Excerpts from the Melanoma Research Foundation (MRF) Website:
The Melanoma Research Foundation (MRF) Advocacy Program is a platform for those affected by melanoma to share their voice and transform melanoma care. Whether you are a patient, caregiver, survivor, healthcare professional or partner, YOU play a critical role in the advancement of better outcomes for the over one million Americans living with melanoma and their loved ones.
The MRF is dedicated to working with lawmakers on federal, state and local levels for increased melanoma research funding for all types of melanoma including, mucosal, ocular and pediatric, improved access to quality care, CDC’s skin cancer prevention activities, preserving indoor tanning tax. age restricted indoor tanning, access to sunscreen in schools and more.
Amanda Mason is the Oncology Supervisor at Colorado Retina Associates, working hand-in-hard with Ocular Oncology specialist, Dr. Peter Hovland of CRA.
Amanda advocates act as a voice, in her personal life and in her profession, for the millions of people impacted by melanoma. Here is how Amanda got involved with the foundation and why she volunteers her time to serve a cause that is so important to her.
Ever since I was a little girl, I always felt my inner fire burned hotter when I was fighting for a cause I knew was right. That feeling only grew as I did. My love for fighting for what was right evolved into a passion for speaking out for those who may not have the loudest voice (mine is pretty loud, or so I hear).
For me, being an advocate is more than going to events or signing petitions and making calls. Being an advocate for the melanoma community is giving your time, your heart, your soul and sweat to a cause that is embedded inside your heart. Not just for the people battling now but for the people who haven’t even joined the fight yet. We advocate for new treatments to save lives. We advocate to hold our legislators accountable and provide the funding needed to research those groundbreaking new treatments. Without advocacy at every level we would be without advancement. We are a stronger voice together.
I started working in the ocular melanoma community about five years ago and it was nearly instant that I realized there was a need for more advocacy. The patients I work with, especially the newly diagnosed, are going through so much on their journey that they need someone in their corner that will be their champion. I want to be that champion for them. I see the emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual toll this disease takes on people and their families and the lack of resources that are available to help them navigate that road. My mission is to make this journey as simple to navigate as possible.
The many melanoma patients I’ve met in my life have taught me what strength and perseverance truly look like. I am constantly in awe of the courage and steadfastness of each and every person I meet in this community and it reminds me why I’m here and that this fight will not be over until, together, we find a cure. So, until that time comes, I will continue to be an #MRFadvocate with the folks who put the UNITY in community.