President’s Letter |September 2020

From the Desk of Samantha Guild

The fall is upon us, and here at AIM at Melanoma, we’re busy with our usual autumn schedule: Steps Against Melanoma walks and Living with Melanoma symposiums.

The difference this year is that all of our offerings are virtual.

Our symposium audiences have told us they appreciate the flexibility of attending symposiums all over the country from the comfort of their own homes. In reality, we’ve always offered such flexibility, because we’ve always live-streamed our symposiums. But now, all symposiums are virtual, and we’re pleased that the melanoma community can learn from experts in the field in such a convenient fashion. Like many entities, we’re looking at incorporating more virtual experiences into our offerings even after the virus is controlled. Next up is our symposium at Winship Cancer Institute at Emory University on October 17. Again: You can be anywhere and attend this event! Join us!

An enormous thank you is owed to our Steps Against Melanoma walk coordinators and all the virtual participants, sponsors, and donors who have been a part of our walks across the nation. Because of the virus, the coordinator job has been different from what they signed up for. It is not easy to turn what has always been an in-person community event into an online, virtual one, but our coordinators have done it with enthusiasm and aplomb. Another thank you is due to our attendees and donors: The funds you raise directly fund melanoma research. And research will lead to the cure. Check out our upcoming walks here and sign up! You can be anywhere in the world and still be a part of an AIM walk.

This month’s newsletter features a lengthy and informative magazine about sunscreen, with information on everything from the meaning of SPF to the eight “new” sunscreen ingredients available in other countries but not the U.S.—and why. We hope you will read it cover to cover. This magazine is part of our campaign called Step Out Against Melanoma that includes at a petition that we’d like all of our readers to sign. We’re asking you to pledge to wear sunscreen on exposed skin every time you step outside. We purposely have created and sent this magazine in the fall, because so many people think sunscreen is for summer and beaches. But your skin needs protection whenever it is exposed to U.V. light: on errands, on the ski slopes, on a neighborhood walk, etc.

We’re thrilled to welcome Kim Margolin, M.D., as a contributor to our newsletter. She’s authored a new article in our In Plain English series about the newly approved “Triplet” in melanoma. Read Dr. Margolin’s article to learn about triplets and doublets, and the latest in clinical trials in melanoma.

We regularly publish stories of melanoma survivors, and this month we spoke to Joe Small of Texas, who shared a little about his life and how it has been changed by cancer. Thanks for letting us tell your story, Joe.

Finally, if you haven’t yet checked out our new website, please do. Thank you to all of you who have sent us comments. We’re thrilled that you’re thrilled. The best compliment we’ve received is that information about melanoma is thorough and easy-to-find. That was our goal, in a nutshell.

Sam Guild
AIM at Melanoma Foundation