The Name

Strange name? Yes!

In 2007, my Primary Care Physician noticed a lesion and thought it looked suspicious.  It had changed color and shape. She referred me to a dermatologist.   Two days later I had the lesion removed from my left shoulder and biopsied .   Then I received the call to inform me I had a melanoma.   I was one of the lucky ones; it had not gone down far enough to require additional treatment.

“Scar Dog”

All I knew about melanoma was that several people I knew died from it. I realized that my ignorance could have cost me my life. I decided to learn everything I could about melanoma, and have skin checks every 6 months by a board certified dermatologist.

I now have a greater appreciation for life and it has made me more open to try new things. One of these new things is snowmobiling, or called snow machining if you are from Alaska.  For over a decade now, I have done long distance trail snowmobile riding in Maine and Canada. Racing at 70 mph across Maine’s Rangely Lake in Arctic temperatures gets me fired up. You must be in top physical condition and have excellent survival skills before undertaking such a challenge.

So why the name? When the Alaskan natives saw the first snowmobile, they nicknamed it “Iron Dog” because it did the work of their sled dog teams. What better way to combine my two passions: Snowmobiling and skin cancer awareness, thus the name: “Iron Dog Skin Cancer Awareness Race” or “Iron Dog SCAR”. They call me Scar Dog”.

Russ Simpson

Our mission is to raise money for Dr. Craig Slingluff’s Melanoma Research Program at the University of Virginia. Please consider helping us to find a cure.

Come visit us the second and third weekend in March at the Highland County Maple Festival!

Highland Maple Festival

  IronDog SCAR is an IRS approved 501(c)3 Non-Profit Organization