The Melanoma Awareness of the Desert is 501(c)3 non-profit created by William Lavin in 2008. After participating in a variety of community service projects as a high school student, William wanted to create one of his own that would focus on issues facing his local Coachella Valley community: the skin cancer epidemic and the lack of education surrounding it in the school system. MAP’s mission is to increase public awareness of safe sun habits and skin cancer by presenting, promoting, and organizing events to improve the lives of the Coachella Valley residents. Young students from across the Coachella Valley participate in a meaningful community service project that integrates assisting students of the Coachella Valley as well as the community at large. Throughout the school year, well-trained MAP volunteers from local high schools across the Coachella Valley visit local middle schools, high schools and other interested organization events to
give a 50-minute presentation on how to detect skin cancer and the importance of safe sun habits. To date, MAP has educated over 22,000 Coachella Valley residents and visited over 20 middle schools and high schools including Saint Theresa School, Xavier High School, Indio
High School, and Shadow Ridge High School. Another major aspect of MAP is our annual free skin cancer screening clinic. Every May for Melanoma Awareness Month, MAP mobilizes community members such as dermatologists, nurses, students, skin cancer survivors and those in need across to the Coachella Valley to host a free skin cancer screening clinic targeted for community members without health insurance or those would not be able to afford a doctor’s
visit.

MAP’s mission is to increase public awareness of safe sun habits and skin cancer by presenting, promoting, and organizing events to improve the lives of the Coachella Valley residents. Young students from across the Coachella Valley participate in a meaningful community service project that integrates assisting the poor of the Coachella Valley as well as the community at large. Throughout the school year, well-trained MAP volunteers from local high schools across the Coachella Valley visit local middle schools, high schools and other interested organizations to
give a 50-minute presentation on how to detect skin cancer and the importance of safe sun habits. To date, MAP has educated over 22,000 Coachella Valley residents and visited over 20 middle schools and high schools including Saint Theresa School, Xavier High School, Indio
High School, and Shadow Ridge High School. Another major aspect of MAP is our annual free skin cancer screening clinic. Every May for Melanoma Awareness Month, MAP mobilizes community members such as dermatologists, nurses, students, skin cancer survivors and those in need across to the Coachella Valley to host a free skin cancer screening clinic targeted for community members without health insurance or those would not be able to afford a doctor’s
visit.

Goals

  • To educate middle school and high school students about skin cancer and the early detection of melanoma.
  • To teach students self-screening for melanoma.
  • To educate students on the harmful rays the sun emits and the importance of wearing sunscreen.
  • To educate students about safe sun behavior and the dangers of overexposure to the sun.
  • To offer an annual free melanoma screening clinic to the community.
  • To provide information about melanoma through cancer survivors.