U.S. Rep. Charlie Dent (PA-15) welcomed baseball legend Curt Schilling and his wife Shonda to the Capitol today, to help raise awareness about the dangers of skin cancer/melanoma. Shonda Schilling, a Melanoma survivor, is founder of the SHADE Foundation of America, which is dedicated to educating young people about the deadly disease. Congressman Dent and his wife Pamela – who lost her father to melanoma in 2005 – are also strong advocates of melanoma awareness

“The philanthropic and public awareness work by Curt and his wife Shonda has touched the lives of innumerable people,” Congressman Dent said. “When I tell people I have something in common with Curt Schilling, I wish it was a devastating 95-mile-an-hour fastball. Sadly, it’s that both of our families, like too many families around the country, have been impacted by melanoma.”

“This is a disease that takes the life of one person every hour,” Congressman Dent continued. “Nearly 60,000 Americans are diagnosed each year.”

Shonda Schilling is a melanoma survivor whose personal story made national headlines while Curt helped lead the Arizona Diamondbacks to the 2001 World Championship. In 2002, Shonda accepted the Melanoma Monday national spokeswoman role with the American Academy of Dermatology. The overwhelming response from fellow melanoma survivors resulted in Shonda creating The Shade Foundation of America in September 2002.

Her goal was to change society’s attitude towards sun exposure. The Shade Foundation has grown from Arizona to the East Coast, and has led numerous education efforts warning of the dangers of skin cancer and teaching young people about sun-safety.

Curt Schilling is a one-time Philadelphia Phillie who in recent years led the Boston Red Sox to two World Championships. Congressman Dent met Curt during Congress’ hearings on steroid policy in Major League Baseball in 2005, where Schilling was a volunteer witness to speak out against steroid use.