Katie was a beautiful young mother of the three in the UK who died in late February of Melanoma. When I saw the story below, I tracked down her blog “Katies Fight” and it was truly devastating, sad, beautiful, and inspiring to read. She documents the short two years of her battle with unbelievable grace and wit. It was very scary to read how she went from Stage III in July 2008 to Stage IV in October 2009, and so quickly to her death last month. For me, her story was somewhat comforting because she accepted death so bravely and I really admire that.
I hesitate when posting these stories. It is the outcome we fear the most and it is very hard to read something that doesn’t have a happy ending – especially for those battling Melanoma. I am sorry for that. But I do it to show people that this cancer can affect anyone. I do it to make people understand. And I do it because we can all learn from her journey – it is one we all will face in some way or another.
Article was from the BBC:
Doctors never discovered the mole that led to 37-year-old Katie Pratt’s skin cancer.
The first the mother-of-three knew about it was when she had developed malignant lumps in her neck.
Friends and family were inspired by her courageous fight with the disease, which she chronicled in a regular blog.
But two years later Katie was dead…read the rest
Katie’s Blog – “Katies Fight”
Sorry for the shocking title – but it is the cold, hard truth for those with Melanoma. It kills so many people – one person every hour – and doesnt discriminate by age. I read absolutely heart-breaking stories every day. Just this past week – a 28 year old young mother who died 3 months after giving birth to her twins, a 30 year old father with four children …and countless more stories of Melanoma deaths.
But I don’t see these stories in the mainstream media. I hear lots about breast cancer – especially with the new recommendations for mammograms. But not about the skin cancer that is killing young students, mothers, fathers, etc and for which there really is no good treatment in later stages. A cancer that is actually curable if caught early by a skin screening. In Australia, everyone is aware of the dangers of Melanoma because they have an ongoing public service campaign designed to scare adults and teach children about the importance of protecting yourself from the sun. But that is not the case in the United States. I admit – I was one of those naive people who didnt understand this cancer and what it could actually do. Sadly, I am now an expert. And there is no doubt that a skin screening can save your life.
I found this video from a couple of years ago – of the celebrity chef, Giada de Laurentiis – who was co-hosting the Today Show. Giada’s brother, Dino, passed away from skin cancer when he was thirty years old. He waited to go to the doctor after a mole started to itch and bleed. He died two years later.
For more heartbreaking stories, just read the comments at the end of this post: