Giving Thanks

By Logan Kastner, Director of Marketing and Development


We have so much to be thankful for and to celebrate this year. In the spirit of Thanksgiving, it makes sense to pause and reflect on our mission, our progress and express our gratitude to our supporters who have helped us come so far.

MRA remains committed to accelerating the pace of scientific discovery by continuing to fund translational research in the field of melanoma. Since 2007, we have fully funded nearly $68 million in research, leveraged an additional $80 million from our partners, bringing the overall funding to more than $148 million to help combat this terrible disease.
11Therapies Approved
Eight years ago, only two approved treatment options were available for patients who were diagnosed with advanced melanoma. Today, we are delighted to now have 11 approved therapies available, and MRA has provided funding to study each one of these therapies This is tremendous progress, and we hear from patients regularly who are alive thanks to these new treatments.

The impact of our funded research doesn’t stop with melanoma.

MRA-funded research has also energized the entire field of oncology. Thanks to the success of immunotherapy, targeted therapies, and combination approaches, MRA has played a fundamental role in charting a new course in cancer treatments for over 30 different varieties of tumor types.

This unprecedented rate of progress would not have happened without the incredibly generous support of our founders, donors, and partners. Unfortunately, our work is far from over. We still have segments of the patient population who are not responding to the current treatment options available. This means we have more work to do and more research to support.

Together, with your support, we can continue our mission to fund vital research bringing us closer than ever before to finding a cure. We are grateful that so many patients will now get to spend the holidays with their loved ones. Thanks to all of you who have helped us get to this point.


Sports Authority Helps to Shine Some Light on Melanoma

By Jennifer Engel

Development Manager, Foundations and Campaigns

In recognition of Melanoma Awareness Month in May, Sports Authority deployed its fifth in-store donation and consumer awareness campaign to raise money for MRA’s research program and to educate customers on ways to reduce their risk of melanoma. Throughout the month, shoppers had the opportunity to round their purchase total up to the nearest dollar, with the remaining cents going directly toward melanoma research.

In just 31 days, Sports Authority customers at approximately 460 stores in the United States and Puerto Rico raised an incredible $278,000, which brings the retail chain’s total fundraising over five years to nearly $1.2 million to support melanoma research. Stores also housed important educational information about the risks associated with melanoma and recommendations on how patrons can protect their skin.

As one of the largest nationwide sporting goods retail chains, Sports Authority is in a unique position to raise the profile of MRA and its mission while encouraging the sale and use of sunscreen and sun-protective clothing.

We at MRA are thankful for the hard work of the Sports Authority leadership and corporate team as well as the store managers and cashiers across the nation who are the drivers of the campaign’s success. Engaging consumers—especially those drawn to active, outdoor lifestyles and recreation—in understanding the real dangers of melanoma and soliciting their support in the cause are essential to preventing new cases of melanoma.

The Sports Authority campaign is one of several MRA corporate fundraising programs in 2015. Through our alliances with companies, we’re able to amplify our reach to broader audiences with messages about the sun’s damaging rays, the importance of daily sunscreen use, and the need to be aware of changes in one’s skin.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently released data about melanoma, and melanoma rates are expected to continue to rise. The need for awareness, prevention, and research to learn more about this disease is urgent.

Thanks to collaborations with partners like Sports Authority, and the support of our founders, MRA can continue to dedicate 100% of donations to our research program to develop better prevention, diagnostic and therapeutic approaches to combat melanoma.

Corporate Partners Join in the Fight Against Melanoma

By Logan Kastner 
Director of Development and Marketing

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Melanoma Awareness Month is off to a great start! We have so many people and corporations to thank for all they are doing to raise awareness of this deadly cancer. Like so many of you, the Melanoma Research Alliance is committed to ending death and suffering caused by melanoma. And, we are passionate about building partnerships that will help us continue to fund cutting-edge melanoma cancer research.

We collaborate with like-minded corporations through cause marketing programs that promote melanoma awareness among the public and generate critical funding all year round. Our corporate partners help us to extend our reach by tapping into new networks to share important messages about melanoma research and melanoma prevention. They have devoted time, energy and resources to help raise awareness and funds that support MRA.

Nearly 20 companies have joined our efforts to make a difference against this disease. We encourage you to check out our corporate partners page and consider supporting them. Together, we’ll make a greater impact and truly make a difference in the fight against melanoma!

About The Author

Logan E. Kastner is Director of Marketing and Development for the Melanoma Research Alliance. Kastner joined MRA in 2015 from the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), where she worked as senior director of member value creation and meeting services.

MRA CSO Louise Perkins Interviewed at BIO International Convention

MRA recently attended the BIO International Convention, the biopharma industry’s largest gathering of drug development professionals and decision-makers.  We exhibited and held meetings in the Advocacy Pavilion, and our CSO was featured in the BIO Buzz Center, where she and Lauren Neff, BIO’s Director of Alliance Development, discussed MRA’s mission and how MRA used the conference’s Partnering System to connect with other attendees.  Take a look!