As you all know by now, bringing awareness to skin cancer is something that I am very passionate about, and since May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month I have several related posts planned for next month. Last year I ran in the TKO Melanoma 5K, and as always, wrote a race recap about my experience. This winter I reached out to Suzanne, the race director, to see if I could help her spread the word about her race.
Suzanne told me that they had set up a mentoring program for this year’s race. Last year students volunteered to work to fulfill service hour requirements and the race staff quickly realized that students had a lot more to offer than just assembling swag bags and helping with packet pick-up. The mentor program was set up to give students an opportunity to work together as a team and individually to improve their communication skills, develop their natural abilities, and learn new skills. Students were allowed to pick one of ten different teams to work on.
Allie, a high school junior was asked to write a guest post for Deb Runs as one of her projects. Allie is interested in studying medicine and joined the project so she could get meaningful service hours for the National Honor Society. Once a part of the mentoring program, Allie selected the Research & Education team so she could work under the guidance of a dermatologist and help research melanoma. She will also help plan educational activities for race day.
With out further ado, I would like to welcome Allie to tell you about this year’s race…
In addition to commemorating our loving friend and neighbor Theresa Kay O’Connor who died of melanoma in October 2012, the TKO Melanoma 5K Run/Walk was organized to spread awareness about the dangers of tanning. Many teens think tanning beds are completely harmless, when in actuality, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Using a tanning bed is particularly dangerous for younger users; people who begin tanning younger than age 35 have a 59% higher risk of melanoma (Source).
Back in August, I learned the TKO Melanoma Run/Walk was asking students to join a team to organize the 5K. This was a no-brainer for me because it entails everything—I am able support the O’Connor family and conduct service-work that is relevant to me. In September, I joined the Research and Education Team to conduct research and develop an education campaign because of my interest in science and medicine. With this experience, I’m in a leadership role working under the guidance of a dermatologist and advising 8th graders who are also working on the team.
Currently, our team is doing the finishing touches for our race day activities. Our “No Tanning Booth” will be as much fun as it is educational. We’ve also organized a fundraiser at Frankiberri’s Frozen Yogurt in Moorefield Village for Melanoma Monday, May 5th. (Please join us! They are going to donate 20% of the proceeds to our charity!)
I’m one of 25 students working incredibly hard to plan a quality event. We have awards, raffle prizes, a very special kick off, food vendors, face painters, balloon artists, and even Dr. Tim Turnham, Executive Director, from the Melanoma Research Foundation will be there!
It feels good to know that I am helping to inform my generation about melanoma and to let them know the dangers of tanning are for real! It’s also nice to see so many members of my community getting together to support this cause.
Race day is Saturday, May 10th at Creighton Corner Elementary School. All proceeds from the race will be going to the Melanoma Research Foundation.
Join us to run, walk, or volunteer!
Race information can be found at http://www.tkomelanoma.com
- Have you ever gotten a bad sunburn?
- Did you ever use a tanning bed?
- Do you get your skin checked by a dermatologist?
So, I am Caribbean, and though my father is fair-skinned, my mother is a dark-skinned woman, Haitian, but I got out of the habit of using sunblock when I was in college. Why did I need it, I was black? Well, a few years ago, a woman that was twisting my locs noticed that I had a large mole on my head that I have been getting monitored ever since! Who knew that black people, too, could face damage from the sun!!
Cheri @ Overactive Blogger recently posted…Wedding Wednesday! Ceptin’ it’s Friday, but whatevs!
Keep an eye on it, and stay safe!
Allie’s guest post is awesome!
What kind of sunblock do you like to wear while running? I’m still trying to find the perfect one.
Kimberly Westrich recently posted…See the Race, Be the Race
I use Neutrogena products, because that’s what my dermatologist recommended years ago and I just haven’t tried anything else (or asked him recently if he has any new recommendations). I like the face specific products because they don’t run in my eyes, and I use the spray-on for my shoulders and back so I can apply it by myself.
That’s what I’ve been using, too. I keep wondering if there is something better out there, but knowing that is what you are using as well makes me feel like I am doing something right 🙂
Kimberly Westrich recently posted…Nike Women’s Half Marathon DC Recap
I see my dermatologist soon and I’m going to ask him if that’s what he still recommends.
That’s such a great idea to get teens involved in promoting skin cancer awareness. I’m not as careful as I should be with my sunscreen and I was certainly way worse as a teen. Good luck with your campaign.
Deborah recently posted…Friday Five-Follow Edition
Yes, I agree that it’s great that the race organizers are using a mentoring program for students. I was horrible about respecting the sun when I was young, and now have the skin cancer removal scars to prove it.
Great post, Allie! She is a great writer and a good researcher, Deb. Good choice and I love that you are all working together on this. Wish I lived nearby!
Amy recently posted…Saturday and a New Job
I love that they have a specific mentoring program for students. It’s such a great idea! They put on a great first year race, and we’ll be running the 2nd annual again this year.
Looking forward to the posts this month!
Great post, Allie!
Melanoma scares the pants off me. I used tanning beds when I was in high school (why?!) and have been badly burned. It really bugs me when I burn now since I’m pretty cautious.
I hope the race and fundraising event are a huge success, and that younger people learn the dangers of the sun.
Abby recently posted…KT Tape review & giveaway
Yes, Allie did a great job; and I’m so happy that she agreed to guest write for me.
I’ll share some of my stupid tanning/burning experiences in my May posts…
This is a cause that hits very close to home. My mom was diagnosed with melacnoma 2 years ago. She is very lucky and is doing well. We grew up on the beach, I remember my mom and I just putting on baby oil and lying out in the sun. I definitely tanned in a tanning booth for YEARS. I haven’t set foot in a tanning booth since 2007 however, but that doesnt’ mean I”m out of the woods by any means. Ever since my mom was diagnosed, I try to avoid the sun as much as possible and go to get skin checks yearly. So far I have been lucky. I had a really bad burn about 4 years ago that I have a scar from as a matter of fact, and I’m scared to death of the possibility of melanoma because of my family history! Fingers crossed!
Glad your mom is doing well! If you ever suspect that something on your skin doesn’t look right, go to your doctor and get it checked out as soon as you can. Stay safe!
Great guest post, Allie! I hope there is a good turnout for this year’s race. I ran the Blue Ridge Half Marathon this past weekend and it was very sunny and warm. Great weather, but I completely forgot about sunscreen. Shame on me! I got a nice sunburn on my shoulders, due to running my race and then standing out in the sun for another 2 hours cheering on Barry who was running the full marathon. I know I need to be better about sunscreen and that we’re definitely into the time of year where I need to put it on before every run.
Meagan recently posted…Weekly Workout Roundup – April 21 – 27
Be careful! Since our seats in Lane Stadium are on the east side and in the sun longer, I’m the person at the Hokie games that has two tubes of sunscreen in my bag passing them around to anyone that forgot to put sunscreen on!
[…] we crossed the finish line, TKO mentees and Daisies were handing out white carnations to all the moms for Mother’s Day. Bill took […]