“Help and Hope Against Melanoma”

I wanted to take a moment to make everyone aware of an organization whose mission is very important to all of us at Attolon, as well as to the hundreds of thousands of people whose lives have been affected by melanoma – the Susan Fazio Foundation (SFF) for Melanoma Research.

The SFF was founded in early 2006 to honor my mother, Susan Fazio, who lost her five-month battle with mucosal melanoma in December 2005 at the young age of 55. Mucosal Melanoma is an extremely rare, but aggressive and deadly disease. Only 1 in 25 million people are diagnosed with this form of melanoma each year. However, cutaneous melanoma is the fastest growing cancer in the US and can be just as fatal. Both types of melanoma seem to metastasize in the same way; to the lungs, liver, bones, and brain. Sadly, pediatric melanoma has also been increasing consistently over the past several decades. While still rare, it is becoming more and more common. Pediatric melanoma is often misdiagnosed and most children have progressed to Stage III by the time their melanoma is found. Once the cancer has spread, regardless of origin, survival rates are very low.

The Susan Fazio Foundation for Melanoma Research’s mission is to raise funds to help increase awareness and eventually find a cure for this horrible and underfunded disease. The SFF has raised over $400,000 in melanoma research since its inception and has awarded research grants to doctors at some of the leading cancer institutions in America, including the University of Pennsylvania, Thomas Jefferson University, the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, and the University of California.  Finally, after over a decade of inactivity, the FDA approved two drugs for advanced melanoma in 2011, and there are two more likely to be approved this summer.  The success of The Susan Fazio Foundation’s mission of “Help and Hope against Melanoma” is due in large part to the generous support of its donors who have given outright donations as well as supported the numerous events and activities the foundation holds each year.

We are hosting the foundation’s fifth annual golf outing next month. The event will be held at Whitemarsh Valley Country Club in Lafayette Hill, PA on June 3, 2013. This is the Susan Fazio Foundation’s main event every year – golf, cocktails, dinner and networking.  All are welcome to participate, even non-golfers.  Please visit www.susanfazio.org to register for the event, become a sponsor or to get more information on the foundation and its mission.

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