring members of the melanoma research and patient communities together in Philadelphia, Thursday, November 7, at the National Constitution Center, where people can recognize true heroes in the melanoma community and generate additional support to people battling the disease. 
Hosted by the MRF in partnership with the Susan Fazio Foundation for Melanoma Research, Philadelphia’s Wings of Hope for Melanoma gala will honor Dr. Schuchter with the MRF’s esteemed Humanitarian Award. GSK will receive the Vision of Hope Award in honor of the investment GSK has made to the City of Philadelphia and in recognition of the commitment it has made in the fight against melanoma. Additionally, gala co-chairs, Bryan and Margie Weingarten, and MRF Board member Joe Fazio, will present the Courage Award to Julius Rauch, III and Stephen Rappoport who have shown remarkable strength in their fight against melanoma. The Courage Award will also be awarded to Joe Matera, who recently lost his battle with the disease. His wife, Laura, will accept the award on his behalf. Brian Taff, co-anchor at Philadelphia’s 6abc Action News, will serve as event emcee.
“We must build on the important progress made in recent years and fuel the discovery of better treatment options,” says Tim Turnham, Executive Director for the MRF. “Our hope is that in bringing the gala to Philadelphia – a city already leading melanoma research and treatment – we can strengthen the work that the MRF and the Susan Fazio Foundation are leading to raise awareness and find a cure for the disease.”
Proceeds from the Wings of Hope for Melanoma gala will support the MRF’s mission to fund medical research for finding effective treatments and ultimately a cure for melanoma; educate patients and physicians about the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of melanoma; and act as an advocate for the melanoma community to raise awareness of this disease and the need for a cure.
To purchase tickets to the gala or learn more about sponsorship opportunities, click here
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About Melanoma
Melanoma is one of the fastest growing cancers in the United States and can strike men and women of all ages, all races and skin types. With a one in 50 lifetime risk of developing melanoma, nearly 77,000 Americans are expected to be diagnosed with the disease in 2013, resulting in over 9,400 deaths. Melanoma is the most common form of cancer for young adults 25- to 29-years-old and the second most common cancer in adolescents and young adults 15- to 29-years-old. 
The majority of melanomas occur on the skin; in fact, melanoma is the most serious type of skin cancer. Melanoma can also occur in the eye (ocular, or uveal melanoma), in mucous membranes (mucosal melanoma), or even beneath fingernails or toenails. 
About the Melanoma Research Foundation
The Melanoma Research Foundation (MRF) is the largest independent organization devoted to melanoma. Committed to the support of medical research in finding effective treatments and eventually a cure for melanoma, the MRF also educates patients and physicians about prevention, diagnosis and the treatment of melanoma. The MRF is an active advocate for the melanoma community, helping to raise awareness of this disease and the need for a cure. The MRF’s website is the premier source for melanoma information seekers. More information is available at www.melanoma.org. Find the MRF on Facebook and Twitter.