EAST LONGMEADOW, Mass. (WWLP) – The weather is getting warmer, and more people are spending time out in the sun. With that comes an increased risk for skin cancer. May is National Melanoma Month, and Rock 102 hosted the Music for Melanoma Radiothon.
Melanoma Monday began a month long campaign of raising awareness of the prevention, treatment and severity of melanoma – the deadliest form of skin cancer.
“Five years ago, I was diagnosed with stage 3 melanoma and then went into remission for about two years and then unfortunately it advanced and I ended up with stage 4 and we’re still battling it now,” said Rock 102 morning radio host, John O’Brien of Bax and O’Brien.
He has been very open about his battle with melanoma, but for him, it’s not enough to talk, and sometimes joke, about it. As part of National Melanoma Awareness Month, Rock 102 used the airwaves for a daylong radiothon they called “Music for Melanoma.” Money raised benefited Impact Melanoma, formerly the Melanoma Foundation of New England.
“Melanoma is extremely preventable and it’s curable if it’s detected early enough, so our purpose here today is to not only raise funds for this amazing organization, but to also remind people that it’s time to start wearing sunscreen, getting your skin checked, and paying attention to what’s going on with your body,” said Meghan Rothschild, spokeswoman for Impact Melanoma and melanoma survivor.
Starting at 6 in the morning on Monday, volunteers manned the phones, with the goal of raising $10,000 throughout the daylong event. Listeners could call in and pay for a song request. As of 8 in the morning, they already raised close to $4,000.
Rock 102 added an extra challenge for listeners. They could make a request for any song: Any song that was considered classic rock was $50. Any song of another genre was $75, and any song over 7 minutes long cost callers $100.
During one of those long songs (which was the result of a very generous donation), O’Brien told us how he’s personally experienced how money raised has helped researchers develop immunotherapy that’s helping his battle.
“This is said to be the thing that they were looking for and now they’re looking to see if they can use this for other forms of cancer as well and it’s very promising,” O’Brien told 22News.
22News Storm Team Meteorologist Brian Lapis helped out by answering phone calls at 10 in the morning.
The radiothon raised a total of $16,275 on Monday.