President’s Letter | January 2021

From the Desk of Samantha Guild

In a January newsletter it is traditional to wish you a happy new year and share our plans and resolutions for 2021. And this year more than any other I think the tradition is important. With the pandemic, protests, and economic losses that defined 2020, the new year and our uncertain but hopeful expectations of it are more meaningful than ever.

Since the pandemic began, AIM has pivoted programming and events to serve the melanoma community during an unprecedented time. And despite the new, more promising year, we are still creating programming to address those needs. Check out this article about our new monthly webinars called “Beyond the Clinic: Living Well with Melanoma.” These webinars present psychosocial topics that you—the AIM at Melanoma community—have expressly requested. The next one is coming right up, on Wednesday, January 13, at 7 pm EDT. This month’s topic is Improving the Quality of Life for Cancer Patients and Survivors During COVID. Join us for the live webinar and ask questions of our experts, or watch it later on our YouTube channel, where it will be housed with previous educational events.

Melissa Wilson, AIM’s Ask an Expert, will continue in 2021 to host her popular “From the Clinic to the Living Room” series that addresses survivorship topics suggested by the AIM community. Melissa’s next event is January 27 at 7 pm EST with Tara Mauro, MS, RDN, CSO, LDN, Nutritionist, Department of Nutritional Services, Fox Chase Cancer Center, and the subject is “Eat Right Live Well: Optimizing Nutrition During Treatment.” Sign up for this webinar here.

Please take a look at the article on oral parity, an extremely important topic related to insurance coverage of melanoma and other cancer treatments that has not gotten the attention it deserves. In the last Congress, bills were introduced in the United States House of Representatives and Senate, though they weren’t passed. We’re hoping that new bills will be introduced—and passed— in the new Congress. Contact me if you’re interested in getting involved.

Please also read our update on the International Melanoma Tissue Bank Consortium (IMTBC), AIM’s primary research initiative, and Dr. Mohammed Kashani-Sabet’s work. The article answers the question, Why Is the Tissue Bank So Important for Melanoma Research? Dr. Kashani-Sabet is the Director, Center for Melanoma Research and Treatment, and Medical Director, Cancer Center, California Pacific Medical Center, and one of the principal investigators for AIM’s IMTBC.

We here at AIM owe you—the AIM community—an enormous thank you. Despite a pandemic and so many other difficulties in 2020, the AIM community generously supported our work. So many of you have given so much over this last year, whether it’s through our walk programs, our No Show Gala, our end of year giving request, or another event. Your generosity helps us advocate for prevention, early detection, and access to care, accelerate research, and educate the melanoma community. We are grateful for your support.

This month we’d like to highlight Gina Roller and her fundraiser, ONEHOPE, which supports AIM. Please read about Gina and the best friend she lost to melanoma, Kerri-Lynn Larimer, and a fun way to support AIM.

Lastly, I want to let you know how moved I have been over the last eight months to hear all of your kind words about my mother. She would be—and I am—so proud to know how much you appreciate AIM’s work. Your support of AIM’s mission—now more than ever—is her legacy. Thank you.

Happy new year to you and your family. May it be a much better year for all.

Sam Guild
AIM at Melanoma Foundation