Meredith’s Mission for Melanoma Awareness 4th annual Gala took place in Central Texas at the Hilton Hotel downtown Austin on April 27th, 2019.
The month of May is the “Skin Cancer Awareness Month,” and there are over 5 million cases diagnosed in the United States each year. Skin cancer is the most common from of cancer in the US. Fortunately, skin cancer is also one of the most preventable forms of cancer. There is an incidence of 90 percent of nonmelanoma skin cancers and 85 percent of melanoma cases that are associated with exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun. By raising awareness of the dangers of unprotected exposure and encouraging sun-safe habits, we can change behaviors and save lives.
Meredith’s Mission for Melanoma is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization with a mission to raise funds for donations for M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, as well as the Dell Medical School at The University of Texas at Austin in support of their research in melanoma medical oncology. It is also their mission to raise awareness RAISE of this deadly disease, as well as provide guidance on prevention and support others in their fight.
The fourth annual gala was a great success with check-in cocktail hours and reception at 5:30 PM with DJ Mario Portillo as the silent auction got started. At 7:30 dinner began with a welcome to Meredith’s Mission for Melanoma Gala by Lunchbox, an Austinite from the Bobby Bones Radio Show. The gala gave a special sponsor recognition to Christopher Kluck and Stephanie Whitten.
The gala offered two engaging speakers who shared their terrifying experience with Melanoma. Bethany Greenway shared her battle with Melanoma stage 3 in March 2016. She is the mother of Bethany, Arabella (21 months) and Luciana (a 4-year-old). Her fight with skin cancer was brave and she carefully documented her journey with skin cancer and her story gained national and international recognition. The other speaker was Don Murphy, a survivor of Non-Pigmented Lentigo Malignant Melanoma. He transported the attendants of the gala to his painful past with the skin cancer in 2017 as he went through 5 boundary procedures. His pictures presented during the gala were very graphic and very painful to watch. He was full of optimism while receiving treatment, and also shared his experience of his divorce during this difficult time of his life, but his story had a happy ending since he found love again after his recovery.
The gala had incredible raffles: 2019 F1 Race Passes, 2019 ACL 3-Day Weekend T bands, Kendra Scott necklace. The live auction was extraordinary with Cowboy Auctioneer-Seth Hale. The auction included the following: Mattie’s VIP Dinner at Green Pastures 4 course dinner for 10, limo service and wine pairing; Private Island Paradise 5-night stay two guests in an oceanfront cabana, meals and drinks included; Napa or Sonoma Wine Country Luxury 5 days and 4 nights; Texas-Sized Dinner Party for 40 people for delivery, drinks and live music by Michael Carubelli; Choose Your Mountain Escape 5 days/4 nights (Aspen,Beaver Creek or Deer Valley Silver Strike; The Brilliance of Bermuda 4 nights stay; the Ultimate Game of Thrones Adventure for Two 6-night stays in Dublin, Antrim Coast Belfast & Historic Castles; The Need for Speed 25 minutes of supercar race at the Circuit of Americas; Bucket List Dove Hunt in Argentina 4 days/ 3 nights.
The sponsors of the meaningful Gala:
Lone Star Paving, Servpro of Hyde Park/ Central Austin, Vertex Consulting, Reid| Collins | Tsai LLP, The Carlson Law Firm, KXAN, Syntergy, Freytag’s Florist, Dr Kristina Collins Dermatologic Surgeon, Ealy Team, Chris Lammert Photography, Medi Live, Quik Print
Skin cancer is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal skin cells. It occurs when unrepaired DNA damage to skin cells (skin cancer is often caused by ultraviolet radiation from the sun or tanning beds) triggers mutations, or genetic defects, that lead the skin cells to multiply rapidly and form malignant tumors.
The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends that everyone practice monthly head-to-toe self-examination of their skin so that they can find any new or changing lesions that might be cancerous or precancerous. Skin cancers found and removed early are almost always curable.
Your skin is your body’s largest organ and you need to treat it right! Photoaging (skin damage such as wrinkles, brown spots, and lax skin caused by sun exposure) can be prevented and also minimized with proper sun protection (such as sunscreen and protective clothing) and various anti-aging treatments.
Meredith had just turned 22 years old in October of 2002 when she was first diagnosed with melanoma cancer. Having been introduced to Christopher Kluck she married him on May 30, 2015. On June 9th, ten days after their wedding, and thirteen years after her original diagnosis, Meredith found a lump under her left arm and she was diagnosed with a recurrence of melanoma cancer. She passed away on Tuesday, October 6, 2015, just four months after getting married, three months after her diagnosis and less than a week after her birthday. It was Meredith’s wish that she wanted to do something to promote melanoma awareness and help prevent others from getting this horrible disease.
Meredith’s Mission for Melanoma promotes:
Melanoma awareness, the use of sunscreen and skin safe clothing which can reduce melanoma by 40%, regular dermatologist skin checks, awareness for the Melanoma blood test, and understanding mole changes.