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THE JOHN WAYNE CANCER FOUNDATION DONATES $118,000 TO CHOC FOR NATIONAL MELANOMA AWARENESS PROJECT
May 08, 2007

With a recent $118,000 donation from the John Wayne Cancer Foundation, the Children's Hospital of Orange County (CHOC) Cancer Institute will partner with the National Melanoma Awareness Project started by two UC Irvine medical students in 2003. Under the direction of Dr. Leonard Sender, medical director of the CHOC Cancer Institute, a full-time community health program manager will focus on expanding the program and increasing education and prevention efforts in the fight against skin cancer, which kills one person every hour in the nation.

Ethan Wayne, the youngest son of John Wayne, presented the donation to Dr. Sender during the Official John Wayne Centennial Celebration, a highlighted feature of the 8th Annual Newport Beach Film Festival (April 19 - 29, 2007). Of the donation, Ethan says, “When it comes to cancer prevention, awareness education is the best place to start. Especially considering the number of kids involved in outdoor action sports here in Orange County, I’m confident this program will be a great success at CHOC.”

The National Melanoma Awareness Project, whose slogan is "Spot a Spot, Save a Life!", aims to educate students and their teachers in grades 6-12 about the sun's effects on skin, skin protection, and skin cancers with an emphasis on early detection of melanoma. The project seeks to leave students with an interest in teaching their friends and provides them with an opportunity to enter a poster contest, whereby winning entries are replicated and posted throughout the community - helping increase melanoma awareness.

The incidence of melanoma is rising at epidemic rates and it is estimated that one in 50 people in the United States will be affected with the disease by 2010. Melanoma is associated with sun exposure, of which 80 percent occurs before the age of 18. This cancer affects people of all ages, and is the most prevalent type of cancer among people ages 20 - 29. Melanoma is the number one cancer killer of women in that age group. It is estimated that increased public awareness and early detection could have prevented 95 percent of all melanoma deaths.

About John Wayne Cancer Foundation:

To honor the memory of John Wayne and his courageous battle against lung and stomach cancer, his family created the John Wayne Cancer Foundation (JWCF) to bring courage, strength and grit to the fight against cancer. Since its founding in 1985, the JWCF has supported awareness programs, education programs and support groups, and is aligned with like-minded groups and non-profits that advance the fight against cancer, such as the Lance Armstrong Foundation. JWCF has also been committed to groundbreaking cancer research and education.

About CHOC Children's: Named one of the best children’s hospitals by U.S. News & World Report (2013-2014) and a 2013 Leapfrog Top Hospital, CHOC Children's is exclusively committed to the health and well-being of children through clinical expertise, advocacy, outreach and research that brings advanced treatment to pediatric patients. Affiliated with the University of California, Irvine, CHOC’s regional healthcare network includes two state-of-the-art hospitals in Orange and Mission Viejo, several primary and specialty care clinics, a pediatric residency program, and four centers of excellence - The CHOC Children’s Heart, Neuroscience, Orthopaedic and Hyundai Cancer Institutes.

CHOC earned the Gold Level CAPE Award from the California Council of Excellence, the only children’s hospital in California to ever earn this distinction, and was awarded Magnet designation, the highest honor bestowed to hospitals for nursing excellence.  Recognized for extraordinary commitment to high-quality critical care standards, CHOC’s Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) is the first in the United States to earn the Pediatric Beacon Award for Critical Care Excellence.

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Media Contact:
Denise Almazan, Director of Public Relations
phone: (714) 509-8680
email: pr@chocchildrens.org

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