Inspired to Fight–Miracles for Melanoma

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Beth Harlin’s niece, Lori Ann DeWeese loved gardening and being outdoors as much as she could. She also loved the sun-kissed glow on her skin, so she frequented indoor tanning salons as a teenager. Unfortunately, all her unprotected time in the sun resulted in a diagnosis of melanoma skin cancer at the young age of 38.

Lori and Beth started researching melanoma as soon as Lori began treatments for her cancer. They discovered that melanoma is one of the fastest rising cancers in young people today, with 1 in 5 people in the United States developing skin cancer over their lifetime. Melanoma is the most serious form of skin cancer and early detection is essential in keeping the cancer from metastasizing and taking someone’s life.

From 2006 to 2013, Lori and Beth actively participated in events and fundraisers to raise awareness of melanoma in their community, particularly among young people and teens. They sought out every opportunity to inform and educate people about the dangers of UVA and UVB rays both from the sun and from indoor tanning. But they still felt that they needed to do more.

After fighting the melanoma for 7 years, Lori’s cancer metastasized and she knew she didn’t have much time left. She wanted her battle to count for something and to leave a legacy that would make an impact after she was gone. Beth was familiar with the Hendricks County Community Foundation through her training with Leadership Hendricks County. She also knew and trusted the Board Members of the Foundation and believed that this organization was best suited to help Lori make the forever impact she was seeking.

In 2013, Lori and Beth co-founded the “Miracles for Melanoma” fund at the Community Foundation to spread melanoma awareness and advocate for a cure for skin cancer. When Lori passed away in March of 2013, Beth continued her niece’s fight by leading the fund’s efforts in increasing awareness of the dangers of melanoma. Partnering with HCCF, Beth connects her passion with action by making grants every year to provide cancer education and sun- protective supplies to our community.

Miracles for Melanoma’s awareness campaigns have impacted thousands in the community through education at local schools and libraries, health-focused events such as the 5K “Outrun the Sun Race Against Melanoma,” and most recently through automated sunscreen dispensers at use at the State Little League Tournaments held in Plainfield. The “Miracles for Melanoma” social media presence on Facebook has reached global audiences with their message and mission. The Community Foundation is proud to partner with Beth in continuing the fight against skin cancer inspired by her niece. Call HCCF today to support the causes YOU care about!