Inspiration for AIM at Melanoma
The Charlie Guild Melanoma Foundation merged with the James A. Schlipmann Melanoma Cancer Foundation (The Schlip) to form AIM at Melanoma (AIM).
AIM is the largest international melanoma organization focused on melanoma research, education, awareness, and legislation.
AIM is dedicated in loving memory of Charlie Guild and Jim Schlipmann, and in memory of the countless thousands who have lost their battles to the disease.
AIM would like to thank Dr. John Kirkwood and www.MelanomaCenter.org for providing a large portion of the scientific content, in order to ensure the melanoma community has the resources it needs to understand and fight this disease.
Below are Charlie's and Jim's stories...
Charlie was diagnosed with Stage IV melanoma at the age of 25. A recent Brown University graduate, intending to go on to medical school, her life in San Francisco could not have been better. The last thought on Charlie's mind was cancer; much less melanoma.
Charlie was a bundle of contradictions. She was a fan of the opera (had seen Madame Butterfly 22 times) and hip-hop; foreign films and chick flicks; salmon in puff pastry and Oreo® cookies. She could light up a room with her smile and her zest for life. She could pack 26 hours into a 24-hour day.
Charlie had always been involved in good works; no cause was not worth the good fight. So it came as no surprise to anyone who knew her, that soon after being diagnosed, Charlie announced that this had to have happened to her for a reason. As the months went by, the reason became clear; she needed to make a difference, to somehow fight this terrible disease.
Charlie was never given that opportunity. She died on November 24, 2003, nine months after her initial diagnosis.
During Charlie's battle with melanoma, her mother Valerie found getting the answers and support needed was not easy. In response to her experience, and in Charlie's memory, and the memory of all those others whose future has been taken away by this terrible disease, the Charlie Guild Melanoma Foundation was founded.
Jim was diagnosed with Stage I melanoma at the young age of 29. Then, 15 years later, without warning, the melanoma returned with a vengeance, and he was diagnosed Stage IV. Less than 7 months later, Jim died on December 12, 2002.
Jim made a positive impact on each person he met during his journey here on earth. His plan - once he beat the disease - was to promote awareness and educate the public about the seriousness of melanoma, so lives could be saved.
Jim was a loving and devoted husband with a passion for golf. He cared deeply about his family, and throughout his life, he made innumerable lasting friendships.
He was so special and so selfless. From the time he was diagnosed until the time he died, he fought a courageous battle. He spent his final days here on earth preparing those around him to be able to deal with his death.
His wife Jean kept asking the doctors: How can someone have a complete physical and receive a clean bill of health; then, less than 6 weeks later be diagnosed with terminal cancer? They couldn't give her an answer.
So, on December 15, 2002 - the day after Jim's funeral and on what would have been his 45th Birthday - his wife Jean established the James A. Schlipmann Melanoma Cancer Foundation (The Schlip) to honor him and keep his memory alive by providing hope for individuals suffering from this horrible form of cancer and their families.