SunSmart 5K Run/Walk for Melanoma Awareness Draws Hundreds of People
More than 200 participants turned out for the third annual SunSmart Sprint 5K Run/Walk for Melanoma Awareness on Saturday, May 1. Runners and walkers gathered at Crandon Park on Key Biscayne for the 7 a.m. race, which raised an estimated $8,000 for the Department of Dermatology and Cutaneous Surgery to research and develop more treatment options for skin cancer patients.
The early morning event was led by Lawrence Schachner, M.D., Harvey Blank Professor and chairman of dermatology and cutaneous surgery, and James Grichnik, M.D., Ph.D., professor of dermatology and cutaneous surgery and director of the Melanoma Program at the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center. After welcoming everyone, they reminded the crowd about the reason for the event — raising awareness of the warning signs of melanoma and the importance of regular checkups.
Among the runners was Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., senior vice president for medical affairs and dean of the Miller School. He crossed the finish line in 22:54, winning in his age group. It’s the third year he has run the event, which has personal meaning for him since his father died of melanoma. “I know the importance of getting regular screenings,” Dr. Goldschmidt told the crowd.
The overall winner also ran for personal reasons. Manny Huerta was there with his mother, who is being treated for melanoma at Jackson Memorial Hospital. The 26-year-old Huerta is on the U.S. Triathlon team and finished the 3.1-mile race in 16:01. He took the stage and told the crowd how melanoma runs in his family and his mother’s case was first spotted during a routine exam.
Free skin cancer screenings were offered following the race, along with a light breakfast. Sebastian the Ibis even ran the race, posing for pictures with other early risers.