On Friday 17th of November thousands of New Zealanders will be going ‘spotty’ to raise awareness of melanoma –a disease that affects so many people in this country every year. “We want to get people in the community thinking about melanoma and checking their skin for ‘spots’ or signs that could save lives” says Melanoma NZ Event Manager, Megan Rees
Who: People from around the country are encouraged to wear spots to school or work for the day. So far participants range from pre-schoolers and Auckland Council workers through to Pilates instructors and graphic designers.
What: Participants wear anything spotty – sock’s, hats, hair ties, pants, t-shirts, gloves, ties, tights, dress, shirt, earrings. From head to toe or just an accessory. A gold coin donation for all ‘Go Spotty’ participants is appreciated to support Melanoma NZ’s ongoing work to prevent avoidable deaths.
Where: Schools, offices, playgroups, hospitals, retail shops, cafes….everywhere.
Why: New Zealand has the highest melanoma incidence rate in the world. Every year over 300 New Zealanders die from melanoma and there are 4000 new diagnoses. These are shocking statistics for a cancer that is largely preventable. More people die of melanoma than on NZ roads. It is known that with more awareness, better prevention and earlier detection, fewer kiwis will die from this mainly avoidable disease.
“I shared a SunSmart presentation with the whole school yesterday and we discussed Go Spotty Day. It was heart-warming this morning to walk into a class of 5yr olds and see them independently applying sunblock and putting on their sunglasses and hat before going out to play at 8.45am!” said Deputy Principal, Jo Thorburn from Upper Harbour Primary School. Jo Thorburn has been personally affected by melanoma as her mother passed away earlier this year from this disease. She knows the importance of prevention and early detection.
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