The University of California, San Diego will host the 18th annual Bruce Gorder 5K Walk for Melanoma Sept. 24 on the university campus. The event brings the community together to raise funds for melanoma research at the UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center, as well as build awareness for prevention and early detection of the disease.
The National Cancer Institute estimates that in 2011, Americans will experience more than 70,000 new cases of melanoma, with nearly 8,800 deaths from the disease. The annual 5K event honors Bruce Gorder, who lost his fight against malignant melanoma in 1992 at the young age of 37. Shortly after Bruce’s death, his father, Charles Gorder, helped organize a 5K walk to support melanoma research in honor of his late son. Since that time, the event has raised more than $1.1 million for research at the UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center, the region’s only Comprehensive Cancer Center designated by the National Cancer Center Institute.
“Melanoma is the most dangerous form of skin cancer,” said Gregory Daniels, MD, PhD, head of the clinical melanoma research program at the Moores Cancer Center. “Private support from the Gorder 5K Walk will help us continue our research efforts focused on the effective treatment and prevention of this deadly cancer.”
This year, Kristen Pascall will be participating in the Gorder 5K Walk in honor of her late husband Rick, who was a firefighter with the San Miguel Fire Station. After battling melanoma for two years, he passed away in 2010 shortly after attending last year’s Gorder 5K Walk.
“Rick was a very proud man in a quiet way,” said Kristen of her husband, who fought in the October 2007 wildfires. “He hurt his back, and it got progressively worse. After an MRI, they determined that his entire spine was riddled with cancer.”
From left, Dr. Gregory Daniels with Kristen and Rick Pascall at last year’s Gorder 5K Walk
Early detection is of key importance to the successful treatment of melanoma. Dermatologists from the local community will be on hand at the 5K walk to provide professional skin cancer screenings. Event participants and members of the community are encouraged to remember the “ABCDE’s” of melanoma and consult a dermatologist when a mole begins to take on the following appearance:
- Asymmetry – One half doesn’t match the other half.
- Border – The edges are ragged, blotched or blurred.
- Color – The pigmentation is not uniform. Shades of tan, brown and black are present. Dashes of red, white and blue add to the mottled appearance.
- Diameter – The width is greater than six millimeters (about the size of a pencil eraser). Any growth of a mole should be of concern.
- Elevation/Evolution – A mole that has different elevations/contours or any mole that has changed (evolution) should be checked by a qualified dermatologist as soon as the change is detected.
Attendees of all ages and fitness levels are invited to join in the scenic, family-oriented 5K through the UC San Diego campus to benefit melanoma research. Interactive stations along the walk will invite participants to affirm their knowledge and pledge to be continuously aware of melanoma and the importance of early detection. Channel 10News anchor and cancer survivor Bill Griffith will return to serve as master of ceremonies for the sixth year in a row.
Event sponsors include Sophie and Arthur Brody Foundation, JP Morgan Chase, The Fish Market, Walter J. and Betty C. Zable Foundation; Audrey Geisel/Dr. Seuss Foundation; Environmental Development, LLC; Grossmont Shopping Center; CCRT Properties/Grossmont Trolley; Drew Ford; The Preuss Foundation, Inc; Jimbo’s; and the Green Butterfly Florist.
Registration begins at 8:00 a.m. at the Moores Cancer Center located at 3855 Health Sciences Drive on the UC San Diego east campus. The walk will begin immediately following Griffith’s welcome at 9 a.m. Participants will receive a free event t-shirt while supplies last, and a prize drawing entry for giveaways. The registration fee is $20 for students with ID, $30 for all others. To register, please visit https://act.ucsd.edu/gorder-walk or call (858) 534-6797.
Jade Griffin, 858-822-5309, or firstname.lastname@example.org