Spending tireless hours in the sun each day to keep Manuka Oval in magnificent condition, Head Curator Brad Van Dam knows all too well of the dangers it can do to his skin.
In recognition of Brad and his team’s dedicated work in all the elements, Cricket ACT is lending its support to the Melanoma Institute Australia’s (MIA) Melanoma March, a cause raising funds for MIA research to help save the lives of young Australians.
With melanoma ranked the most common cancer affecting 15-39-year-old Australians, and killing more people aged 20-39 than any other single cancer, Brad’s decision to become an ACT Ambassador for the MIA was an easy one, saying the real tragedy is that melanoma is largely preventable.
“Our staff had our skin checked the other day, and it made me conscious that we need to do more to help them protect themselves,” Brad said.
Working on Canberra’s biggest backyard, Brad recognises the nature of the business he works in can leave a long lasting effect on his skin.
“There are a lot of people in the turf industry that have had an issue with their skin. I know a few of them unfortunately, but it's the nature of the beast in the industry we work in.”
Over the past five years, research discoveries have transformed the treatment of melanoma and tripled the life expectancy of patients with advanced disease (where it has spread to other organs). The funds raised by this year’s Melanoma March will further a national research project focussing on pooling data about the treatment that patients receive across the country.
In his Ambassador role, Brad is now calling for Canberra locals to be more conscious about the harmful UV rays exposed to their skin, which will take us one step closer to eliminating melanoma.
“We are in the process of improving our awareness to the issues around sun damage to our skin and how better we can protect ourselves.”
This year marks the fifth Melanoma March after its creation in 2012. With the event growing over the years, it’s become an opportunity to raise vital funds and raise awareness for all Australians about the effects of melanoma.
With effective treatments, no one should die from Melanoma in Australia.
Date:19 March 2017
Time: 9.00 am
Where: Weston Park
Register online: https://melanomamarch2017.gofundraise.com.au/cms/march-act