It isn't until I sat down and put pen to paper (and as many of our followers and supporters know, I love stationery...) that I realise just how much our incredible team is involved in.  Having gone through the projects, it occurred to me that a lot of the work we do, is behind the scenes, yet so very important.  

Melanoma UK has been involved in a report into non melanoma skin cancers.  This was a necessary piece of work for the UK as it is now very clear that when it comes to non melanoma skin cancers, there is a very low public knowledge and understanding of NMSC.  Around 720 people die each day of NMSC and by 2025 it is estimated there will be 400,000 diagnosed cases in the UK.  This report can be seen here

On the back of this, we are now involved in another very important project, the details of which will be shared in the coming weeks. 

Melanoma UK launched the first annual B-RAF Awareness Day. Many melanoma patients are unaware of their B-RAF status and/or how to find out information, what it means, and how to interpret the information once they do know what it is.   With support from a major pharmaceutical company, we launched the UK’s first annual B-RAF awareness day.  It is of vital importance that all melanoma patients know this information.  

We have lost count how many times we have represented the melanoma community during NICE appraisals.  This is something that we started back in 2011.  When a new treatment has undergone clinical trials and is then proposed for use in the patient setting, evidence is sought from patient groups and clinicians.  Prior to the committee appraisal, Melanoma UK has a role in providing patient evidence in very complex and confidential forms.   Two of the recent appraisals have resulted in positive outcomes for the patient community.  

When I first stepped into a NICE appraisal meeting, I have to say that it was one of the most daunting moments.  I will admit to feeling completely overwhelmed, under prepared and so very nervous.  At that time, we had absolutely nothing by way of treatment for advanced melanoma patients.  And now?  There is so much hope.   Between our wonderful patients, Di and me, we give a good account of the community and what treatment means to so many.

A few months ago I was asked to speak at a charity communication conference.  This was attended by over a hundred small charities.  The conference was all about how we communicate with our patients, supporters, fundraisers, families and all the other people we come into contact with.  As many families and patients will know, a lot of our communication is over the telephone and in person.  Of course we use social media and this has been great for people who prefer to use technology - despite my love of the old fashioned communication methods, I do embrace technology and I will always respond to the messages that we receive via various methods. 

This is just a very small snap shot of the work that we do.  We will be back soon with more information on our projects.  

And as ever, if you are reading this and you need some help, please do get in touch.