Your votes needed to help Sunderland skin cancer support group

MelanomaMe joint founders Elaine Taylor, left, and Kerry Rafferty.
MelanomaMe joint founders Elaine Taylor, left, and Kerry Rafferty.

A skin cancer support group is seeking public help as it attempts to secure vital funds to continue its work.

MelanomaMe, based in Washington, is through to the second round of the Aviva Community Fund awards in which winners can receive up to £25,000.

Any sum would help the group continue offering home visits and holistic therapies while also bringing patients together.

It has already helped more than 200 melanoma battlers and their families since it was founded 18 months ago.

A public vote is currently taking place to decide which entries will eventually be vetted by a fund judging panel.

Kerry Rafferty, from Washington, who founded the group with Elaine Taylor after her own battle with the illness, said: "We have been overwhelmed by the support we have had so far and hope as many people as possible will vote for us."

Also read: 'A bad haircut may have saved my life' - says Sunderland skin cancer battler
"This is the first time we have taken part in these awards and the money would be a valuable help."

Melanoma is the fifth most common cancer in the United Kingdom with around 13,500 new cases diagnosed each year.

But it is also among the more avoidable strains with MelanomaMe's work aimed at prevention as well providing counselling to patients and their families.

Its team of 10 trained staff offer advice to businesses and schools throughout the region.

Votes can be made online by Tuesday, November 20, by logging on to www.avivacommunityfund.co.uk/voting/campaign/getinvolved
*MelanomaMe is based at 15 Lowthian Terrace, Columbia, Washington, NE38 7BA, and can be contacted on (0191) 4174500.

More details can be found via www.melanoma-me.org.uk, by searching MelanomaMe on Facebook and on Twitter via @MelanomaMe17.