Ramping up the fight against skin cancer

Photo by Rachel Tack.

TJ Duffy

The word is beginning to spread that all SaddleBrooke residents and guests are invited to join the cause of defeating skin cancer in its various forms. The third annual Skin Cancer Research Fundraiser was held on Saturday, November 17 at the SaddleBrooke Tennis Center and although tennis was a prominent theme of the day, the primary purpose was to raise funds for the University of Arizona Foundation/Skin Cancer Institute (UAF/SCI). Denise Spartonos, Community Outreach Coordinator for SCI, explained, “Our mission is to prevent and cure skin cancer; in the last several years there have been some great advances in the treatment of melanoma, which is the more serious form of skin cancer and can be deadly.” “Patients are living longer and with higher quality lives.” She went on to say, “Every dollar raised stays at the Cancer Center and is used for research, patient care and community outreach.”

There are many cancer causes that vie for our time, energy and resources; however, skin cancer is the most prevalent. Here are the latest statistics:

* More people are diagnosed with skin cancer each year in the U.S. than all other cancers combined.

* One in five Americans will develop skin cancer by the age of 70.

* Actinic keratosis is the most common pre-cancer; it affects more than 58 million Americans.

Silent auction scores three-fourths of total funds raised!

Dozens of local businesses along with SB residents and STC members donated a wide variety of valuable goods and services including: restaurant vouchers and gift cards; TSO tickets; hairstyling; auto-maintenance; therapeutic massage; golf cart accessories and maintenance; tennis gear, lessons and racquet stringing; Mexican Beach Vacation vouchers; Western National Parks Assoc. membership and books; wine baskets; Visa gift cards; Gaslight Music hall tickets; Mexican pottery; Senior Village Membership; UA Men’s Basketball autographed by Head Coach Sean Miller and the 2018-2019 team; plus many more!

UA Wildcat Women’s and Men’s Tennis Teams made another memorable visit to the Tennis Center. After brief comments by new Women’s Head Coach Ryan Stotland, Men’s Assistant Coach Maciek Sykut and player introductions by the student-athletes, the Wildcats took to courts five and six for a spirited and thoroughly entertaining warmup.

Next, the Wildcats joined sixteen STC members on the courts for an hour of doubles. SB resident Terry Irwin said it best, “Please let me convey what an extraordinary opportunity it was to participate in the Skin Cancer Research Fundraiser at SaddleBrooke. On a picture perfect day, the U of A men and women put on a dazzling display of their tennis skills. It was wonderful to be around such respectful and talented players and to actually be on the court with them will be a life-long memory that will be cherished.”

Missed the event, but want to join the fight? Your donations are still being accepted at the SB Tennis Center office (8:00 a.m. to noon Monday-Friday and 8:00 to 11:00 a.m. Saturday) through December 24. Questions? Call 825-0255. v