It seems strange to have just enjoyed the last bank holiday of the year after the strangest year we have ever experienced.  I have very vague memories of being brought home from school on a winter’s day in 1969 and as we turned a corner, the wind caught hold of my brother and blew him off his feet.  Being a very small child, I remember being very afraid that the wind would somehow manage to blow us all away.  I’m sure that for many people, 2020 will hold a particular memory, be it of having months away from work, school or sadly, losing someone to Covid 19.  Certainly, 2020 will be remembered for a variety of reasons.  

So, what news from Melanoma UK HQ?  Well, we are still working very hard and even though the last few months have been very difficult, we have spoken to more patients and families than ever before.  It would seem that having time to reflect, there have been many people who have carried out skin checks, realised they needed help and been in touch.  Also, we have been very busy continuing to support our community, arranging telephone calls, Zoom conferences etc, liaising with medics on behalf of patients.  We’ve been kept very busy! 

As we approach the end of summer, let’s not forget that since the beginning of lockdown to the time of writing this, there will be thousands of people who have received a diagnosis of skin cancer (be it melanoma, bcc, mcc or scc) and 1,120 people will have been lost to melanoma.  We never forget that melanoma still kills 7 people each day in the UK.  That is why we are here – to support families and patients. 

As I’ve said a few times throughout this pandemic,  our fund raising has taken a huge hit – there is no nice way of saying it.  On March 23rd every event we had planned was cancelled and as yet, we don’t know when we can start to do the normal things that we have always done; the runs, the swims, the parties etc.  We don’t know, no one does.   I think it is important to say thank you to everyone who has continued to support our work during lockdown, we have had many people continue to support our work with their monthly donations, contributing to the lottery and various projects and of course, all the people who have undertaken their own personal challenges.  We are very grateful.  Everything that you do means that we can carry on our work. 

At the beginning of this message, I mentioned turning a corner in 1969, and just as the memory of turning that corner is still firmly in my head, I hope that in the coming weeks we will turn another significant corner and one day, I’ll be able to tell my grandchildren what a strange year 2020 was, but one day, we turned the corner. 

Keep safe everyone,