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Meeting the Faces of Melanoma

 Last night we attended “Champions for a Cure” – a charity melanoma event in San Francisco benefiting the Melanoma Research Foundation.  The best part was meeting others with melanoma.   We didn’t know what to expect.  So we were stuck by how young (and great looking) everyone was!   It was nice to meet Erin, who helped organize the event – so funny to compare scars!  We laughed that the people with melanoma should wear some kind of badge so we could find each other. I wanted to go around the room and ask – do you have melanoma?  You would never have known by looking.   Everyone looked so great.

It was a bittersweet evening.  Watching a 26-year-old with Stage 3 melanoma cry during most of her speech was heartbreaking.  And another young lady (stage 4) also in her 20s – found out she has a new tumor 2 days ago after being on an experimental gene inhibitor trial that seemed to be working for her.   It is so frustrating and sad.

They spoke of the new drugs that are just on the horizon for melanoma and everyone agreed that we are finally at a turning point.  There have been no new drugs for melanoma approved for over a decade.  We will soon hear about some new drugs with the ASCO June conference  approaching.  

The evening raised a ton of money with a great live and silent auction.  They auctioned off a lunch date with Lisa and Brittny Gastineau – from the reality TV show about the New York socialites.   Lisa is a recent melanoma survivor. 

It is a very exciting time for melanoma research.  So I encourage all of you to donate to the Melanoma Research Foundation.  Not only do they help support the patients mentally with online forums, they fund the research to battle melanoma. 

We like the black wristbands that we got.  They say ‘fight the beast’…so fitting for melanoma.

4 responses

  1. gilbert gaytan

    i’m excited that you guys went to this gathering. when we don’t know who else is dealing with similar issues we start to ‘create’ mental images which can be, not only scary, but wholly inaccurate.
    this can shield us from the reality.
    seems like you found beautiful, smart, involved folk:
    Just Like You.

    Let’s find out what this “Beast” is, Where it lives, How to beat it.

    May 21, 2010 at 7:00 pm

  2. Erin

    It was wonderful to meet you as well! And, yes, the event was VERY bittersweet. What many cancer survivors (and their families) often don’t talk about is the extreme mental trauma that a diagnosis can have on the patient and their loved ones. Hearing that young woman’s story brought back many painful memories.
    S o, while the event was a lovely way to do something proactive about my diagnosis, it was also a painful reminder of stark doctor’s visits, the fear of prognosis, and the horrible waiting of results.
    nevertheless, we soldier on, right?!!!
    No matter what, however, it is ALWAYS good to meet others who are walking this journey. It makes me feel supported and MUCH less alone.

    May 21, 2010 at 11:06 pm

  3. Jennifer

    This is cool.. and hope you are both moving forward with life while supporting the cause and need for cures and solutions. My thoughts remain with you and Mike.

    May 22, 2010 at 3:46 am

  4. Shirley Z

    Hi Emily,
    That must have been fun to meet others and compare stories. Hope you and the kids are enjoying the holiday weekend.

    May 30, 2010 at 2:44 pm

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