We have a new year before us…one in which we can take action to further melanoma awareness and fund-raising. Here are a few ideas on how you can make a difference in the coming year!
- Donate money. Okay, times are tight. I know this much more than I can admit. But it’s not that hard to save a little on the side to give to melanoma research or any charity for that matter. Believe me when I say that every dollar counts, and if you can only give one dollar the entire year, it still counts! For me, I plan to save a little (really…a little is all I can afford at the moment) every month to go towards charitable donations. Most of it will go to melanoma awareness and research. Some of it will go to other charities that are dear to me. I will by no means be a high-level donor, but I will donate something. You can, too! One dollar or one hundred dollars, the MRF, AIM and so many other organizations appreciate every penny.
- Participate in a walk. I’ve been to four melanoma-related walks in the last three years and each one proved to be an emotionally rewarding experience. You’d be surprised how easy it is to get people to help donate to your efforts. Even if you don’t raise a ton of money, just participating and being around others who “get it” will forever impact your life.
- Reach out. Within the online community, there are many people affected by melanoma in one way or another. Simply sending an email, text of Facebook message that says, “I’m thinking about you today” can make that person’s day. We all need that support, and offering even a little here and there will pay back more than you can imagine.
- Set an example. Practice what so many of us preach and wear your sunscreen. Wear a hat (preferably a wide-brimmed hat) especially on sunny days. Wear your sunglasses. Stay in the shade. Stay away from tanning beds! If you have kids in your life, your example will set their good habits in the future.
- Get checked. You should examine your own body at least once a month. Use a hand-held mirror to check every inch of your body. Click here on how to perform a self-exam. Go see your dermatologist at least once per year for a full body check. To help remember, schedule an appointment near your birthday to have your birthday suit check. This should be in addition to any annual check-ups with your general practitioner.
It’s easy to make a difference. It doesn’t take a Herculean effort…just a small gesture here and there, a penny or two, and a caring heart. You'll have a better new year for helping!
Happy New Year everyone from Black is the New Pink - Fight Melanoma!