President’s Letter | December 2021

Presidents Update Front the desk of Samantha Guild

From the Desk of Samantha Guild

Here at AIM at Melanoma, we started 2021 talking about Hope and are ending the year talking about Gratitude.

Some people might say that expressing Gratitude is an odd stance for a cancer non-profit to take. And if I’m being honest, there are times that our work can be a downer—after all, we’re immersed in a disease that kills, maims, and takes a heavy emotional toll. Indeed, AIM was launched in 2003—when no new treatments for melanoma had been approved for decades. And we still have a long way to go.

But so much good has happened in the last decade—for AIM and for melanoma—that Gratitude is really what we feel.

We are grateful for the multiple new treatments discovered in the last ten years.

We are grateful for the improved survival rate in melanoma.

We are grateful for the increase in awareness of the disease.

And we are grateful for you, the melanoma community:

To our volunteers: Your hours of dedication to our walks, advocacy efforts, and support programs are the backbone of our organization. AIM is not AIM without you.

To our donors: Your dollars fund our mission and are helping to end melanoma. We cannot thank you enough.

To the medical community: Your care for patients and their families is deeply appreciated and not always acknowledged. We are thankful for all you do.

To the research community: Your work to find the cure is ground zero. We are indebted to you.

To the AIM team and their families: Your devotion to the work we do is inspiring. We are truly a team.

To all in the melanoma community: You are the reason AIM exists and the reason we strive to end this disease in our lifetime.

This month’s newsletter is chock-full of good reads. Please don’t miss the article about Tricia Edwards and the KDB Melanoma Walk & Fun Run in Milford, Michigan—now in its 16th year and benefitting AIM for the last 11 years. Tricia and her event have raised a whopping $674,000 for AIM! Tricia, you are one big reason that we are celebrating gratitude this month. We are grateful to you and your KDB team for all you’ve done for AIM and melanoma research!

An important piece in this month’s newsletter is our information on AmazonSmile. The article will give you the very few simple steps you can take to raise funds for AIM while you do any shopping on Amazon. If you shop on Amazon, it’s an easy way to support AIM, and we’re hoping everyone who reads this newsletter will take these simple steps.

Check out the article that wraps up the auction portion of our 2021 No Show Gala & Auction. Thank you to all of our donors and auction bidders! Kristi Greysen of Greysen Jewelry, one of our auction donors, is continuing her generosity through December by giving 20% of each AIM-related purchase of Greysen Jewelry in the month of December to AIM. Gina Roller of ONEHOPE wine is also offering an AIM fundraiser; she will donate 10% of the proceeds from AIM purchases and her personal commissions from those purchases to AIM at Melanoma. Cabana Life is selling their Live Bright bag—a beautiful woven bag that can function as a purse or beach tote—and all proceeds go to AIM.  Read about both of these offers and our other auction donors here. And please know that our No Show Gala is happening all December. Thank you in advance for considering an end-of-year gift to AIM.

In this newsletter you’ll also read about two of our Peer Connect members, Allie and Lisa, who have really made a great connection. You’ll read about Kathy and Natalie from Save your Skin in Canada, an organization that is part of the AIM’s Melanoma International Patient Advocacy Coalition.

This month we’re featuring North Carolina in our Melanoma by the State series—find out what’s going on with melanoma in the Tar Heel state.

Finally, if you didn’t see the news last week, make sure to read our press release about the FDA approval of Keytruda (pembrolizumab), Merck’s anti-PD-1 therapy, for the adjuvant treatment of adult and pediatric (12 years and older) patients with Stage IIB or IIC melanoma following complete resection. Exciting news!

Happy Holidays!

Sam Guild
AIM at Melanoma Foundation