Melanoma is a familiar word to most Australians. But it’s only when melanoma directly impacts our lives that we begin to understand the seriousness of this type of skin cancer.
Unfortunately, Australia has the highest incidence of melanoma in the world. On average, 30 Australians will be diagnosed with melanoma every day and more than 1,200 will die from the disease each year.
That’s why the team at Melanoma Institute Australia is committed to finding new ways to prevent, treat and promote awareness of this deadly disease.
Melanoma March is in its eighth year and is now Melanoma Institute Australia’s major annual fundraising campaign. It’s a special event held simultaneously all around Australia which brings together the whole community to remember loved ones, to raise awareness and with the aim in 2019 of raising $1M for vital melanoma research.
These are family friendly events, seeing over 7,000 people support their local Melanoma March. (Can you use this photo strip that was created on the website page ‘melanoma march’?
Melanoma March Sunshine Coast
In 2019, bakslap was proud to be the local event organiser for the inaugural Melanoma March Sunshine Coast. Our backyard of Queensland has the highest rate of melanoma in the world and we’re determined to raise awareness of sun safety in our local community.
The event was held between 2.30pm to 6pm on Sunday, March 31. There was live music, healthy food vans and sun smart retailers. The event also involved a 4km community walk from Alexandra Headland Surf Club, along the spectacular ocean-side Esplanade to Mooloolaba Surf Club and back.
More than 500 people came together & helped raise over $28,000 towards melanoma research, with special thanks going to the volunteers on the day and to the local business sponsors.
A short video overview of the event can be found here. We’re looking forward to 2020, with the planning already underway!
To help spread the message to more Australians in the lead up to Melanoma March, there was a national T.V campaign organised by Melanoma Institute Australia. I was extremely honoured to one of four, representing our families and the loved ones we had lost. The theme was “time won’t stand still, neither will we”. Each of us shared our stories of how melanoma had impacted our lives and our efforts since then to help others not experience what we did. It was difficult at times and found it very raw reliving certain moments. But also very rewarding to again be able to share memories of Tess.
I believe Melanoma March represents this, where community members volunteer their time to spread the message and play a part in allowing the common goal to be reached – a cure and no deaths from melanoma.
In recent years, research breakthroughs have tripled the life expectancy for advanced melanoma patients. This year, more than 14,000 Australians will be diagnosed with melanoma and sadly, around 1,800 will die from the disease.
Melanoma is the most common cancer in young Australians (15–39 year olds) and kills more young Australians (20-39 year olds) than any other single cancer.
This is why we’re marching to find a cure. In 2019, $1.3 million dollars was raised nationally from all events associated with Melanoma March. This is an incredible effort! More information can be found here on the latest trails, research news and research projects.
More details and photos from Melanoma March’s across Australia can be found on the Facebook Pages:
Melanoma March: https://www.facebook.com/MelanomaMarch/
Melanoma March Sunshine Coast: https://www.facebook.com/melanomamarchsunshinecoast/
Jay’s Longest Melanoma March: https://www.facebook.com/JaysLongestMelanomaMarch/