Please support my fundraising efforts for the CURE OM / MRF
Dear Family and Friends,
The cure for melanoma begins with me.
It is that time of year again when I tell you about my journey with Melanoma and ask for you to financially support CURE OM, a part of the Melanoma Research Foundation (MRF).
I was diagnosed with Ocular Melanoma in my left retina in December 2011. I was a mom to a 10 month old Connor and 30 month old Maelle and had just moved across the country from Arizona to Virginia seven months prior. I was dealing with the stark reality of having a toddler with special needs and having 2 babies only 19 months apart. I was living in a new state where I had no family and did not have a large support network Being diagnosed with this unknown cancer at age 31 was jolting to my life and in many ways changed who I became as a person, mom, wife, daughter, and friend. my vision.
I have been incredibly lucky to survive these past 11 years. I have made so many friends in the Ocular Melanoma community that have been robbed of a lifetime of joy by this terrible disease and killed only a few years after diagnosis. Even in my luckiest state, I spent most of my 30's very fearful of this disease and worried that I wouldn't be around long enough to see my kids grow up. I have had at least 1 MRI of my liver per year since diagnosis (and did 2 a year for the first 8 years). I'm still dealing with radiation retinopathy in my left eye and just yesterday needed an injection in my eye (the third in 3 months) to try to reduce the ongoing swelling that I have on my retina from the radiation which interferes with my vision.
I could not even begin to name all the friends that I've lost in these 11 years to this disease. This disease is horrific and kills about 50% of the people who are diagnosed. For my friends that have survived many years with metastatic disease, they do it by entering trials and making treatment a weekly (or daily) part of their life, forever. I fundraise and I try to promote awareness about the disease for all my friends that I have lost and those of my friends who are currently fighting for their life. I pray that I will never have an abnormal MRI of my liver and never be diagnosed with metastatic disease, but even in my 12th year since diagnosis, I am still at risk. I fundraise so more money and attention can go into research for treatments for this terrible disease.
Each year I raise money and participate in the Miles for Melanoma 5K in DC. This year I am not able to be at the event in person, but I do still want to raise money for this very important cause. For many of the past 11 years, I have been the top or second top fundraiser at the DC event and I would like to continue this. I believe the Ocular Melanoma community and CURE OM/MRF have come to depend on my fundraising and all my wonderful friends and family that contribute to this event.
In addition to being afflicted with Ocular Melanoma, I have now been diagnosed with 2 Skin Melanomas (in 2020 and 2022) as well as a couple severely atypical moles (the stage before melanoma). Luckily I am very vigilant about getting my skin checked two times a year by a dermatologist so both of these melanomas were considered "Melanoma In Situ"which is considered Stage Zero.
So I am asking you for a few things:
1) Protect your skin with sunscreen daily and see your dermatologist yearly if you have any moles on your skin.
2) Wear sunglasses in the sun and go see an ophthalmologist for a dilated eye exam at least every couple years (ocular melanoma in the retina can only be seen with a dilated eye exam).
3) Please make a donation to my fundraiser and help promote research and awareness about this deadly disease.
Thank you so much for your continued support after all of these years. You are all amazing and I couldn't make such a difference in this community without all of your support!
If you think this page contains objectionable content, please inform the system administrator.