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US Lacrosse Joins With Claire Marie Foundation To Lower Melanoma Rates In Young Lacrosse Players

SPARKS, Md. (WJZ) — US Lacrosse has entered into 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.

Rocky Wagonhurst is the father of Claire Wagonhurst, who died of melanoma in 2014.

"We are just thrilled, it really is a true partnership, our family has been a lacrosse family here in Baltimore since we moved from California in 1995," Wagonhurst said.

Melanoma is the second most common form of cancer in young people between the ages of 10 and 19-years-old, and the most common cancer for people between 20 and 30-years-old.

"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 U.S. Lacrosse.

Outdoor athletes are at an increased risk for skin cancer and melanoma due to extended sun exposure.

"The idea of bringing this to everyone's awareness right now is so important because you don't realize how skin cancer can affect young people," said Barbie Hargrave, a lacrosse parent.

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.

"Get screened, it's almost 100 percent preventable and you don't have to go through what my family has or thousands of other families who had no idea that this was even possible," Wagonhurst said.

The Claire Marie Foundation was established in 2014 in memory of 17-year-old Claire Wagonhurst, a member of U.S. Lacrosse.

Claire died of melanoma in October 2014. She was in her senior year at Notre Dame Prep.

US Lacrosse is a non-profit organization and is the national governing body of lacrosse and the home of the nation's fastest-growing team sport-- located in Baltimore County in Sparks, Md.

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