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Lace Up Your Sneakers in Support of Melanoma Research

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By Will Fitzgerald, MD Anderson Staff Writer

AimatMelanoma.jpgOn the morning of Sept. 24, runners, walkers and all those interested in supporting melanoma research will congregate at MD Anderson's Mays Clinic for the 2011 AIM for a Cure Melanoma Walk and Fun Run.  The event is an opportunity for patients/survivors, family members and friends to unite against one of the most dangerous and commonly diagnosed forms of skin cancer.

It's co-hosted by MD Anderson and the AIM at Melanoma Foundation, with high hopes of surpassing the more than $80,000 raised last year to support the latest advances occurring in MD Anderson's Department of Melanoma Medical Oncology. Just as critical as supporting innovative research, the run also raises awareness about a disease that more than 70,000 men and women will be diagnosed with this year alone.

Judy Sager, president of AIM at Melanoma's Houston Chapter and event organizer, was personally affected by melanoma after losing her husband Jurgen to the disease at age 48.

"My husband searched the world for any treatment that he thought would save his life," Sager says. He was willing to try anything and practically did, but it didn't save his life. We can do better."

And doing better gets its start this Saturday. The 5K, non-certified, walk and fun run will wind through the Texas Medical Center. Other race-day activities include live music by Hank Taylor, sunscreen application demonstrations and free skin cancer screenings on a first-come, first-served basis.

Gregory Lizee, Ph.D., assistant professor, and Kevin Kim, M.D., associate professor, both in MD Anderson's Department of Melanoma Medical Oncology, will be on hand to speak about the disease and present an update of promising new research and treatments.

To register for the event, visit www.aimatmelanoma.org and click on "participate in a fundraiser." Day of registration is also available. No entrance fee is required, but participants are encouraged to raise at least $50. Free event parking is available in the Pressler Garage, across the street from the Mays Clinic, located at 1155 Pressler St.

"We all have to come together to make an impact, as well as honor and support those affected by this terrible disease," Sager says.

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