This time a year ago, we had just held our first Zoom support call.  We didn’t think for a moment that the following year, we would still be in some form of lockdown and still holding our patient calls. However, during last week’s call, one of our patients who found details of the zoom call in an online search told us “I’m so glad you have carried on with the calls, it has been great getting to know you all”.  

So what started out as a temporary measure to give the melanoma community some support, is now a permanent fixture in the Melanoma UK diary.   It is lovely to see the same people joining us week after week, and it is fair to say that we never know what is going to be said next!  

Over the year we have also brought several webinars to the patient community, these have included question and answer sessions from a number of our medics.  Again, this is something that we are going to continue.  We cannot see any ‘live’ conferences being allowed to take place any time soon, so it is important that we are able to bring information and updates by any means that we can. 

We always put our community at the heart of everything we do and this is not just in the UK. The pandemic has also forced some of our global conferences to be held virtually this year including the 10th World Congress of Melanoma and the 17th EADO Congress. Last week we did a pre-recording for the Patient Advocate Symposium covering the My Melanoma App Study to highlight how data captured by patients using our app, our patients have a voice – digitally! 

We are very fortunate that we have some very loyal and dedicated supporters and fundraisers and despite the lack of ‘real’ events to participate in, we have seen some wonderful fundraising events over the last year.   We are very grateful to all our fundraisers and donors.  

The shocking impact of the pandemic meant that many appointments for skin examinations were missed and by joining forces with SkinVision we are providing a service that makes regular skin checks a habit. We have been able to give over £10K worth of free SkinVision licences to melanoma patients using our My Melanoma App over the last 6 weeks

It is with a huge sense of sadness that I must mention three of our lovely friends, Adrian, Nicki and Pat.  They were on the very first zoom call during 2020 and each week they would join us, even during times when they were not feeling too well.  Adrian, Nicki and Pat passed away recently and as I say, I just wanted to mention them by their names, for everyone who knew them.  They are missed terribly.  

Finally, plans are now in full swing for Melanoma Skin Cancer Awareness month in May so keep a close eye on all our social media channels for ways to get involved.