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Survivor Stories

Welcome to our Survivor Stories web page. Here you will you find inspirational stories of strength and courage from melanoma survivors eager to share their experience in hopes of encouraging others.

If you are a melanoma survivor and would like to share your story, please e-mail amason@mfne.org or give us a call at (978) 371-5613.

Thank you to everyone who has shared their story on this site.

Sarah Aasheim
Diagnosed at age 28
Stage III

“Eric and I are clear on our mission to educate others about sun safety, particularly young people, so that our daughter and those of her generation won’t face the same risks for developing melanoma that we did.” Read more of Sarah’s story

Meg Beturne

Meg Beturne

“…I listened with a sense of disbelief as the diagnosis of Malignant Melanoma was communicated from physician to patient. The only problem with this scenario was that I, a nurse of 41 years and a PACU nurse for almost thirty years, was the patient!” Read more of Meg’s story

Mark Buckley

Mark Buckley
Stage III

“…I struggled to tell my family and a few close friends about the diagnosis. It was incredibly difficult to break the news to my parents. Due to its thickness the melanoma on my face was considered Stage Two. The surgeon was affable and bright.” Read more of Mark’s story

Amanda Carpenter
Diagnosed at age 18

“Just after my 18th birthday, while I was dealing with the stresses of what college to attend, I learned I had a very early stage of melanoma.” Read more of Amanda’s story

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Joanna Confalone
Diagnosed at age 24
Stage I

“I have had people come up to me and say how they have heard my story, and it prompted them to stop using tanning beds or start wearing sunscreen.” Read more of Joanna’s story

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Rachel D’Ambrosio
Diagnosed at age 11
Stage I

“Every day I think about how lucky I am that my melanoma was found early.” Read more of Rachel’s story

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Lauren DeConte
Diagnosed at age 19
Stage I

“Luckily, my melanoma could be removed with one surgery and I did not need my lymph nodes removed.” Read more of Lauren’s story

 Jessica DeJongh

Jessica DeJongh
Stage II

“As a child I spent a lot of time outside, not always with sunscreen or appropriate cover. I had frequent sunburns.” Read more of Jessica’s story

Karen Demers

Karen Demers
Stage III

“…If someone had told me 13 months ago that I was about to become a cancer patient and eventually a cancer survivor I would have told them that they were crazy.” Read more of Karen’s story

Tim Fater

Tim Fater
Diagnosed at age 22
Stage III

“… it was around that time that I committed myself to a positive outlook; I taught myself to disregard negative news which I knew could be lurking around the corner at any time.” Read more of Tim’s story

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Madison Firsch
Diagnosed at age 26
Stage I

“Doesn’t look like cancer.” That’s what everyone, including my dermatologist, said when I starting questioning a mole on my back in the summer of 2011. Read more of Madison’s story

Bob Heffernan
Diagnosed at age 50
Stage IV

“Many stage 4 melanoma patients are seeing all their tumors disappear in a new treatment being pioneered at the U.S. National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland — called adoptive cell transfer (ACT).  It’s a huge step forward for us melanoma survivors who previously had so few options that could lead to anything near a “cure”. ” Read more of Bob’s story

Karen Irons
Stage IIIb

“I have Irish and Scottish genes so you know that every summer started with a bad sunburn you had to endure so that you could begin the tanning process.  Lying in the sun day after day was what I did.” Read more of Karen’s story  

Lexi Lewis

Lexi Lewis
Diagnosed at age 18

“…the look on my mom’s face and the sound in her voice when she talked to the doctor is something that will stick in my mind forever. The worst part was, I did it to myself…and I knew it.” Read more of Lexi’s story

Cynthia Macdonald

Cynthia MacDonald

“…I didn’t think twice about joining a friend or my sister at a tanning booth before one Spring formal.” Read more of Cynthia’s story

Marlene Marcello
Diagnosed at age 37

“My battle with cancer actually started in 1983, when I found a cancerous mole on  my back. At 37 years old I was married and the mother of four children as well as a successful investment executive.” Read more of Marlene’s story

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Liza McAndrews-Lawler
Diagnosed at age 27
Stage I

“I was diagnosed with stage I melanoma at the age of 27. I had just become a new mom.” Read more of Liza’s story

Michael McMahon

“What pulled me through were my family, co-workers, and a diary. I would even go into the chemo room and count the number of drip bags other patients had. I had two every day. Some had three, four, and five bags of stuff.” Read more of Michaels’s story

Jessica Morley
Diagnosed at age 20

“…my Mom called me at work to tell me to grab all my stuff and come outside. She came and picked me up, I was crying. I thought something bad happened, but never thought it was that little mole.” Read more of Jessica’s story

Jeanne Myers

Jeanne Myers
Stage IV

“…others who truly understand how unpredictable melanoma can be, and I believe that sharing my experience has given hope to others who are just beginning their journey.”  Read more of Jeanne’s story 

Mandi Nickerson
Diagnosed at age 33
Stage Ib

“I was a tanaholic going tanning at least 3 times a week since I was 18. I went regularly because it felt good and I loved how I looked with a golden tan.”  Read more of Mandi’s story

Kelli Pedroia
Diagnosed at age 18
Stage II

“…I came home with the best tan of anyone! I fried myself only using oil, not even thinking of the consequences that would haunt me a few months down the road.”  Read more of Kelli’s story

Vicky Recckio

Vicci Recckio
Diagnosed at age 21

“I had no idea what this spot meant, it just looked like a mole or new freckle to me. But really, it was the size of an eraser, it’s color was a mix of brown and red, and it’s shape was a bit irregular.”  Read more of Vicci’s story

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Meghan Rothschild
Diagnosed at age 20
Stage II

“…so I quickly went in, had the mole removed and hit the tanning beds the same day. Two weeks later, when I went in to have my stitches taken out, I was informed I had stage 2 malignant melanoma.” Read more of Megan’s story

Carrie Schoenholtz
Diagnosed at age 33

“Growing up on Cape Cod, I spent long summer days on the beach, and had more of my share of sun burns.  In fact, comparing sunburns was a rite of passage for me and my friends.” Read more of Carrie’s story

Timna Understein
Diagnosed at age 38
2008 stage 1 (foot), 2011 in situ (arm), 2011 Primary Acquired Melanosis (eye)

“…while catching another good look at my foot, I noticed the black speck was back.  I remembered hearing the words, “If you have a freckle on the bottom of your foot, it is not a good thing.”  And I knew I needed to get to my dermatologist asap.” Read more of Timna’s story

Sara Waller
Diagnosed at age 28
Stage II

“There is a reason why I keep fighting this, so I can get my word out there, and have people see and understand the importance of sun safety.” Read more of story

 

DISCLAIMER: Melanoma Foundation of New England does not endorse any products, treatments, medications, physicians, or treatment facilities that may be mentioned or recommended within the stories on this website. Any such suggestion by a story writer is of their own doing and has no relation whatsoever with the Melanoma Foundation of New England.

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