By Cody R. Barnett, MRA Director of Communications

Beyond protecting yourself through sun-safety and skin-checks—one of the best ways you can observe Melanoma Awareness Month is by raising funds to support melanoma research!

And if you want to advance cures for melanoma through research, there is no better partner than the Melanoma Research Alliance (MRA). MRA is not only the largest non-profit funder in the world for melanoma research, but the only funder where 100% of your donation goes directly to research thanks to the generosity of MRA founders who cover all administrative, fund-raising, and staffing expenses for MRA.

Over the past 10 years, MRA has invested $100 million—and leveraged over $90 million—to support 266 different research projects across 16 different countries. Our research has looked at 73 unique therapeutic approaches, and has touched all 11 new treatments approved by the FDA since our founding. MRA really is on the forefront of accelerating research and saving the lives of people touched by melanoma.

There are countless ways to raise funds to advance melanoma research, and we’ve made it all so easy for you to do so.

Run a marathon or mud run, volunteer in Haiti, dedicate your birthday or wedding, or share your own story about melanoma with friends and make the pitch. MRA’s partnership with CrowdRise makes it easy to create a fundraiser as a tribute or memorial for someone you love!

Case in point—after the side effects of his immunotherapy treatment for stage IV melanoma subsided, Brandon Barnea decided that in addition to getting back to his normal life he also wanted to give back to the people and community who had supported him. That’s why he decided to dedicate the annual Poker Run he organized in Annapolis, Maryland to raising awareness of both skin cancer and melanoma and fundraising for future melanoma research by supporting MRA.

“My wife and I thought this would be a great way to raise awareness of melanoma. MRA had been such a great source of information for us, and we are happy to give back,” he said. Not only did the event give Brandon a sense of closure, but in two years he also raised almost $17,000 for melanoma research using the easy-to use Melanoma Research Alliance Crowdrise platform!

You can create your own fundraiser just like Brandon in just a few minutes. If you need help, don’t worry, Crowdrise support staff are available to assist with anything from making your ask to customizing the look and feel of your page. 

If you don’t want to host your own event or campaign, but instead are interested in dedicating Your Birthday toward advancing melanoma research – consider Facebook. Facebook has made it very easy to create your very own fundraiser based on an event in your life such as a birthday, anniversary, or other milestone OR based on a post that you or MRA makes on the site.

Farrah Ferriell recently told her friends, through a Facebook post, that she didn’t want personal gifts this year—and instead would be raising money for a cure to melanoma. Her brother had recently passed away after a grueling, five-month battle against the disease at the too young age of 38. His melanoma had a rare NRAS mutation, which made it harder to treat. Her goal was to raise $410 for her 41st birthday. Instead, Farrah raised $1,340 through the generous contributions of her friends and family that will go directly toward melanoma research. 

“After losing my younger brother, I was sad and angry,” said Farrah. “I then imagined how I could help someone else reach their 40th birthday. I am so grateful for Melanoma Research Alliance and their contributions for a cure. I am confident I can help someone else reach their next birthday because of their work.”

Click here to start your own CrowdRise Campaign!

Click here to start your own Facebook fundraiser!

This article was originally published on April 24, 2018, by the Melanoma Research Alliance. It is republished with permission.