FDNY Fire Academy and Mollie’s Fund Work Together for Skin Cancer Prevention

NEW York City Fire Fighters and Mollie’s Fund collaborate on skin cancer prevention

On July 29th, the FDNY Fire Academy and Mollie’s Fund will initiate a program to bring skin cancer awareness to incoming and incumbent fire fighters. “We want to help those who help others,” said Jack Biggane, President of the Mollie Biggane Melanoma Foundation. Chief of the Fire Academy Frank Leeb added, “The FDNY Fire Academy is all about making sure our fire fighters are the best trained and we believe skin cancer prevention is an important self-help tool. We want our people to understand their risk and take proactive steps to mitigate this risk. The sunscreen dispensers that Mollie’s Fund has donated to the Academy will serve as a reminder that sunscreen use prevents skin cancer.”  

During the event, scheduled to be held at the Academy, Cara Biggane, a NYC public school teacher, will share the tragic story of her 20 year-old sister’s diagnosis and passing. The Fire Academy’s staff will also learn from Dr. Elizabeth Hale, MD, NYU Associate Professor of Dermatology, about skin cancer and the necessity of prevention. Their presentations will be incorporated into a learning module available for training and then accessible on social media.

In addition to the six donated sunscreen units at the Randall’s Island Academy, Mollie’s Fund is also providing dispensers and sunscreen to the training facilities at: FDNY EMS Training Academy Fort Totten Park, FDNY Rockaway Tactical and FDNY Staten Island Tactical.

The FDNY is the largest municipal fire department in the United States, serving more than 8 million people. The Fire Academy on Randall’s Island provides aspiring fire fighters with the skills and education they need to respond not just to fires, but also to a number of other emergencies calls.    

For more than 20 years, Mollie’s Fund has worked to increase awareness for melanoma prevention, provide information and services on skin cancer detection, and support melanoma patients through education of the latest treatments. For more information, visit www.molliesfund.org

CONTACT: John Biggane, bigganej@optonline.net

SOURCE Mollie Biggane Melanoma Foundation

Solar Distancing PSA

Mollie’s Fund to Launch Solar Distancing PSA

Solar distancing PSA social media campaign is scheduled to begin March 8th capturing spring breakers.  See attached press release. Second wave scheduled for a May release, melanoma awareness month.

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Intergalactic animated spot proves that no amount of distance from the sun can prevent melanoma

New York, March 15, 2021 – While “social distancing” may prevent us from catching the coronavirus, “Solar Distancing,” a new animated spot launched by FCB Health Network company AREA 23 on behalf of Mollie’s Fund, shows that no amount of distance from the sun can keep us safe from melanoma. “Solar Distancing” is AREA 23 and Mollie’s Fund’s third joint crusade against melanoma and sheds light on the dangers of overexposure to the sun, while educating viewers about the importance of using sunscreen. 

“Solar Distancing” journeys through beautiful yet dangerous interstellar worlds where the sun is the enemy and the earth is the desired refuge. Sunburned lobsters line the cosmos, while strange solar systems, deadly meteor showers and bottomless wormholes try to harm them in polarizing ways. The lobsters finally reach the earth, but soon discover there is no escaping the sun’s ferocity without the aid of sunscreen.

“We wanted to use the same ‘distancing’ COVID-19 language to really get the message across that no matter how far you are from the sun, you can’t prevent skin cancer unless you wear sunscreen,” said Tim Hawkey, Chief Creative Officer of AREA 23. “You can stand nearly 500 billion feet away from the sun, but without sunscreen you won’t protect yourself from the dangers of melanoma.”

According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, more people are diagnosed with skin cancer every year in the U.S. than all other cancers combined. The American Cancer Society cited melanoma as the deadliest of all skin cancers, claiming more than 10,000 lives annually.  

“In these challenging times, AREA 23 has managed to create an explosive campaign to educate the public about skin cancer,” said Jack Biggane, co-founder of Mollie’s Fund. “Thanks to our partnership with AREA 23, we have been able to influence millions and we hope our newest effort influences many more.”


AREA 23, an FCB Health Network company

  • Tim Hawkey – Chief Creative Officer
  • Jason Graff – EVP, Group Creative Director
  • David Adler  – SVP, Group Creative Director
  • Roberta Totaro – Art Supervisor 
  • Angela Williams – Copy Supervisor
  • Anna Lopez – VP, Senior Producer
  • Christine Anisko- Broadcast Producer
  • Keith Haitkins- – Broadcast Producer
  • Miona Mui – VP, Integrated Production
  • Andrea Hayob – VP, Engagement Director
  • Chetina Muteba –VP, Strategic Planning

Solve(d), an FCB Health Network company

  • Becca Mathew- Paid Social Associate
  • Sam Kim- Search Marketing Specialist
  • Martin Lande- Director, Paid Social

Nice Shoes

  • Harv Glazer – Executive Producer
  • Charis Mound – Producer
  • Matt Greenwood- Creative Director/Designer/Animator
  • Ninaad Kulkarni – Sun Animation
  • Adrian Gluvakovich – VFX Assistant


About Mollie’s Fund

The Mollie Biggane Melanoma Foundation (501c) was created in 2000 in her memory after her death at the age of twenty. The mission of Mollie’s Fund is to increase awareness for melanoma prevention, provide information and services on skin cancer detection, and support melanoma patients through education on the latest treatments. By partnering with leading melanoma institutions, their educational symposiums have supported melanoma patients and their families with current information regarding new therapies and drug trials. As a leader in the war against skin cancer and melanoma, the foundation has created and produced educational materials for middle, high school, and college students. The lesson plans created by health teachers of the NY State Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance are aligned with National Health Educational Guidelines. These resources, including a short film and skills-based written materials, have been distributed to health teachers and school nurses throughout the United States and Canada.

Mollie’s Fund has produced public service announcements for radio, television, national publications, billboards, trains, and taxis in NYC and other major cities, as well as across the NYC subway system. Apple and Android users can download Mollie’s Fund interactive guide, which provides users facts about the evolution of skin cancer and melanoma. This free app illustrates a self-exam, exhibits mole changes, and reinforces behaviors to protect against skin cancer. Mollie’s Fund has also initiated skin cancer and melanoma education programs for hospital nurses and received the honor of being selected the Presidential Charity of the NY State Society of Physician Assistants due to their continued work with the PA community. Mollie’s Fund strongly supports the U.S. Surgeon General’s 2014 Call to Action to Prevent Skin Cancer. Please visit www.molliesfund.org for more information.

About FCB Health Network

FCB Health Network is one of the world’s most awarded communications networks, focused on creating game-changing marketing solutions for consumers, patients and healthcare professionals. With specialized units covering a wide range of wellness practices, FCB Health Network employs more than 2,700 people across an extensive global network, delivering multichannel capabilities that include DTC and HCP communications, professional education, branding, scientific services, strategic planning and media services. Its integrated agency offering includes AREA 23, AREA 23 ON HUDSON, BX – Brand Experience Design Group, FCB Health Amsterdam, FCB Health Brasil, FCB Health Canada, FCB Health Energy Milan, FCB Health Frankfurt, FCB Health Hampshire, FCB Health LL Conseil Paris, FCB Health London, FCB Health Madrid, FCB Health New York, FCB Health Reaktör Istanbul, FCB Health Zurich, FCBCURE, Mosaic Group, Neon, ProHealth, Solve(d), Studio Rx, Trio and YuzuYello. Cannes Lions, the world’s preeminent annual creative awards festival, named the Network’s AREA 23 unit “Healthcare Agency of the Year” in 2017, and named FCB Health Network “Healthcare Network of the Year” in 2018. Medical Marketing & Media named an FCB Health Network company “Agency of the Year” in 2007, 2010, 2015 and 2017. In 2019, Med Ad News and the Clio Health Awards named FCB Health Network “Network of the Year.” In nine of the past 10 years, an FCB Health Network company has received the “Most Creative Agency” honor at Med Ad News’ Manny Awards, while “Agency of the Year” was awarded in 2006, 2009, 2015, 2017, 2018 and 2020.

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Charity Navigator - 100 out of 100 score logo seal

Mollie’s Fund Earns Top Score with Charity Navigator

The Mollie Biggane Melanoma Foundation was awarded the top score of 100 out of a possible 100 with Charity Navigator.

Founded in 2001, Charity Navigator has become the nation’s largest and most-utilized evaluator of charities. In our quest to help donors, our team of professional analysts has examined tens of thousands of non-profit financial documents. We’ve used this knowledge to develop an unbiased, objective, numbers-based rating system to assess over 9,000 of America’s best-known and some lesser known, but worthy, charities.

Learn more about Charity Navigator

Doctor filling a syringe

New Ways to Stop the Spread of Melanoma May Be on the Horizon

Researchers from Queen Mary University of London examined how melanoma cells create tumors at secondary sites in the body. What they found could help in the development of treatments to stop the spread of melanoma.

Woman on sun bed on the beach reading a book. People in background walking into sea.

Melanoma Risk Not As Obvious As Some Think

QIMR Berghofer research has found almost a quarter of the Queensland population underestimates their risk of developing potentially deadly melanomas—with those at highest risk also the worst at predicting their chances of getting the skin cancers.

The researchers examined data from nearly 42,000 Queenslanders who participated in the QIMR Berghofer-led QSkin study. The research findings have been published today in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology

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Study Reveals Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders with Melanoma Have Higher Mortality Rates

According to a study published Aug. 25, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, or APIs, who are diagnosed with melanoma have a higher mortality rate than their white counterparts but are diagnosed less frequently.

The study was conducted by several researchers, including UC Berkeley School of Public Health alumni Yixuan James Zheng and Clarice Ho. They found that APIs are generally diagnosed at later stages of melanoma, which is the deadliest form of skin cancer…

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The Garden City Historical Society honors Mollie’s Fund and the Biggane family

As part of the Historical Society’s 150th anniversary, the Bigganes were celebrated for bringing an awareness and better level of skin cancer health to all residents of Garden City, the region, and across the United States.

AIM At Melanoma And The Mollie Biggane Melanoma Foundation Offer New Education Brochure

Although the rates of ocular melanoma are much lower than those of other types of melanoma this cancer of the eye is often fatal in 50% of cases. Download our free brochure to learn the risk factors, symptoms, and how you can protect yourself.

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Mollie Biggane Melanoma Foundation Collaborates to Present “Skin Cancer Awareness” Seminars Series

We joined forces with NYU Langone, NYU Winthrop and Academic Center, and NYC Health and Hospitals to present three seminars on skin cancer risk factors, the latest in melanoma surgery and treatment options, and personal stories of survival.


Eastern LI Hospital Foundation’s annual Golf Classic raises $134K, honors health care heroes

As the seriousness of the pandemic began to set in locally back in March, Jack and Maggie Biggane began to reconsider accepting a recent honor bestowed on their foundation.

The part-time Southold residents had been selected as the honorees for the 28th annual Eastern Long Island Hospital Foundation’s Golf Classic. Through the Mollie Biggane Melanoma Foundation — which the couple started in memory of their daughter, who died at the age of 20 in 2000 — they had worked in recent years to bring awareness and skin cancer prevention programs to Stony Brook Eastern Long Island Hospital and across the North Fork.

Mr. Biggane said he and his wife were taking a walk one day and noticing all the signs popping up to thank health care heroes on the front lines battling COVID-19.

“We thought, wait a minute, these guys are the real heroes,” Mr. Biggane said in an interview. “This is the issue at hand today.”

The couple decided that their recognition could wait. For 2020, the real honorees should be the health care heroes, they said. They requested to “take a mulligan” and be honored at a future date.

Last week, the golf classic at North Fork Country Club raised $134,000 to benefit the Greenport hospital. Approximately 165 golfers participated — including Mr. Biggane, who’s a board member at the country club — bringing in a record number of sponsorships and surpassing the 2019 total raised, according to Stony Brook ELIH.

The golf outing had originally been scheduled for June, but was postponed due to the pandemic.

“This year’s record number of sponsorships is just one example of the immense generosity our community has shown this hospital all year long,” ELIH Foundation chairman Paul Romanelli said in a statement. “We thank you for your continued support, especially during this most challenging year.”

The Oct. 5 golf classic featured a “special takeaway dinner package” in lieu of the traditional formal program and sit-down dinner. Golfers were able to participate in silent and community auctions and raffles and the winners were personally called after the event.

“It was great,” Mr. Biggane said. “They did a terrific job. The food was great. The golf course was in great shape and it was well attended.”

The link between the Mollie Biggane Melanoma Foundation and Stony Brook ELIH expanded in 2018 when the foundation helped incorporate a new skin cancer prevention program into the hospital’s services, so nurses examine the skin of all patients as they enter the hospital to specifically evaluate for skin lesions.

Ms. Biggane said Victoria Siegel, an advisory board member and nursing professor at Molloy College, helped facilitate the initiative. 

“We went and met with the administrators, the president of the hospital, the head of nursing, and they all thought it was a great idea,” Ms. Biggane said. “Through the years we’ve supported Nursing Education Day and any other outreach programs they might have.”

The Bigganes met with the Southold Town Board in 2018 to discuss a plan for installing sunscreen dispensers at town parks and beaches. At the time, Southold Supervisor Scott Russell called it “one of the better ideas I’ve heard in all my years here.”

Mr. Biggane said there about a dozen dispensers now installed and the town assists with maintenance.

“Because so much of this end of Long Island is a summer community and there’s boating, skin cancer prevention really should front and center on people’s minds when they come out here,” Ms. Biggane said. “Many times people forget about sunscreen.”

They hope in the future, possibly next summer if it’s safe with the pandemic, the foundation can partner with Stony Brook ELIH to host a free skin cancer screening event. They’ve done similar events in Nassau County, near where they live full-time in Garden City. They’re also working on a public service campaign titled “Solar Distancing,” a play on the current social distancing guidelines to protect against COVID-19.

“It’s something to alert the public that they have to be concerned about,” Ms. Biggane said.

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The most preventable cause of skin cancer is overexposure to ultraviolet light, either from the sun or artificial sources like tanning beds, the CDC says.