December 18th is DCMF’s toughest day. It’s the day that David Cornfield passed away in 2005. This year is especially difficult as it marks the 10 year anniversary of David’s death.
The loss of David changed us forever. David was, simply put, the very best. Words cannot express how much he is missed.
It was David’s personal wish that DCMF be created to 1) spread awareness of melanoma prevention and 2) support melanoma research.
Amidst their deep grief, our founding board members, comprised of David’s family, friends and colleagues formed DCMF in 2007. These dedicated board members continue to lead DCMF today.
10 years after David’s death, thanks to the generosity of our loyal donors and sponsors, we are very proud of what we have accomplished on David’s behalf:
- Dear 16 Year Old Me, 2011: awareness video
- Melanoma Base Camp, 2012: winter sun protection event
- Blue Jays, 2013, 2014, 2015: DCMF is hosted by the Blue Jays Play Sun Smart program
- David Cornfield Melanoma Fund Award, 2015: $100,000 endowed award at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, awarded annually to a PhD student excelling in melanoma research
- #newfamilyrule, 2015: melanoma prevention video for families
- Sun Smart Kids, 2015: melanoma prevention program distributing thousands of hats, magnets and information to kindergarten children and their families in the Toronto District School Board
As we remember David this month, we take stock of what we have achieved and strengthen our resolve to help everyone protect and check their skin to reduce their risk of melanoma. We have great momentum and are driven to achieve more in David’s name. We are extremely excited about what lays ahead for DCMF in 2016 and beyond.
By Danielle Paterson, Executive Director, David Cornfield Melanoma Fund
Throughout May and June, pre-school children are visiting their new schools for the first time in preparation for Kindergarten in September 2015. For 8,000 Toronto families, these visits include the chance to learn about sun protection through the David Cornfield Melanoma Fund’s (DCMF) latest initiative, Sun Smart Kids.
Since sun exposure and sunburn in childhood increases the risk of developing melanoma later in life, DCMF wants to empower families to protect themselves in the sun. Sun Smart Kids is DCMF’s sun protection awareness program for children and families. Sun Smart Kids is comprised of sun hats and magnets for children, and for parents, information about melanoma, the importance of sun protection and what steps families can take to remain protected in the sun.
We are delighted to partner with The Learning Partnership’s Welcome to Kindergarten Program to deliver Sun Smart Kids in the Toronto District School Board. The Welcome to Kindergarten program is a unique engagement strategy that brings parents, children, schools and community service agencies together to prepare children for a fun and successful first year in school.
Welcome to Kindergarten events are happy and momentous occasions where families are greeted by the Principal and staff and enjoy a series of hands-on activities in the classroom. At the end of the event, the children receive their own Welcome to Kindergarten bag. This bag includes our Sun Smart Kids hats, magnets and information sheets, and Welcome to Kindergarten books and learning tools to help children prepare for school over the summer months.
We have had the opportunity to see Sun Smart Kids in action. Principals and Learning Partnership staff have enthusiastically celebrated the DCMF/Learning Partnership collaboration, underlined the importance of sun protection directly to the children and parents, prominently displayed Sun Smart Kids materials and encouraged the children to become Sun Smart Kids. We’ll never forget the joy on the children’s faces when they reached into their ‘special bag’ to grab their Sun Smart Kids hat.
Thank you to our fantastic partners, The Learning Partnership and the Toronto District School Board, and to our generous suppliers KapGun Art, Karbon and Parade Creative.
We are looking forward to seeing our Sun Smart Kids across Toronto!