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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

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Fundraiser for melanoma features mystical magic

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David Cornfield and his son Noah

Into the Mystic, a fundraiser to kick off Melanoma Awareness Month, will feature food, drinks and entertainment that are magical and whimsical.

The event hosted by the David Cornfield Melanoma Fund (DCMF) will be held May 1 at Six Degrees in midtown Toronto.

The DCMF was established in 2007 in memory of David Cornfield, who lost his battle to melanoma at age 32. The fund is devoted to saving lives by promoting awareness of this potentially deadly disease.

Its award-winning YouTube video, Dear 16-year-old Me, is an example of the organization’s efforts.

“Dear 16-year-old Me was made to create awareness about the disease and, in particular, prevention targeted at young people,” said Sari Cornfield, David’s wife and one of the founding members of the DCMF. 


“The people in the video are all real people whose lives have been touched by melanoma, and it is a real and honest look at the devastation of the disease. Melanoma is not a disease that there is a lot known about and there was a real lack of education surrounding it.”

Melanoma is the most common cancer in the 25 to 29 age group and the second-most common in the 15 to 29 age group. Reducing exposure to UV radiation can significantly decrease the risk, and the prognosis for melanoma patients is excellent if the disease is detected in its earliest stage.

The DCMF has focused its attention on these facts, using funds raised through their events to educate others about the disease.

This year, the organization ran a winter awareness campaign at Blue Mountain and made a donation to Princess Margaret Hospital for melanoma research. Cornfield said the funds raised at the May 1 event will help support the hospital’s further research into melanoma treatments and trials.

When speaking of her husband, Cornfield said, “David was an amazing individual whose life inspired those who knew him to keep his legacy alive through the DCMF. He was a role model and mentor to many and was a positive and influential force in the lives of his family, friends and colleagues.”

She said David’s “enthusiasm for life, selflessness and generosity will always be remembered. His integrity, passion and desire to make a difference in the lives of others are the essence of the fund.”

David was diagnosed with melanoma at age 29. He was in remission for two years, and he and his wife had their son, Noah, during that period. Just after Noah’s first birthday, David’s melanoma came back and spread quickly. He died shortly afterward.

“During the last few months of David’s life, we had the opportunity to have many conversations about the future. David was very clear about his wishes to help make a difference in the fight against melanoma,” Cornfield said.

To learn more about the DCMF, visit www.dcmf.ca.

Tickets to the upcoming event are $100 and can be purchased on the DCMF website or by calling 647-393-DCMF (3263).

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