<*LONG POST - GET COMFY*>
A couple of months ago, I had brought up the idea of raising money for melanoma research in honor of Stewart's brother Ian in conjunction with the SC.net flag. Your response was positive and enthusiastic. (The original thread is located here: http://www.stewartcopeland.net/forum/vi ... php?t=3670
but due to its length, I thought it best to start a new thread so that this message does not get buried and so that new folks don't get overwhelmed. The first post in that thread will provide a general overview.)
I apologize for the delay, but I'm afraid that despite all of our good intentions, phone calls, emails, pavement-pounding, and contacts with possibly-associated doctors and clinics, it has taken nearly two months in order to make even preliminary contact with Live4Life. (Nancyrose deserves a medal for her valiant efforts.) Considering these difficulties, we're just not sure if the organization currently has the administrative resources to dedicate to this project.
In the interim, we have come across an organization that we think would serve as a worthy alternative whose goals are especially appropriate for an international forum such as ours (if the forum-folks so approve).
Melanoma International Foundation
The Melanoma International Foundation (note: that's MIF, not MILF) addresses the fight against melanoma with both a long-term vision and a practical sense of immediacy. Its mission includes advocacy to increase funding for scientific research, while simultaneously providing real-life assistance to newly diagnosed patients.
Funds raised by MIF are allocated to programs for prevention, early detection, and treatment of melanoma. Its global presence has helped MIF foster and expand international collaboration among scientists focused on finding a cure. In addition, MIF provides valuable and practical services to patients and their families by helping them identify and get placed in clinical trials. As the most appropriate trial is often located at a distance from the patient's home, MIF also provides funding for travel and housing accommodations without which many would find such treatments out of reach.
Their scientific advisory boards includes scientists, doctors, and directors from the US, China, Scotland, Australia, and England. Considering the many nations represented here at SC.net, this emphasis on international input, research, advocacy, and awareness seems especially appropriate to our community.
For those interested in reading further on their website, note that they provide a tool for translating the site into a number of languages, including Spanish, French, Japanese, and Arabic. Remember that automated translators are never great with detail; but the tool may be helpful for a general overview.
(To answer the inevitable question: Giovanni has already stressed that this decision is our own to make. As members, both Giovanni and Stewart are invited to vote just like everyone else, but the path that we follow is up to us as a group.)
Nancy has already spoken to MIF's founder, who has said that establishing a Leroy Coolbreeze account will not be a problem should we decide to go forward with them. Although I have not personally encountered MIF before, I am quite impressed by the far reach of their initiatives, the amount and scope of free information that they provide, and their willingness and eagerness to provide documentation on the programs that they support. We have contacted a number of organizations, but truthfully this is the only one that I feel comfortable recommending.
Please note: participation with this charity is purely VOLUNTARY. This project is being run in conjunction with the flag but is not a requirement of it (i.e., you do not need to donate money in order to sign or bear the flag). And neither Nancy nor I nor anyone else from SC.net will be handling funds; donations will go directly to the charity itself, and only it will have records of individuals' donations.
I am going to bump this thread for one week (until Friday, October 5) in the hope of reaching as many people as possible. If we reach a general assent, Nancy will finalize arrangements with MIF and report back with donation information.
Thank you, everyone.
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