I am a melanoma survivor. I was first diagnosed with melanoma at age 28. A few years later I had a devastating recurrence, but this time was 20 weeks pregnant. Over the next few years ending in July 2004, I underwent treatment with a mix of immunotherapy including interferon and GM-CSF at the Norris Cotton Cancer Center at Dartmouth Hitchcock Hospital in Hanover, NH.
The challenges didn’t end here. My husband of 12 years, Eric, was also diagnosed with melanoma three weeks after I started interferon treatment. Fortunately Eric’s melanoma was thin and was treated with wide lesion excision. Eric and I are clear on our mission to educate others about sun safety, particularly young people, so that our daughter Sabrina and those of her generation won’t face the same risks for developing melanoma that we did.
I have spent the last 15 years working in human services and social work, primarily working for agencies serving people with disabilities.
I love to hike and run, and in 2007 I joined the Foundation’s “Running for Cover” team and ran the Boston Marathon to raise funds. I am thrilled to be involved with the Melanoma Foundation because I feel connected to a community of dedicated people whose mission is both to educate the public and make life better for survivors. I now serve as the facilitator for the Foundation’s support group in Springfield.
I feel grateful to have a role to play in our outreach activities in western Massachusetts and want to help the Foundation achieve its goal of becoming a truly New England organization.