CONCORD, Mass., Feb. 13 Kelli Pedroia, wife of Red Sox star Dustin Pedroia, recently joined the Melanoma Foundation of New England as prom spokesperson. She will be speaking out about the dangers of tanning. She should know. She tanned a lot as a teenager, and a year after her last dance at her senior prom she was diagnosed with stage 2 melanoma.
(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20080213/DC14158 )
"I really had no idea how foolish I was being by going to tanning salons and lying out in the sun," said the new spokesperson for "Your Skin is In" -- a prize contest for teenagers who pledge to stay out of tanning salons before their proms this spring. "I was literally dancing with melanoma at my senior prom," said Pedroia, "and I get chills when I think about it. I don't want anyone to hear the diagnosis I heard when I was 18: you have a life-threatening melanoma and we will have to operate to remove it along with the lymph nodes in your thigh."
According to the Foundation's executive director, Deb Girard, "Teens need to know that tanning is dangerous. So we have a pledge program, a contest, and a $5,000 grand prize and five $1,000 runner-up prizes."
The Foundation will be sending melanoma survivors to speak at schools throughout New England to draw attention to "Your Skin Is In." They will tell their personal stories, share the facts about the dangers of tanning, and get schools to join the No-Tanning Pledge program and enter the contest. In just the first week of the contest, high schools from every New England state have entered.
"We are thrilled that Kelli is joining our fight against this deadly yet highly preventable disease," says Girard. "We believe Kelli's deep passion and commitment to the cause, as well as her strong connection to New England through Dustin will bring us closer to our dream of eradicating melanoma through early detection, prevention, and education. Kelli will make a great spokesperson. And we have no doubt that she will become New England's Prom Queen. She already is ours.
The Melanoma Foundation of New England is a non-profit organization dedicated to educating the public about the importance of early detection and prevention, and helping patients and their caregivers cope with melanoma. Skin cancer is the number one diagnosed cancer in the United States. Melanoma is the most preventable cancer. The Foundation was founded in 1999 and is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization that provides educational programs, support groups, and advocacy for melanoma patients. Learn more about the Foundation at: www.mfne.org.
For Melanoma Tanning Fact Sheet and No-Tanning Pledge Contest Fact Sheet, go to www.mfne.org. Click on News and scroll down to bottom of the page and click on Tanning and Prom Fact Sheets.
SOURCE Melanoma Foundation of New England