Top chef focused on the ‘recipe for life’

Press Release – Melanoma New Zealand

27 February 2015
For immediate release
Top chef focused on the ‘recipe for life’

Josh Emett, a Michelin star winner, judge of TV One’s MasterChef, co-owner of Queenstown restaurants Madam Woo and Rata and Food Director at Auckland’s Ostro, knows the importance of keeping his skin from getting cooked in the searing New Zealand sun.

The Kiwi chef has been working hard to encourage New Zealanders to be more vigilant in the sun and more conscious of their skin ever since he lost his father to melanoma four years ago.

“By the time the doctors found the melanoma on my father it was too late,” Josh says. “It had spread through his body and there wasn’t much they could do. It just shows you how careful you have to be.”

Josh is now working as an ambassador for Melanoma New Zealand, alongside former Silver Fern netballer Adine Wilson, IRONMAN Cameron Brown, and Healthy Thinking Institute Medical Director Dr Tom Mulholland.

“Through melanoma, my life and my family’s life were changed forever,” Josh says. “He was an amazing father and to see him get taken with something like melanoma was wrong. I don’t want to see anyone else in New Zealand going through that.”

Just as he would in the kitchen, Josh follows a recipe in order to be sensible in the sun, and makes sure he is aware of any changes to his skin.

“You’ve got to make sure you’re wearing sunscreen and also encouraging your kids, your family and your friends to do it as well,” Josh says. “Kiwis love the outdoors and we base our whole lives around that but we have to be careful in the sun.

“Check your skin regularly and if you notice anything different get it seen by a doctor immediately, as it could save your life.”

Surgical oncologist Dr Richard Martin, who also serves on the board of Melanoma New Zealand, knows first-hand the importance of getting checked early, especially given New Zealand’s high incidence of the disease.

“New Zealand has the highest rate of melanoma in the world, with more than 4,500 new cases diagnosed each year,” says Dr Martin. “Early detection is essential to cure it.”

CEO of Melanoma New Zealand Linda Flay also urges Kiwis to be vigilant and to make a point of paying close attention to their skin.

“Routine and regular checking is vital,” says Mrs Flay. “That’s how we can detect change and catch melanomas early.”

Beginning on March 1, Melanoma New Zealand is holding its annual Melanoma March awareness campaign. Over the course of the month, the organisation will host various fundraising initiatives with the goal of preventing avoidable deaths from melanoma in New Zealand through promoting awareness and early detection.

“In Melanoma March, grab the opportunity to help us in our mission,” says Dr Mike Ashby, Chairman of Melanoma New Zealand.

To make a donation to Melanoma New Zealand, please visit www.melanoma.org.nz. Or text MELANOMA to 5464

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Key melanoma facts
• More than 4,500 new cases of melanoma are diagnosed in New Zealand each year – the highest incidence rate in the world.
• It is the fourth most commonly diagnosed cancer among men and women.
• Melanoma killed more New Zealanders (354) than car accidents (252) in 2011.
• The risk of getting melanoma increases with age – 70 per cent of cases occur in people over 50.
• It is the leading cancer registration in men aged 25-44 and second for women of the same age group.
• Routine self-checking is a vital step to detecting melanoma early.
• If it is detected early and it’s thinly-spread, melanoma can easily be treated with surgery. If left to spread it can be fatal.

About Melanoma New Zealand
Melanoma New Zealand (formerly known as the Melanoma Foundation of New Zealand) is a not-for-profit organisation supported by 11 trustees with a common purpose: to prevent avoidable deaths from melanoma in New Zealand and alleviate anxiety in those affected by it.

Look out for the Melanoma Foundation at a number of events this year:
• February 28 – March 1: Bug Jam ‘15
• March 7: Kelloggs Nutri-Grain 2015 IRONMAN New Zealand, Taupo
• March 14-21: Ski-nZ: jet ski ride from Napier to Tauranga
• March 27: ‘Go Spotty Day’ in NZ schools and workplaces

melanoma.org.nz // facebook.com/melanomaFoundationNZ // @Melanoma_NZ

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