Pro Baseball Hall of Famer and Cancer Survivor Mike Schmidt Joins Merck, Jim Kelly and Leading Cancer Organizations To Expand Your Cancer Game Plan To Help More People Impacted by Cancer


September 19, 2017 6:00 am ET

Schmidt Provides His “Game Plan” for Living with Melanoma

Pro Football Hall of Famer Jim Kelly and Pro Baseball Hall of Famer Mike
Schmidt – two legendary athletes whose determination, faith and hard
work earned them a place in sports history – now have something else in
common: overcoming cancer. Earlier this year, Kelly shared his “game
plan” for tackling head and neck cancer to launch Your Cancer Game
an awareness campaign, from Merck (NYSE:MRK), known as MSD
outside the United States and Canada, focused on helping people with
cancer and their loved ones cope with their emotional, health and
communication needs. Now, in partnership with melanoma survivor Schmidt,
CancerCare and leading melanoma patient organizations, the
initiative is expanding to help those with melanoma map out their own
cancer “game plan.”

A melanoma diagnosis – particularly for someone with advanced or late
stage disease – can cause feelings of depression, anxiety or fear.
Schmidt, considered the greatest third baseman in baseball history,
spent 18 seasons in the Major Leagues racking up impressive stats and
accolades, but today believes melanoma is the biggest game-changer of
his life.

“Enduring Stage III melanoma not only gave me a greater appreciation for
the relationships in my life, but a renewed sense of purpose,” said
Schmidt. “One way I can give back is to help others find the support,
information and tools they need to make it through this journey. I was
fortunate that my game plan came together with the support of my family
and team of doctors, but I know others may need help taking action.”

By visiting
people can hear Schmidt’s journey with melanoma and his tips about
remaining positive, open communication and the importance of a healthy
lifestyle. Your Cancer Game Plan for melanoma is a collaboration
between Merck and CancerCare, and leading melanoma patient
organizations with more than 100 years of combined experience –
including AIM at Melanoma, the Melanoma Research Foundation, Melanoma
International Foundation and the Melanoma Research Alliance.

Understanding Melanoma

Melanoma is a skin cancer that begins in the melanocytes (cells that
produce melanin, the pigment responsible for skin color). The rates of
melanoma have been rising in the U.S. for the past 30 years. In 2017,
about 87,110 new melanomas will be diagnosed in the U.S. It’s normal for
people living with melanoma to feel worried, depressed, or anxious.
While some are affected more than others, everyone can benefit from help
and support.

“A cancer diagnosis can turn a person’s world upside down – both
physically and emotionally,” said Patricia Goldsmith, chief executive
officer of CancerCare. “That’s why it’s critical for people
living with melanoma to seek support. Whether it’s talking to a loved
one or a professional counselor, or by using resources like Your
Cancer Game Plan
and those offered through patient organizations to
help plan, guide and manage the difficult path ahead.”

To hear more about Your Cancer Game Plan, Schmidt’s story as well
as tips from CancerCare and other leading cancer advocates,
please join a one-hour online discussion on Thursday, Oct.19 at 11:00
a.m. EDT. Visit
to register.

About Your Cancer Game Plan

“We’re proud to partner with baseball great Mike Schmidt who began
advocating for sun prevention as part of his personal cancer journey,
and is now joining Merck and leaders in the oncology community to
provide others impacted by melanoma with Your Cancer Game Plan resources,”
said Jill DeSimone, senior vice president, Merck Oncology, U.S.

Your Cancer Game Plan is a resource for people with cancer and
their loved ones focused on the emotional, health and communication
challenges of living with cancer. The online Your Cancer Game Plan hub
provides unique content including communication tips, coping strategies,
and health and nutritional information, including healthy recipes, to
help those with cancer and their caregivers take an active role in
developing a “game plan” to support their journey. The initiative is
supported by Merck in partnership with CancerCare, Savor Health
and seven (7) cancer-specific organizations with more than 100 years of
combined experience. To learn more, visit

About Mike Schmidt

Mike Schmidt made his Major League Baseball debut in 1972, after
spending two seasons on the Philadelphia Phillies’ farm team. He played
for the Phillies for 18 seasons, and is often considered the greatest
third baseman to ever have played the sport. Schmidt was a twelve-time All-Star,
a three-time winner of the National

Valuable Player
award, and won the National League Gold
Glove Award
for third
ten times. Schmidt was elected to the Baseball
Hall of Fame
in 1995. As a professional athlete, Schmidt always felt
invincible, but facing a Stage III melanoma diagnosis really threw him a

In August 2013, Schmidt noticed a lesion on his hand that looked
suspicious. His dermatologist conducted a full examination and found a
mole on Schmidt’s back that he wanted to biopsy. The biopsy revealed
Stage III melanoma, which led to multiple surgeries, where Schmidt spent
months fighting for his life.

Now cancer-free, Schmidt advocates for sun prevention and has joined
Merck to help provide others battling melanoma with Your Cancer Game
tools and resources.

About CancerCare

Founded in 1944, CancerCare is the leading national organization
providing free, professional support services and information to help
people manage the emotional, practical and financial challenges of
cancer. Our comprehensive services include counseling and support groups
over the phone, online and in-person, educational workshops,
publications and financial and co-payment assistance. CancerCare services
are provided by oncology social workers and world-leading cancer experts.

About Our Melanoma Partners

AIM at Melanoma

AIM at Melanoma is the largest international melanoma foundation
globally engaged and locally invested in advancing the battle against
melanoma through innovative research, legislative reform, education, and
patient and caregiver support.

Melanoma International Foundation

Established in 2003, the Melanoma International Foundation (MIF) is a
non-profit organization created to provide the scientifically sound
guidance and support our founder could not find when she was diagnosed
with melanoma.

Melanoma Research Alliance

The Melanoma Research Alliance (MRA) is the largest private funder of
melanoma and pursues a mission to end suffering and death due to
melanoma by collaborating with all stakeholders to accelerate powerful
research, advance cures for all patients and prevent more melanomas.
Thanks to the generosity of MRA founders, Debra and Leon Black, 100% of
donations to MRA goes directly to supporting melanoma research. MRA has
committed more than $88 million in funding to advance melanoma research
and leveraged an additional $82 million in the fight against melanoma.
MRA funds projects in the areas of prevention, diagnosis and treatment.

Melanoma Research Foundation

The Melanoma Research Foundation (MRF) is the largest independent
organization devoted to melanoma. The MRF is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit
organization committed to advancing education, advocacy and medical
research in finding effective treatments and eventually a cure for
melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer.

Merck’s Focus on Cancer

Our goal is to translate breakthrough science into innovative oncology
medicines to help people with cancer worldwide. At Merck Oncology,
helping people fight cancer is our passion and supporting accessibility
to our cancer medicines is our commitment. Our focus is on pursuing
research in immuno-oncology and we are accelerating every step in the
journey – from lab to clinic – to potentially bring new hope to people
with cancer.

About Merck

For more than a century, Merck, a leading global biopharmaceutical
company known as MSD outside of the United States and Canada, has been
inventing for life, bringing forward medicines and vaccines for many of
the world’s most challenging diseases. Through our prescription
medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies and animal health products, we
work with customers and operate in more than 140 countries to deliver
innovative health solutions. We also demonstrate our commitment to
increasing access to health care through far-reaching policies, programs
and partnerships. Today, Merck continues to be at the forefront of
research to advance the prevention and treatment of diseases that
threaten people and communities around the world – including cancer,
cardio-metabolic diseases, emerging animal diseases, Alzheimer’s disease
and infectious diseases including HIV and Ebola. For more information,
and connect with us on Twitter,
and LinkedIn.

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Carmen de Gourville, 267-305-4195
Christiana Pascale, 212-257-6722

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