Hundreds expected for Miles Against Melanoma 5K in South Park

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PITTSBURGH - Hundreds of runners and walkers from western Pennsylvania are expected to converge on South Park for the Miles Against Melanoma 5K set for Saturday, June 16, 2012 at 9 a.m.

The 3.1 mile walk/run is the last of four events hosted by Miles Against Melanoma PA in 2012, the national non-profit organization's inaugural year in Pittsburgh.

"The amount of support we've received in just our first year is wonderful," said Miles Against Melanoma PA co-director Jessica Rogowicz, a two-time melanoma survivor.  "We're so grateful for the generous support shown by local businesses and the entire Pittsburgh community."

The organization's mission is to fight melanoma by increasing awareness, supporting patients, survivors and families and funding important research.  Each year, about 70,000 people are diagnosed with melanoma according to the American Academy of Dermatology.  Melanoma causes 5,800 deaths annually among men and 3,000 among women, but when caught early it is almost 100% curable.  Melanoma is the fastest growing cancer in the United States and affects all ages and all skin types, regardless of whether or not you have ever used a tanning bed.

Proceeds from all Miles Against Melanoma PA events benefit melanoma awareness and research through the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute Melanoma Center, under the direction of Dr. John Kirkwood.  A portion of the proceeds also benefits pancreatic cancer research at UPCI.

Registration for the 5K is $25 in advance, or $30 on the day of the race.  Children under 12 are $5.  Team registration is also available.  Each participant will receive a tote bag filled with items donated by event sponsors, including sunscreen, along with a moisture wicking t-shirt. The family-friendly event will include a broadcast by Froggy Radio, refreshments provided by Panera Bread, FUZE beverages, Auntie Anne's pretzels, Samantha Stone Catering , Smart Cookie Catering by Melissa, and Bruster's ice cream, along with prizes, giveaways and face painting by PaintOh! Pittsburgh.

Local nurses will be on hand providing free skin checks along with tips for melanoma prevention.

Event sponsors include: WPXI, GNC, Songer Steel Services, Mt. Lebanon Dermatology, Bella Diamond, Brooks Diamonds, The Pittsburgh Pirates, Comcast, Pittsburgh Trophy Company, Matz Chiropractic, Great Lakes Behavioral Research Institute and Ross Staffing Solutions.

For more information or to register or volunteer visit milesagainstmelanoma5kpa.org.