The Australian Sailing Team (AST) partners with Melanoma Patients Australia (MPA), the non-profit organisation offering a national network of support and information to melanoma patients, their families, carers and friends.
The members of the Australian Sailing Team are ambassadors for MPA with the aim to raise Melanoma awareness around protection and early detection in the Sailing Community.
About Melanoma Patients Australia
Melanoma Patients Australia (MPA) is a non-profit organisation which offers a national network of support and information to melanoma patients, their families, carers and friends. It is a community resource that shares knowledge about melanoma prevention, diagnosis, management and treatment.
MPA is run by patients for patients.Melanoma Patients Australia was officially launched on 6 July 2006 by then Governor of Queensland, Her Excellency Quentin Bryce AC, now Governor-General of Australia.Melanoma Patients Australia continues to grow in strength and numbers and is now one of the largest melanoma patient advocacy groups in Australia.
Melanoma Patients Australia is the only patient driven non profit organisation that offers a national network of support and information to patients, their families, carers, and friends, about melanoma prevention, diagnosis, management and treatment.
Melanoma Patients Australia proudly hosts free regional public melanoma forums; offers a community of friendship and support to melanoma patients and friends through face to face support groups and online resources; advocates on behalf of patients to all levels of government, as well as relevant service organisations, researchers and corporations; and, supports research and clinical trials seeking to offer the best options for melanoma patients.
More recently, Melanoma Patients Australia has been able to offer the Danger Sun Overhead program to deliver worksite presentations across Australia on sun safety work practices, melanoma prevention and early detection. Danger Sun Overhead is an initiative of Jo Crotty whose husband, Rohan, passed away from melanoma at 43. Since this time, Jo has devoted herself to raising awareness of skin cancer and melanoma prevention and early diagnosis. To date, Danger Sun Overhead has spoken to over 20,000 workers and been instrumental in the early diagnosis of over 200 melanoma cases.
For more information see here: http://www.melanomapatients.org.au/
MPA recently launched their very first fundraising appeal...
They need the Australian sailing community to continue to support melanoma patients across Australia. And with Summer well and truly here, what better time to help continue the support MPA provides to melanoma patients and the awareness they continue to push around sun safety.
We wanted to share a little of their co-founder, Brent Grace’s story with you. Straight from the eyes of his mum, Kerry.
Brent was just 24 when all our lives were changed forever due to melanoma.
I was so proud of him; Masters Dean’s Honours List, a graduate executive role with Westpac offered for the new year and training for a black belt in karate.
And now he was dying. No parent should have to bury their child. It is not the correct order of life.
Parents are supposed to have all the answers but I felt inadequate and watched on with disbelief. I needed to be strong, but my own heart was breaking.
But Brent was determined to connect with fellow melanoma patients, find out what was happening in terms of trials and look for healthy living options.
And there was nothing. No support groups. No information easily accessible about trials. No way to chat to other people with a lived experience of melanoma. He was completely isolated.
So Brent, along with Daniel Belcher a fellow patient he met on this journey, decided to create a supportive organisation for patients to connect with patients.
And that was how Melanoma Patients Australia was born.
MPA gave Brent a lot of hope. He could talk to other people in similar situations and find out what was happening in regards to new trials and treatments.
Heartbreakingly Brent passed away in 2007 at just 26 years of age. Whilst time doesn’t heal (why do they always tell us it does?), you slowly learn to live with it.
But his legacy lives on in the work of MPA and Daniel and Brent’s vision has seen over 10,000 people supported in the past ten years.
So today, being Summer and your love of the water and the outdoors, may I ask you for two things.
- Please check your and your loved ones moles. I often think if only we had that mole checked earlier we would have avoided all this pain and suffering.
- Please help MPA to continue to support melanoma patients.
$10 allows 5 patients to receive a comprehensive guide to melanoma. $100 supports one patient with counselling. $1,500 covers the cost of training one of our support group facilitators. $5,000 covers the research component of advocating for new drugs on the PBS.
Visit the MPA website or pick up the phone and call 1300 88 44 50. Please give now to help us continue our work in 2017.