Our son, Andrew Craig Marsh, grew up in Portland, Maine. He found great joy in spending time with his family and friends, and loved sports, both playing and watching them. His favorite teams were BC, Celtics, Red Sox, and the Patriots. Andy cherished his education having attended Cheverus High School in Portland, Boston College and Roger Williams Law School in Rhode Island. Through all his actions, Andy truly lived the motto of his beloved alma mater BC, “Ever to Excel”. And excelled in both academics and athletics, and was committed to his friends, family, and service to others.
On May 14, 2007, during finals of his first year of law school, Andy was diagnosed with stage IV melanoma, after tumors were found in his liver, lungs, spleen and pancreas. He was only 24. Throughout the next two years and three months, Andy’s battle with cancer took him through seven therapy regimens, including six clinical trials and two major surgeries. He even pioneered one of the clinical trials, as he was the first person to undergo the experimental treatment.
Andy faced all of his trials with the utmost grace, courage, humor, and positive attitude. He drew his strength from the immense love and support from his friends, family, and community, as well as his deep faith in God. Andy was an amazing young man who gave his all and remained positive during the fight for his life against melanoma. He had a smile for everyone no matter how he felt or what treatment he was undergoing.
Andy was committed to finding a cure for himself and others, no matter what. Most of all, he never gave up. In February of 2009, Andy’s cancer began to rapidly spread. He was admitted to Maine Medical Center where he kept fighting, trying to buy time until a new treatment was developed. On August 4, 2009, Andy passed away at the young age of 27.
Andy was such a beacon of love, strength, patience, and peace to all who knew him. He was bright, funny, and had a huge heart. His family is so proud of who he was, during both his best and worst times.
Andy always told people to wear sunscreen, protective clothing and to avoid tanning beds. The best way to beat melanoma is to prevent it in the first place.
Today, we share Andy’s story whenever we can. We speak to high school and college students through the Melanoma Foundation of New England’s (MFNE) Your Skin Is In and Teens on Tanning Forums. We were honored to be able to participate in MFNE’s educational video “Exposed” which will be used at schools and throughout social media to spread the word about the dangers of tanning and importance of sun protection. The video is dedicated in memory of Andrew.