Perhaps You Didn’t Know…

DSC_0997Melanoma is the second most common form of cancer for adolescents and young adults between the ages of 15 and 29 years old.

Often melanoma develops as a result of hormonal changes during puberty. Melanoma on a child can look as innocent as a wart. Melanoma can develop in areas of the body not exposed to the sun. Melanoma is one of the most deadly and aggressive forms of cancer and yet few people realize it can claim the lives of our young, often in their teen years, just as they are about to embark on the brightest of futures. Early detection and treatment of the illness is key to longevity and yet it often is overlooked as even some in the medical community assume these patients are “too young” to develop the disease. Ignorance is claiming lives.

The Claire Marie Foundation was established in 2014 following the death of Claire Marie Wagonhurst, a sparkling 17 year old who lost a long battle with adolescent melanoma as a result of changes her body went through during puberty. The foundation supports an arts scholarship in her name at Notre Dame Preparatory School. The Foundation is led by Marianne Banister and her husband Rocky Wagonhurst, Claire’s parents.
Claire, a senior at Notre Dame Preparatory, fell to adolescent melanoma at the age of 17 just two days after learning she had been accepted to college. But Claire is far from a statistic. Her strength and courage offers inspiration for change that comes only from awareness and education.

Our mission is to raise awareness, clarity and hope in the fight against adolescent melanoma while celebrating the joy, color and beauty Claire embraced every day

Research takes years, but financial support can save lives now with Claire Marie Foundation awareness programs focused on early detection and treatment. We hope to allow other families an escape from the heartache of losing a child to this horrendous disease.

The Claire Marie Foundation is fiscally sponsored by Strong City Baltimore and donations made to benefit the Claire Marie Foundation are tax deductible under SCB’s 501(c)(3) status. All donations made to benefit the foundation are tax deductible. The federal ID number for SCB is 52-0897806.