Quintessential Aussie girl and media personality Sophie Monk has been announced as a National Ambassador for Melanoma Institute Australia (MIA) and its national awareness and fundraising campaign, Melanoma March.
Sophie today toured Melanoma Institute Australia’s research and treatment centre in Sydney, where she met a young family devastated by melanoma. She spent time with little Madi who was only three-years-old when she lost her dad Peter to melanoma.
MIA CEO Matthew Browne says the organisation is thrilled to have Sophie onboard as the Queensland-based media personality is relatable to 15-39 year olds, the age bracket in which melanoma is the most common cancer.
“Sophie, like many Australians, has grown up living an outdoor, active lifestyle which all too often can have dire consequences,” Matthew said. “Many people don’t realise how common melanoma is, with more than 14,000 Australians expected to be diagnosed with the disease this year. By having Sophie onboard we will better be able to reach young Australians with sun-safety and skin awareness messages.”
After having a close friend diagnosed with melanoma, and then watching her dad battle with skin cancer, Sophie was shocked to learn that melanoma is the most common cancer affecting 15 to 39 year old Australians.
I love going to the beach as much as the next Australian, but now seeing just how prevalent melanoma is among young people, it has prompted me to spread the sun safety message so no one has to go through this devastating diagnosis, Sophie said.
Sophie will use her public profile as one of Australia’s most loved television and radio personalities to warn other young Aussies of the risk of sun exposure and the need to be vigilant in checking their skin for changes.
“When I first came back to Australia the thing I noticed most was how much time Australians spend in the sun, so I was constantly reminding my family to put on sunscreen. We should all be using sunscreen and checking our skin, in the same way we clean our teeth every day. And if you notice any changes to your skin, you need to get checked professionally ASAP. I know it can be a pain but it could be the difference between life and death. I’ll be nagging all my friends and family to book in to get their initial skin check!”
Sophie has also generously come on board as an Ambassador for Melanoma Institute Australia’s national awareness campaign, Melanoma March, which includes 23 family friendly walks across every state and territory in Australia, as well as the 2000km Jay’s Longest Melanoma March from Adelaide to Sydney. The campaign raises vital funds for melanoma research.
Our goal is zero deaths from melanoma, and whilst recent clinical advances have tripled life expectancy of some advanced melanoma patients, we still have one Australian dying from the disease every five hours,” said Matthew Browne. “It is vital we fund ongoing research so we can save more lives.
“I grew up in sunny Queensland and it’s only through hearing the devastating stories about melanoma that I now realise how deadly the disease can be, and the importance of sun safety, especially among the younger generation,” Sophie said.
Join your local Melanoma March to help raise awareness as well as much-needed funds so that one day no one will have to die from melanoma,” Sophie said.
For more information on how to register for a march near you or donate to Melanoma March, go to www.melanomamarch.org.au
Melanoma March 2019 is an initiative of Melanoma Institute Australia. In South Australia, we work alongside Australian Melanoma Research Foundation; in Western Australia, we work with melanomaWA; and in Victoria, we work with the Skin & Cancer Foundation Inc.
Melanoma March 2019 Principal Partner is Ricky, and Supporting Partners include Sun Sense, Skin & Cancer Foundation Inc., Toyota and Kensington Parry.