Healthy Living

What is the Melanoma Research Foundation?

What is the Melanoma Research Foundation?

Melanoma Research Foundation (MRF) is a charitable institution devoted to melanoma treatment, research, and prevention. It was founded in 1996 by Diana Ashby, who also happened to suffer from recurrent melanoma. Despite her dying within 8 months after founding the MRF, the foundation continued to grow and now is one of the best-known institutions supporting melanoma research and advocacy.

Since MRF helps patients with melanoma, they are a good support group to contact if you have or know someone suffering from melanoma.

Melanoma is a very serious type of skin cancer. Unlike other skin cancers that grow and spread slowly, melanoma is aggressive and causes death if left untreated. Apart from skin, this form of cancer can develop in any part of body including mouth, feet, nails, eyes, scalp, etc. Having any serious and aggressive cancer gives anyone a hard time, and many families are not equipped with skills and knowledge in helping someone with cancer. Getting support from institutions like Melanoma Research Foundation can be advantageous.

The good news is that early-stage melanoma is curable, which is why organizations like Melanoma Research Foundation focus much effort on prevention and early intervention. The foundation provides funding for education and research conducted towards the prevention, causes and cure of the skin cancer and melanoma. It is very important to cure this condition as it is reported to kill one American per hour, making a round figure of around 10,000 in a year. Other reports suggest that around one million people today are living with melanoma.

Mission of Melanoma Research Foundation

Diana Ashby had the following main missions when she founded this organization:

  • Supporting the medical researchers conducted for determination of treatments and cure of melanoma.
  • Educating physicians and patients regarding the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of melanoma.
  • Acting as an advocate for the melanoma community in order to make people aware about melanoma and the necessity for finding its cure.

What do they do?

According to their website, the Melanoma Research Foundation does the following activities:

  • Supporting medical research on melanoma
  • Help melanoma patients search for and receive financial assistance
  • Educating patients, caregivers, and health professionals on melanoma
  • Raise awareness for melanoma through various activities
  • Create partnerships with businesses and other institutions

The Melanoma Research Foundation is dedicated in the advancement of a wide scientific goal across the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention, i.e. science of melanoma. The research program at the foundation consists of various components, which include a peer-reviewed and competitive research grant program, a science team, special initiatives for research, and partners of the foundation which include scientists, advocates, etc.

The special research initiatives and science team at the Melanoma Research Foundation is composed of:

  • Translational Science efforts, which would also include a repository of virtual special. This domain is operating across various consortium sites that are dedicated towards assurance of quality specimens for the research questions of next generation.
  • CURE OM (Community United for Research and Education of Ocular Melanoma) that specifically focuses on the ocular melanoma (melanoma that occurs around the areas or inside the eyes).
  • MRFBC (The Melanoma Research Foundation Breakthrough Consortium) which is a network comprising of 16 centers that have collaborated on the translational and clinical research and are doing excel in melanoma.

The other partners of Melanoma Research Foundation include the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the National Cancer Institute, Congress, the Department of Defense, professional societies, advocates, scientists and other non-profit organizations and industries that are working in a coordinated fashion so that an environment can be created for the conduction of best research, and provide greater and better options for the patients and their family members.

Is this foundation trustworthy?

It is always good to check the integrity of any charitable institution. According to a large independent charity watchdog Charity Navigator, on June 2016 Melanoma Research Foundation received 3 out of 4 stars regarding fiscal spending and an almost perfect score regarding accountability and transparency. According to given records, MRF spends more than 85% of its funds in programs and services it gives while only around 6% is spent on administrative expenses.

In comparison, there are cancer charity foundations that spend as little as 3% of their funds on actual charities.It has been reported that the Melanoma Research Foundation has funded around $12 million dollars in the grants of their research programs. Anyone who is willing to make a donation towards the foundation can gift this donation in honor of a loved one’s memory or just to make oneself feel good by knowing they are helping someone fighting for life.

What would I get from Melanoma Research Foundation?

If you have been diagnosed with melanoma, it is highly recommended to get in touch with Melanoma Research Foundation. Here are some of the benefits you may get:

  • Get in touch with people who have or have successfully undergone treatment for support and coping
  • Have ready access to a nurse for pressing questions
  • Have access to professional resources for treatment and prevention of melanoma
  • Provide financial assistance
  • In case you want to memorialize someone who passed away from melanoma, MRF provides such services

Even if you do not have melanoma, you can still join MRF by being a volunteer or participate in fundraising activities. Furthermore, the foundation also gives research grants as a way to support medical research on melanoma.

Once a patient with melanoma gets in touch with the MRF, he/she can find a large community where many other patients share their stories of how they recovered and what problems they faced. It is very motivational to learn that there are many other people who have fight the condition and learned to grow and not let their condition suppress their strength. Such motivation can help any patient to recover fast and stay determined throughout their treatment. One should definitely become a member of this community to stay reassured and also share his/her story with others so that people can provide motivational assurance to the patient.

In case you want to get started, call Melanoma Research Foundation at 800-673-1290 or email them at