Tuesday, May 28, 2013

2nd Annual Portland Melanoma Walk raises over $39k

© Skipping Stone Photography

I finally got the pictures from our event and found out that our final fundraising total from the 2013 Portland Melanoma Walk was $39,492. Holy moly.

When I agreed to coordinate the walk last September, I was crossing my fingers that we'd get over $20k. My jaw was literally on the floor as we quickly surpassed the 25 mark, the 30 mark, and then the 35 mark on the day of the walk. One of the individuals who drove down to participate from Seattle brought in an astonishing $8,000!

I know this may seem like small potatoes to anyone who works in development professionally, but our event is small. It's entirely volunteer-run, with a very small budget. I'm so proud of our event, and very thankful for everyone who helped make the walk happen. There's no way I could have pulled this off on my own.

© Skipping Stone Photography

© Skipping Stone Photography

© Skipping Stone Photography

© Skipping Stone Photography

© Skipping Stone Photography

© Skipping Stone Photography

© Skipping Stone Photography

Friday, May 24, 2013

Happy "Don't Fry Day"

On Monday, it was 60-some degrees. On Tuesday, I wore sandals to work, *thinking* that things would stay relatively the same, but by lunchtime, it was monsooning. By the time I left work, I was freezing, so I played the pity card and asked my boyfriend to come pick me up. This week sure doesn't feel like spring, but since I know summer is coming, I encourage you to observe national "Don't Fry Day."

The purpose of Don't Fry Day is simple: to remind folks to protect their skin when they're spending time outdoors. According to the American Cancer Society, one person dies from skin cancer every hour. Sunscreen, of course, is helping in preventing UV damage--but there's more to sun safety than just stocking up on SPF. The National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention provides the following tips:
  • Do not purposefully try to burn or tan
  • Seek shade when possible
  • Wear sun-protective clothing (try Coolibar)
  • Generously apply sunscreen
  • Use extra caution near water, snow, and sand
  • Get Vitamin D from a bottle, not a bed

Monday, May 20, 2013

May madness

Portland Melanoma Walk 2013
I've had a busy, busy, busy month. We had the Portland Melanoma Walk on Saturday, May 11. The event surpassed all my expectations--almost 300 attendees and we've raised $35,000 and counting. The walk has more than doubled since 2012, which I'm thrilled about. As a volunteer-run event, I think we've made amazing progress with the limited resources we have. There seems to be quite a bit of potential for continued growth, too, so all the chaos seems to have been worth it.

Renting port-o-potties: the less glamorous aspects of event planning

A day after the walk, I flew to Austin, TX for work. I wish I'd had more time to spend being a tourist! I also wish I'd had a bit more time to catch up on sleep before the trip. I was probably still a little sleep deprived from waking up at 3:30 a.m. that Saturday.

Austin, TX!

Now I'm back in Portland. Still busy, busy. Looking forward to summertime when I can zone out, curl up with a trashy beach read, and spend more time catching up with friends. August looks promising? :)

So proud of my fellow "molemates" for all the great things you're doing to support skin cancer awareness this month.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Legislators approve teen tanning bed ban in Oregon

After much back and forth, both the Oregon Senate and the House of Representatives have passed House Bill 2896, which--once signed by the governor--will ban minors under age 18 from using UV tanning devices. Oregon will be the third state (following California and Vermont) in the nation to implement such a ban.

I was thrilled to hear the news just days before the Portland Melanoma Walk. As many of you know, I traveled to our state capitol twice this spring to testify in support of the teen tanning ban.

Teenagers: Feel free to hate me. The only thing more "devastating" than being told you're not allowed to tan is to be told "you have melanoma."

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Feels like summer

The view from the top of Multnomah Falls.

It was 85 degrees today. In Portland, Oregon. In May. Say what? This whole weekend was actually pretty amazing. I feel like I accomplished quite a bit, too. I got to hang out with friends I haven't seen in a while, I handed out melanoma walk flyers to tons of businesses and residents in my neighborhood, and yesterday I went on a hike at Multnomah Falls with my boyfriend. We also ventured a bit further East and did a little wine/beer tasting in Hood River. I'm sad to see the weekend end!

In case you haven't heard, tomorrow is "Melanoma Monday." If you'd like to participate in raising awareness for melanoma, please wear black on Monday, May 6. Here are a few reasons why you should:
  • Melanoma is the most deadly type of skin cancer. 
  • Every eight minutes, someone in the United States will be given a melanoma diagnosis and every hour someone will die from the disease.    
  • Melanoma is the fastest growing cancer in the United States and worldwide. 
  • Melanoma is the most common form of cancer for young adults 25-29 years old and the second most common cancer in adolescents and young adults 15-29 years old.  
  • If caught in the earliest stages, melanoma is entirely treatable with a survival rate of nearly 100%. If untreated and allowed to spread, there is no known treatment or cure.

Multnomah Falls
Looking down over the top of Multnomah Falls

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Competing with the Dalai Lama

There's no competition here.

Last October, when we were trying to pick a date for the 2013 Portland Melanoma Walk, I made sure that we weren't competing with the Heart Walk. That we weren't walking on Mother's Day, Cinco de Mayo, or Memorial Day. But let's be real. There's a real shortage of event-free Saturday mornings during Melanoma Awareness Month. I did the best I could, picked May 11, and hoped that nothing "big" would be scheduled in conflict with the event. Apparently, all was for naught, because now I'm competing with the Dalai Lama.

That's right. On Saturday, May 11, His Holiness will be hosting a summit on environmental issues at the Memorial Coliseum. At 9:30 a.m. The same time as the walk!

I have to admit, I'm a pretty big fan of the Dalai Lama. I read one of his books when I was an undergrad, and I really admire the way he's able to inspire so many people to "do good." I just had to laugh that--of all possible schedule conflicts--I am competing with the Dalai Lama.

In all seriousness though, I'm stoked for May 11. Earlier today I chatted with a reporter from The Oregonian, who posted a writeup about our event on OregonLive.com. It'll be appearing in print next Wednesday, May 8. My fingers and toes are crossed that everything will go smoothly next Saturday. Please forgive me for being MIA as I figure out all the last minute event details.