Kyly Clarke urges Aussies to step up to save lives from melanoma
3 February 2020
Australian television presenter, interior designer and mother Kyly Clarke has been announced as the new Ambassador for Melanoma Institute Australia (MIA) and its national awareness and fundraising campaign Melanoma March.
Kyly toured Melanoma Institute Australia’s world-leading research and treatment centre where she met CEO Matthew Browne and Co-Medical Directors Professor Georgina Long and Professor Richard Scolyer. Kyly also met families devastated by melanoma, including Jen Benfield who has survived the disease, and the El-Hourani family, who sadly lost their mum and wife Kerry to melanoma.
Kyly knows too well the personal impact of melanoma, with her own grandmother dying from the disease and herself having a melanoma scare.
‘I sadly never had the chance to meet my grandmother who died from melanoma before I was born,’ said Kyly. ‘Her death had such an impact on my family that I have always been extremely vigilant about checking my own skin for changes.
‘When I noticed one of my moles was changing, I sought medical advice and it was removed. Given my family history of melanoma, it was a tough week waiting for results to come back but luckily it was an abnormal mole rather than a melanoma.
‘I want my daughter Kelsey Lee to grow up in a world where sun safe behaviour is the norm and where there are effective treatments to save lives from melanoma, which is why I am delighted to be helping raise awareness and funds to help tackle this health issue facing all Australians,’ she said.
MIA CEO Matthew Browne said the organisation was excited to have Kyly supporting Melanoma March which raises awareness about melanoma prevention and early detection as well as money for life saving research to find new and effective treatments for the disease.
‘Clinical advances in recent years have tripled life expectancy for some advanced melanoma patients, but the sad reality is we still have one Australian dying every five hours from melanoma,’ Mr Browne said.
‘To reach our goal of zero deaths from melanoma we need to continue our research effort unabated and that is why Melanoma March is so important for all Australians to support.’
‘It may also come as a surprise to many that melanoma is the most common cancer affecting 15 to 39 year old Australians and that sunburn, particularly during childhood, is the greatest risk factor for developing melanoma,’ Mr Browne added. ‘We are so grateful for Kyly’s support in helping raise awareness amongst young Australians and young families that living a sun safe life NOW is vitally important.’
Australia has the highest melanoma rate in the world with one Australian diagnosed with the disease every half an hour. Early detection is vital, as 90% of melanomas can be cured with surgery alone if caught early.
‘Like all Australians, our family loves the great outdoors, but it is important we enjoy our beautiful climate safely to protect our skin from the damaging effects of the sun and reduce our risk of developing all skin cancers, including melanoma,’ Kyly said.
‘It is equally important that we are vigilant about checking our skin for changes, and if by sharing my story I can encourage just one family to be sun safe and to keep an eye on their skin, then I am helping make a difference.
‘I’d urge all families to join their local Melanoma March to help raise awareness as well as much-needed funds for research so that one day no one will die from melanoma.’
For more information on how to register for a march near you or donate to Melanoma March, click on link: Melanoma March.
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