The administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency joined anti-skin cancer activist Shonda Schilling and her husband, Arizona Diamondbacks pitching ace Curt Schilling, Wednesday to launch a partnership that aims to teach every school in the state about safety in the sun.
Schilling’s SHADE foundation will work with the EPA and the Arizona Department of Health Services to implement a cancer prevention curriculum in state schools.
“In the U.S., one person every hour dies from melanoma,” said EPA Administrator Christie Whitman, who visited Cherokee Elementary School in Paradise Valley to announce the partnership. “This is an extremely preventable disease, and yet, it is a disease that strikes so many people.”
Shonda Schilling, who fought skin cancer during the Diamondbacks’ 2001 World Series season, is the founder of the SHADE Foundation, a nonprofit group devoted to curbing skin cancer.
She talked to a group of children at the school about the importance of wearing sunscreen and hats and staying out of intense sunlight.
“You are going to be the leaders of this cause at Cherokee,” she said.
Children younger than 18 are most susceptible to rays that cause skin cancer,
and one in five will go on to develop it later in life.
The program will use an EPA-designed curriculum. The SHADE Foundation will donate shade structures, hats and sunscreen to participating schools. A structure has already been donated to Cherokee, where the Schillings’ two children attend school.