Fresh off a fourth consecutive win at the 2016 49er World Championships, Blair Tuke is putting his weight behind Melanoma New Zealand as it heads into Melanoma March, the annual push to raise awareness.
As a new ambassador for Melanoma New Zealand, Tuke has joined a chorus of prominent New Zealanders who are calling for more discussion around the deadly disease.
"Melanoma claims the lives of more than 350 New Zealanders each year, so we need to have some honest conversations around the issue this March," Tuke says. "We've got to make sure we're taking sun protection measures seriously, and taking the time to regularly check our skin, while encouraging our family and friends to do the same.
"We Kiwis love the outdoors and being out on the water, so we have to be super careful and vigilant when it comes to our skin. Check it regularly and if you notice anything different, get it seen by a doctor immediately as it could save your life."
Tuke has joined ranks with notable chef Josh Emett, former Silver Fern netballer Adine Wilson, Ironman Cameron Brown and Healthy Thinking Institute Medical Director Dr Tom Mulholland, who are all ambassadors for Melanoma New Zealand.
CEO of Melanoma New Zealand Linda Flay is also urging Kiwis to stay alert and aware.
"Each year in March we take a stand with Melanoma March to remind people of the prevalence of melanoma and the need to avoid complacency," Mrs Flay says. "Early detection is the key - that's how we can catch melanoma before it's too late."
Over the course of March, the organisation will hold a number of fundraising initiatives to support its goal of preventing avoidable deaths from melanoma in New Zealand through promoting awareness and early detection. These include an epic, week-long jet-ski ride from Opononi to Leigh, an exclusive garden party event with Josh Emett at Lake Karapiro, and Go Spotty Day on Thursday 24 March.
"We require your help in our mission," says Mrs Flay. "Please give generously by making a donation and help save lives."
To make a donation to Melanoma New Zealand, please visit www.melanoma.org.nz