Doctors found a mole on the back of Rehoboth Beach resident Kent McCullough in 2006. He passed away 18 months later, leaving behind a wife and two young children.
Kim McCullough, Kent’s widow, said her husband worked to spread awareness of the disease after he was diagnosed, and she has continued to spread awareness in the Cape Region.
Every hour of every day, someone dies in the United States from melanoma, and the risk of developing the disease has increased from one in 1,500 to one in 50 in the last 70 years, according to the Melanoma Research Foundation.
The eighth annual KENTucky Derby will take place from 4 to 8 p.m., Saturday, May 4, at Northbeach on McKinley Avenue in Dewey Beach. The event will feature Derby-themed cuisine, live music and a silent auction to benefit melanoma research.
The event raises about $50,000 each year for melanoma research, McCullough said.
Dewey Beach Mayor Diane Hanson proclaimed May Melanoma Awareness month, in honor of the annual event.
“We live in an area where we like the beach; we like the sun,” Hanson said. “The sun’s our friend up to a point.”
Hanson encouraged residents to use sunscreen. “I have never known so many people with melanoma until the last few years, and I could name at least 10 property owners that have had surgery for melanoma this year alone.”
Tickets for the KENTucky Derby are $50 per person and can be purchased at the door or at mela-no-more.org. All proceeds will be donated to the Melanoma Research Foundation.