MRF Announces 2010 Research Grants

In its Spring 2010 Newsletter, the Melanoma Research Foundation announced the recipients of its annual research grants, including:

Dr. SubbaRao Madhunapantula – Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine (Hershey, PA)
Targeting Kinases to Treat Melanomas
Award in memory of Doug Gillespie, Karl J. Nelson, Linda K. Snyder, George Madzia, Nancy Fox, Scarlet Lawrence Akins, and Kent McCullough

El Sol de Tampico

The newspaper El Sol de Tampico ran this story on us on Sept. 26, 2008, the day before we arrived in the city of Tampico, Mexico.

Madison County Herald and Marshall Ramsey

The other day, we had the pleasure of speaking by phone to Leah Square of the Madison County Herald, based just outside of the state capitol of Jackson, Mississippi. Her resulting story appeared in today’s edition of the paper. Thank you to Leah, and also thanks go out to freelance photographer Will Smith (no, not THAT Will Smith), who provided the photos included with the story.

You can read the story online at here (no longer available).

Another big thank you goes to Marshall Ramsey, editorial cartoonist for the Clarion-Ledger of Jackson, and two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist, and is nationally syndicated by the Copley News Service. Marshall also happens to be a melanoma survivor; he stopped by when we were visiting the Madison, MS Sherwin-Williams store to offer his support. Thanks, Marshall, and thanks for writing about us here on your blog.

The Plain Dealer

Thanks to Zachary Lewis of The Plain Dealer of Cleveland for talking to us and telling our story. You can read the online version here, or open this downloadable version (requires Adobe Reader program).

Thanks to Main Street Cupcakes

Thank you to Main Street Cupcakes of Hudson, Ohio for mentioning us on their blog!

The Medina County Gazette

Thank you to The Gazette newspaper of Medina County for mentioning us in today’s feature article on bicycling!

WKYC TV Channel 3

Thanks to Paul Thomas of WKYC TV Channel 3 for coming down to Peninsula to talk about our trip and put together a story that appeared on the evening news. You can read about it and view the report online at their web site here:

Pi Lambda Phi News

Thanks to my brothers at the Pi Lambda Phi national office for helping to spread the word about our cause on their web site. You can see their version of the article here.

Pi Lambda Phi crest

Cleveland Hiking Club – Newsteps August 2008

A special Thank You to the Cleveland Hiking Club for including us in the August 2008 issue of their monthly member newsletter, Newsteps:

Kevin Madzia, a resident of Peninsula and a 3-year CHC member, along with his friend and co-worker Ray Query, who lives with his wife in Lakewood, will be starting an 8-month-long bicycle trip this month. They will depart from Cleveland on August 24, 2008, during a kick-off party held in conjunction with the Walk+Roll Cleveland event at Rockefeller Park. They hope to complete their trip by April of 2009 in Tierra del Fuego, Argentina, at the southern tip of South America.

The two cyclists are doing the trip to raise awareness of melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer, and hope to raise $20,000 for The Melanoma Research Foundation. Kevin’s father passed away from melanoma in 2002. All funds raised through the event are tax-deductible, and go directly to support the Melanoma Research Foundation’s mission of Research, Education, and Advocacy.

More details can be found at their web site at Online donations can be made on the web site, or donations may also be mailed to: Kevin Madzia, PO Box 546, Adena, OH 43901.

Sportscaster tells of his melanoma battle

From the July 8, 2008 edition of the Plain Dealer:


Matt Underwood, 40, is a play-by-play announcer for the Cleveland Indians telecasts on SportsTime Ohio. He was diagnosed with melanoma in October 2005. Here’s his story, as told to Plain Dealer reporter Angela Townsend.

I always looked at skin cancer as something that wasn’t really cancer. If you found that you had it, it was something you had taken care of and it was no big deal. But I got a kind of wake-up call about how dangerous they can be, how frequently diagnosed they have been in the past five to 10 years, and that if you don’t catch it in the early stages, it could be deadly serious.

I’m 50 percent Greek and have fairly tolerant Mediterranean skin. I never was the kind of person that really worried about skin cancer. But that doesn’t mean anything. Just because your skin doesn’t burn doesn’t mean you can’t get skin cancer.

My case is also something where people who are in the service industry — a hair stylist, massage therapist, etc. — take it as their response to check somebody out.

I’m not going to look at my scalp very often. You’re not going to turn around the mirror and check out your backside a lot.

I’ve been going to my barber, Steve Averill, since 1993. He’s right downtown on Lakeside Avenue. He was the one that saw something on my scalp and said, "You better have this checked out." A dermatologist removed it, and I didn’t think there was anything to worry about. I went back two weeks later to get the stitches out, and he referred me to (an oncologist) at MetroHealth Medical Center. They do something called "excise the margins," where they put you under (with anesthesia) and remove the cells in the surrounding area. I had the surgery in early December (2005). I was in the early stages, stage 2.

I go to the dermatologist twice a year and my oncologist twice a year. I’m seeing somebody every four months. I’ve had at least four other suspicious moles removed, and they all came back normal. If you’re diagnosed, especially in the early stages, the chance of the cancer returning at the same spot is (rare). And if your tests come back negative, they keep lowering the bar (of the chance of a recurrence) every time.

I’m the only one in the family who has had melanoma.

My wife is extremely cautious. She slathers up the kids (two sons, ages 6 and 9) with SPF when we go to the pool in the summertime. She’s got them trained to the point that they ask for it before they go out.

I wouldn’t say that I have become 100 percent diligent, but I don’t go out in the sun and bake all day at the beach. If I’m going to play golf, I’m wearing a hat. On TV, I can’t wear a hat. But I’m not going to be out there four, six hours at a time. I take it in very small doses.

I think about the fans in the bleachers every day who take their shirts off, and they’re bright red by the end of the game.

It’s nice to know that my story resonates with people. I just hope — if one person hears about it, and it causes them to make an appointment — that’s great.