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AIM at Melanoma Celebrating 20 Year Anniversary

by Ohio Digital News

Twenty years ago, the AIM at Melanoma Foundation was established by a determined woman with a relentless drive to find the cure for melanoma while improving the lives of those it affects.

Recognizing the urgent need for research after losing her 26-year-old daughter, Charlie Guild, to melanoma, Valerie Guild, the late founder of AIM at Melanoma, took it upon herself to make a difference. With dedication and passion, Val established an organization that would become a beacon of hope for patients with melanoma and their loved ones.

For the past two decades, AIM has been unwaveringly committed to finding a cure for melanoma as part of its mission. One of the significant contributions made by the foundation is the establishment of the International Melanoma Tissue Bank Consortium (IMTBC). This consortium consists of multiple sites and researchers who collect fresh frozen primary melanoma tissues, hailed as the “holy grail of resources” for researchers. These tissues provide invaluable insights into the nature and progression of melanoma, with the goal of finding more effective treatments and, ultimately, the cure for melanoma. The IMTBC has amassed nearly 200 melanoma tissues, along with the corresponding patient data (anonymized) and blood samples—an extremely valuable combination of information for researchers.

In addition to the IMTBC, AIM established the world’s leading think tank for melanoma, the International Melanoma Working Group (IMWG), comprising 25 of the world’s leading melanoma researchers who gather twice yearly and are joined by select industry partners to communicate about and collaborate on their work. By facilitating research partnerships and resources on such an international scale, AIM at Melanoma is driving scientific advancements that will ultimately help end melanoma.

In addition to our scientific contributions, AIM at Melanoma has provided crucial support to people affected by this devastating disease. Our website is the most comprehensive source of information on melanoma available to the general public. We offer symposiums, webinars, podcasts, and other educational opportunities throughout the year. 

The final piece of AIM’s mission is to advocate for patients and their families. AIM has been at the forefront of indoor tanning and oral parity legislation, and we are tapped as the patient advocate on numerous boards and committees for physicians, government, and industry partners.

AIM at Melanoma’s advocacy extends beyond national boundaries. We organize and fund a network of international patient advocates who exchange knowledge, share best practices, and improve global outcomes in the fight against melanoma. 

The year 2004 marked a turning point in the fight against melanoma. Through one woman’s unwavering commitment to finding a cure after the loss of her daughter, AIM at Melanoma has made remarkable progress in advancing research efforts and improving patient outcomes in the fight against melanoma. While there is still much work to be done, AIM at Melanoma inspires hope and brings us closer to a future without this deadly disease.

Source: AIM at Melanoma Foundation

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