Meghan Rothschild: 27
Development and Marketing Manager, Food Bank of Western Mass.Melanoma, a common skin cancer, can kill quickly. Beating it gave Meghan Rothschild a new outlook on life — and a mission.
“I’m a stage 2 melanoma survivor,” she said. “I was diagnosed at age 20, in college, and basically, it was because of some poor decisions I made in my teenage years to be outside without sunblock and to use tanning booths.”
As a journalism student at Roger Williams University, Rothschild wrote about her experience in a Rhode Island newspaper, and that opened more doors.
“A year after the initial diagnosis,” she said, “I decided this had happened for a reason, and that it was an opportunity instead of a negative thing, and I started speaking out about my diagnosis.”
She eventually founded SurvivingSkin.org and has shared her message of sun safety in a variety of media, inclouding Marie Claire and Cosmopolitan magazines, various fitness publications, WebMD.com, Inside Edition, and World News with Charles Gibson, among other outlets. In her former marketing position with Six Flags New England, she founded an annual melanoma day that raised thousands of dollars for the Melanoma Foundation of New England.
“I’ve also done a lot of work with the American Academy of Dermatology as their national spokesperson. It’s been wonderful to speak at schools, mostly in New England, and at colleges across the country,” she said. “The whole point is to talk about making right choices and really paying attention to your skin. It’s the largest organ in the body, and we really don’t pay enough attention to it.”
As development and marketing manager at the Food Bank, Rothschild is bringing attention to yet another often-neglected need.
“I oversee all the special events and campaign fund-raising and try to bring in financial sponsorships to help us continue our mission. I do some corporate relations as well,” she said.
“Every dollar we collect brings in $13 worth of food. It’s been very rewarding work. All the money and food we raise stays local. To know that I’m investing my time every day in something that’s making a difference for Western Mass., it’s a really great feeling.”
— Joseph Bednar