The Blade and Light Society was started in 2003 by Hayes B. Gladstone, MD and Murad Alam, MD. At the time, Dr Gladstone was the Director of the Division of Dermatologic Surgery at Stanford University and Dr Alam was (and is) the Chief of Curtaneous Surgery at Northwestern University. The purpose of Blade and Light was three fold: To encourage networking and mentoring among young dermatologic surgeons; To promote collaborative multi-center evidence based research; to provide mohs surgery and reconstruction abroad to those skin cancer patients who did not have access as well as to teach the host physicians principles of mohs surgery and regional reconstruction.
Blade and Light International (BLI) is an off-shoot of the Blade and Light Society, and is a 501c3 nonprofit organization. BLI has sent mohs surgeons all over the world. Blade and Light teams have performed volunteer surgery in Chile; Columbia; Brazil; Costa Rica; Romania; Bulgaria; Greece; Philippines; South Africa. Mohs surgery– the gold standard for the treatment of nonmelanoma skin cancer—was performed on patients who had to wait many years to receive treatment.
Currently, Blade and Light has a collaborative agreement with the Department of Dermatology at the Nelson Mandela School of Medicine in Durban, South Africa. Blade and Light Team members teach and perform surgery. Blade and Light is also assisting in the treatment of the albino population who are at risk for fatal squamous cell cancers due to their lack of pigment protection.
These missions require funding for surgical supplies. While the physicians pay their own travel costs, the nurses and histotechnicians who are critical to the success of these trips are either subsidized by Blade and Light or by the dermatologic surgeons themselves.
Blade and Light International welcomes any tax deductible donations as well as volunteers in administrative/fundraising capacities. For more information, please visit the website: www.bladelight.org. Thank you.