PHILADELPHIA – (May 22, 2014) – The Wistar Institute is proud to announce that Allan “Bud” Selig, the commissioner of Major League Baseball, is the 2014 recipient of Wistar’s President’s Award.
The President’s Award recognizes a public figure who has been personally touched by cancer, and who advocates for improvements in cancer education and research. Selig is an outspoken melanoma cancer survivor who uses the ballpark as his platform from which to advocate for melanoma awareness, the deadliest form of skin cancer.
In 2004, Selig was diagnosed with a Level 4 melanoma, at the age of 70, when a skin legion was discovered as part of a routine yearly examination. The skin legion proved to be a melanoma and was removed from his forehead. Selig was given a definitive clear bill of health after further testing showed it had not spread beyond the skin. This life-changing event would propel him into a second calling as a cancer ambassador.
Selig began his career in baseball as the owner of the Milwaukee Brewers before becoming Major League Baseball acting commissioner in 1992 and elected commissioner in 1998. He has overseen many innovations during his tenure as commissioner, including the introduction of wild card teams, interleague play, a stricter performance-enhancing drug testing policy, and the use of instant replay.
In 2008, Selig became a crusader for cancer awareness by garnering the support of 30 MLB owners to pledge millions of dollars to cancer research. Today, Selig and his wife Suzanne have helped raise tens of millions of dollars for cancer research through Stand Up To Cancer’s Innovative Research Grant, and are responsible for MLB’s continued support for cancer research. He also launched Play Sun Smart, a summer sun safety initiative that involves players and coaches in educating fans about skin cancer prevention and detection.
Melanoma is the deadliest, most aggressive form of skin cancer. While surgical treatment of early-stage melanoma leads to 90 percent cure rates, advanced melanoma is notoriously resistant to chemotherapy and has a tendency to metastasize, or spread, throughout the body. According to the World Health Organization, cases of the disease continue to rise internationally, which has helped the Wistar Institute spur research into new therapies.
The Wistar Institute President’s Award was established in 2004 to honor a public figure who has directly confronted the challenge of cancer and become an advocate both in the public and private sectors for the continued and accelerated support of cancer research.
Previous honorees of The Wistar Institute’s President’s Award include U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter, General H. Norman Schwarzkopf, ABC News correspondent Sam Donaldson, “Good Morning America” co-anchor Robin Roberts, and fashion designer Carmen Marc Valvo.
Editor’s Note: Selig will receive The Wistar Institute President’s Award Wednesday, March 28 at a 12:30 p.m. luncheon in the Diamond Club at Citizens Bank Park. For more information or to cover the event, contact Darien Sutton at 215-898-3988 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Wistar Institute is an international leader in biomedical research with special expertise in cancer research and vaccine development. Founded in 1892 as the first independent nonprofit biomedical research institute in the country, Wistar has long held the prestigious Cancer Center designation from the National Cancer Institute. The Institute works actively to ensure that research advances move from the laboratory to the clinic as quickly as possible. The Wistar Institute: Today’s Discoveries – Tomorrow’s Cures. On the Web at www.wistar.org.