Teen melanoma threat real and devastating: Mum recognised for sharing the word
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Maura Luxford knows the devastating consequences of teen melanoma, having watched her daughter die of the disease at just 19.
Ever since, she's been on a mission to raise money to support research for a cure, and to educate adolescents about the dangers of the disease.
Last night, she picked up the Social Entrepreneur of the Year award for her efforts, with the School for Social Entrepreneurs recognising her work that's included Ride4acure horse and bike treks across the country, a speaking tour that's discussed the issue with 22,000 young people, and her plans to launch the Mela-What? e-learning resource for high schools in March 2013.
"The shock of losing Hannah made me want to know more about adolescent melanoma and how to prevent it – it was also Hannah's wish while living with melanoma that we not only raise money to support research to find a cure but also educate other young people to look after their skin," said Luxford in a statement.
"I was overwhelmed to discover that melanoma is the most prevalent cancer diagnosed in young people and as 80% of skin cell damage happens before 18 it is vital to get the message out. With no targeted melanoma prevention strategy in high schools I realised I had to do something."
Luxford recently undertook a nine-month incubator program with the School for Social Entrepreneurs to support the rollout of Mela-What – a learning module that provides information on UV radiation in a youth-friendly way.
She received the award as part of the School for Social Entrepreneurs' Sydney graduation ceremony.
Check out Mela-What?