SPARKS, Md. -- US Lacrosse has entered a new agreement with the Claire Marie Foundation to work together in reducing the diagnosis of melanoma among adolescents and young adults within the lacrosse community.

The two organizations will focus on providing greater awareness and education about the disease, as well as prevention programs. The Claire Marie Foundation is the only non-profit in the United States to focus exclusively on the prevention of melanoma in adolescents and young adults.

Melanoma is the second most common form of cancer in young people between the ages of 10-19, and the most common cancer for people between the ages 20-30, with outdoor athletes at an increased risk for skin cancer and melanoma due to extended sun exposure.

“We are pleased to be collaborating with the Claire Marie Foundation on this important health initiative that could potentially impact so many members of the lacrosse community,” said Bruce Griffin, director of the Center for Sport Science at US Lacrosse. “We think this is an important message to help further educate lacrosse players, coaches, officials and parents about the risks of extended sun exposure and taking the necessary precautions.”

“We are thrilled to have the strength of US Lacrosse behind us in our mission to prevent the development of melanoma in adolescents and young adults. As a lacrosse family, we know well the power of the US Lacrosse community and the commitment of this organization to the health and fitness of its members,” said Marianne Banister of the Claire Marie Foundation. “By working together, we can keep young athletes safe while playing in the sun and reduce the chance that they, like our Claire, will have to give up the sport they love to treat a melanoma diagnosis they don’t deserve.”

With the average NCAA outdoor athlete spending at least four hours per day, ten months a year training or competing outdoors, sun safety measures are critically important. Research has shown that sweating increases the skin’s sensitivity to ultraviolet radiation and may increase the risk of sunburn and sun damage.

Playing sun safe includes consistent application of liquid sunscreen, wearing UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) 50 clothing that blocks damaging rays from reaching the skin, and getting annual screenings by a licensed dermatologist.

About the Claire Marie Foundation 
Established in 2014 in memory of 17-year-old Claire Wagonhurst, a member of US Lacrosse, the Claire Marie Foundation is the only 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in the U.S. to focus exclusively on preventing melanoma in adolescents and young adults through awareness, education and free skin screenings. CMF strives to shine a light on all the causes of melanoma in young people including risks related to hormonal changes, genetics and impaired immune systems. CMF dermatologists have screened nearly one thousand young people between 8-29 years of age since 2016 and identified 13% of those who have needed biopsies for suspicion of melanoma. Get more information at https://clairemariefoundation.org/

About US Lacrosse 
US Lacrosse, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation, is the national governing body of lacrosse and the home of the nation’s fastest-growing team sport. US Lacrosse, which coordinates all activities of the U.S. National Teams Program, has nearly 450,000 members across the country. Through responsive and effective leadership, US Lacrosse provides programs and services to inspire participation while protecting the integrity of the sport.