Coming together to raise awareness and funds for skin cancer prevention programs
AAD member Sarah Jackson, MD, FAAD, loved getting her high school daughter and their community involved with the AAD’s Skin Cancer, Take a Hike!™
Dr. Jackson’s story
When my daughter Adelaide, a junior in high school, came to me wanting to raise awareness of and fundraise for skin cancer, I immediately thought of AAD’s Skin Cancer, Take a Hike!™ program. As an AAD member, I had heard of Skin Cancer, Take a Hike!™ and knew several colleagues who have participated in past events. And as a dermatologist, I work every day to fight skin cancer. I loved the idea of bringing education and awareness to teens and young people while also raising lifesaving funds.
Working directly with the AAD, we decided to focus the event on four local high schools around the New Orleans area. We worked to identify team captains at each of the high schools to register a team and recruit other friends and family to participate. Many of the teens in our community are very active and spend a lot of time outdoors, whether they’re running, playing sports, or working as camp counselors. I really wanted to empower the high schoolers to help spread the message of sun protection and showcase their commitment to reducing the incidence of skin cancer.
In speaking with other dermatologists and physicians with children in high school, they immediately loved the idea and offered to help spearhead the effort, with each of their children leading a team for their school. We decided to keep the kids engaged leading up to the event by having a goal to log 320 miles throughout the summer. We also had a fundraising goal and offered incentives — such as, for every person who could raise $100 or more, they would earn a t-shirt.
As we worked to build the event, there was so much excitement and willingness from everyone, and using social media to influence and spread the word for the fundraiser was truly amazing. We were flooded with support from our industry partners as well, which then inspired the children because they realized their fundraising goal was attainable.
I loved having a Skin Cancer, Take a Hike! event in my hometown. It was so heartwarming to get the dermatologic community and young students in the community together for this inspiring cause. Having everyone come together and promote sun safety was such an incredible experience.
At the event we had over 50 participants, including four physicians and their families, five industry sponsors, and dozens of teens who took initiative to make a difference in the fight against skin cancer. I believe more people and young adults now realize the importance of sun protection and have a better understanding of skin cancer that they may not have known prior to this fundraiser.
We set out with the lofty goal of mobilizing teenagers in New Orleans to spread awareness of and raise funds for skin cancer. In the end we had over 45 registered students representing four different high schools. Our group ended up raising over $18,000 and spread the word of sun protection to hundreds in the New Orleans community. I am so infinitely proud of these kids, not only for participating, but for taking the initiative to make the world a better place!
Support Skin Cancer, Take a Hike!™
Skin Cancer, Take a Hike!™ raises awareness and funds for the AAD’s skin cancer prevention and detection programs. Learn more about this initiative, and how you can get involved.Get involved