Announcements Health & Environment

SunAWARE Campaign Encourages Skin Cancer Prevention Through Education & Advocacy

Continuing its mission of eradicating melanoma in our communities, the Children’s Melanoma Prevention Foundation (CMPF) recently set up an information booth for residents and tourists at the Boston Harbor Islands Welcome Center on The Rose Kennedy Greenway.

Photo credit: Scott Eisen

Staff and volunteers offered information about the Foundation’s Boston Harbor SunAWARE campaign, a skin check for sun damage via a UV camera system, plus a complimentary bottle of Aveeno sunscreen.

For the second summer, the CMPF has partnered with the Boston Harbor Islands National and State Park, with the National Park Service, the Department of Conservation and Recreation, and Boston Harbor Now to educate staff, visitors and tourists about proper sun protection and skin cancer prevention.

This summer, CMPF has also received funding from William Blair & Company to support its second season of sun safety education. These funds will help support six onsite SunAWARE events on the Boston Harbor Islands and the Rose Kennedy Greenway. CMPF has already provided two training sessions for regular and seasonal staff. William Blair employees volunteered their time at the information booth to help distribute the sunscreen and spread the word about the importance of sun protection.

With melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, expected to rise 9 percent in Massachusetts this year, a clear need for sun safety education exists in the state.

CMPF Executive Director Maryellen Maguire-Eisen commented, “We know that it isn’t enough just to provide sunscreen. You need to educate and motivate people about the importance of sun protection. This is why we use a UV video camera in our teaching to raise awareness about sun damage and to illustrate proper sunscreen application. Studies show that most people don’t properly apply sunscreen. Our camera system provides a detailed visual, so a person can clearly see his or her personal sun damage and if they’ve missed applying sunscreen around their eyes, tip of the nose or ears, which are all common sites for skin cancer to develop.”

Established in 2003 and the only national foundation focused on preventing skin cancer in children, CMPF works to reduce the incidence and impact of melanoma on families and society. Each year, it provides its signature SunAWARE For Life Program to more than 80,000 children and the adults who care for them. Trained Foundation staff members offer the program at local schools, sailing clubs, recreation centers, day care centers and nationally at conventions and symposia.  Its goal is to prevent skin cancer, one child at a time through education and advocacy.

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