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The one hundred honoree: Shonda Schilling

Donor Story

The one hundred honoree: Shonda Schilling

Mass General Giving

The founding president of the SHADE® Foundation of America is Shonda Schilling, a melanoma survivor and the wife of recently retired Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling. The foundation’s mission is to eradicate melanoma by educating children and the community in the prevention and detection of skin cancer.

Like many people, Shonda enjoyed having a good tan. But in 2001, while she and her family were living in Phoenix, Ariz., she was diagnosed with Stage II malignant melanoma.

With clear skies and mild temperatures year-round, Arizona’s weather is conducive to an outdoors lifestyle — and overexposure to harmful UV rays. Arizona has the highest rate of melanoma in the U.S. Yet in 2001, Shonda found that no program was educating state residents on the dangers of this disease.

Sondra established the SHADE Foundation to publicize melanoma’s risks and preventive measures and to promote sun safety. She vigorously advocated for legislation that made the Environmental Protection Agency’s SunWise curriculum mandatory in public schools statewide.