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Hunter Melanoma Foundation celebrates major milestone

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From its humble beginnings in 1986, the Hunter Melanoma Foundation (HMF) recently celebrated 35 years of being a registered charity.

And, it was a milestone worth acknowledging.

The organisation’s mission remains just as steadfast today as it continues to work towards a region where no one has to suffer from the insidious disease.

HMF is committed to raise awareness and education, support research and help those affected by melanoma in the community.

Executive officer Claudia Tolhurst was delighted to welcome skin cancer advocate, and media personality, Deborah Hutton as a special guest to the commemorative luncheon.

“The power of her story was felt throughout the room,” she said.

“To hear from someone as recognisable as Deb about her first-hand experience with skin cancer and reiterating the importance of early detection and protection was invaluable to our local community.

“We are extremely grateful for the support she’s provided.”

Over the past 35 years, HMF has supported research, education and advocacy efforts to prevent and detect melanoma in the Hunter region.

It’s also provided physical and emotional assistance to patients and their families.

“None of this however would’ve been possible without the support of our local community,” Ms Tolhurst said.

“Through donations, memberships, bequests, business grants and fundraising efforts, the HMF has continued to be On the Spot in the Hunter since 1986.”

During the summer, the Hunter Melanoma Foundation conducted its Spot Check campaign, offering beachgoers a free skin check.

The 2022/23 initiative resulted in 401 tests, 113 of which were suspicious spots and 19 suspected melanomas.

“We are enormously proud of the life-saving work we do within the local community,” Ms Tolhurst said.

“While we still have a lot more work to do, it has been very nostalgic looking back on the past 35 years and how far we have come.”

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