A Mother’s Day Message to Support Melanoma Awareness

As we celebrate Mother’s Day and the special women in our lives, I wanted to share a cause we recently supported, involving a Long Island family. Jack and Maggie Biggane lost their daughter, Mollie, at the age of 20, after she discovered a mole on her thigh that turned out to be melanoma, the most lethal form of skin cancer.

Their loss drove the family to start Mollie’s Fund, a non-profit with a mission “to increase awareness for melanoma prevention, provide information and services on skin cancer detection, and support melanoma patients through education of the latest treatments.”

Today, the fund raises awareness via a variety of means, and on the Thursday before Mother’s Day, Fortunoff Jewelry donated a portion of its sales to Mollie’s Fund, during a New Designer promotion featuring designers Lauren Chisholm and Meaghan Hennelly of Goldhenn. Thanks to Lauren for introducing us to this cause.

Mollie Biggane StoryI wanted to highlight Mollie’s Fund also because May is Melanoma Awareness Month. We all do so much today to protect the health of our children and grandchildren, and I learned that keeping kids out of the hours of sun between 11-3 is particularly important. Protecting the skin during the first 18 years of life can reduce the risk of some types of skin cancer by 78%, according to Mollie’s Fund. Just one blistering sunburn in childhood or adolescence doubles kids’ risk of developing melanoma later.

Mollie’s Fund is also leading the fight against the use of tanning beds, popular among young adults. Yet, just one indoor tanning session increases the risk of melanoma by 20%, and using a tanning bed before age 35 increases your chance of getting melanoma by 75%. I was surprised to learn that the World Health Organization includes tanning devices in its Group 1 list of agents that are cancer-causing to humans. Group 1 also includes plutonium and cigarettes.

As we head into the high summer sun months, I encourage you to protect yourself and the young ones around you. Mollie’s Fund makes the following suggestions:

  • Use a SPF UVA/UVB of 30 or more on a daily basis and re-apply frequently (especially after exercise or swimming)
  • Wear sunglasses and utilize SPF clothing
  • Limit time in the sun during 11-3, whenever possible
  • Avoid tanning beds
  • Report any change in a mole or skin lesion to your doctor
  • Be a role model for your children in these practices

For more information and to support the fund’s work, click here: https://www.molliesfund.org/

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