It was easy to be a sun hero April 26 at Viper Alley in Lincolnshire as the sun was setting, casting its soft glow in the upstairs atrium to the entrance of the first annual PSPF Sun Hero Gala for the Pediatric Sun Protection Foundation.
Dr. Amy Brodsky of Deerfield, a dermatologist who practices in Glenview, welcomed about 360 guests. Special appearances included Clark the Chicago Cubs mascot and Janet Davies of WLS TV.
“I’ve had skin cancer,” said Davies, who pointed to a spot on her leg which was actually more of an indicator of future cancer but requiring treatment.
“It was certainly caused by my time as a teenager in the sun,” Davies said, who was a lifeguard during her youth.
“My message to people is to cover up our children with an SPF (skin protectant) of at least 50.”
Mrs. Illinois International 2014 was among distinguished guests.
“My national platform is saving our children,” said Randi Moxi of Vernon Hills, Mrs. Illinois International who dazzled in her crown.
“Dr. Amy Brodsky’s cause is very close to my heart.”
PSPF, a foundation with a Northfield address, was created in 2012 by Brodsky. Her husband Joel A. Brodsky is executive director and treasurer.
“I started this Pediatric Sun Protection Foundation because I thought it was really important, as a dermatologist and as a mother, to drive home the point that most of the sun damage that we get happens while we’re younger.” Amy Brodsky said.
One PSPF goal is to create awareness in skin cancer prevention by promoting the use of sun protective clothing. Most of the funds raised at the gala ($150,000) will help to pay for those shirts plus clinical research required to apply for a grant to grow the message.
“Amy Brodsky is the best doctor and the most caring person,” said Laura Horwitch of Northbrook, who attended the gala with her husband David, a Chicago attorney.
Laura Horwitch, who recently had a baby girl, looked radiant in snappy leggings and an outfit which showcased personalized jewelry dedicated to her girls.
The Horwitchs are grateful to Dr. Brodsky for the personal care she gave to their daughter Lacey, 10, who died in February 2013 after being treated for hemophagocytic lymphohistocytis and thyroid hormone resistance.
Lacey’s condition required dermatologist attention.
The Horwitchs, the parents of three daughters, are proud all four of their children have been patients of Dr. Brodsky.
“She would drive down (to Lacey’s Chicago hospital bedside) to look at any skin issue at any hour,” said Laura Horwitch, of Lacey who received chemotherapy at the University of Chicago Comer Children’s Hospital.
“She is beyond what a doctor should do,” said Lacey’s mother, who is “amazed” at Dr. Brodsky’s ability and kindness.
Said Dr. Julie Goldberg of Deerfield who is a Northbrook-based dermatologist: “I’m thrilled to be a part of a cause that helps to educate people on the importance of sun protection in children.
“Early education and prevention are the keys to reducing skin cancer in both children and adults,” Goldberg said.