April Salinas via Crowdrise
February 06, 2015
BENEFITING: OUTRUN THE SUN INC
After having melanoma removed on my scalp and in my neck during 2 extensive surgeries right before the summer months, my eyes were opened to respecting the sun, coping with your battles, and not letting obstacles stop you from living your life to the best of your current abilities. I was able to return to my new job, have my drainage tube removed, and compete in some huge races all before doctors thought possible. I didn't think much of it, because I don't give up easily and have always been a positive motivated person. However, with the first surgery I had all of my thick wavy hair shaved off on the top of my head which was a huge self confidence check. I've been a long haired girl since I can remember. Not really wanting to rock the mohawk look, hats and wigs have been my go to until my hair is decent enough to cut into a shorter layered look. You work with what you have. I lost hair. Not my life.
For a few months, I was deemed "cancer free", which was great for my family and I throughout the holidays. However, recent dark appearances on my skin as well as PET and CAT scans showed that the cancer was not gone and had metastasized further into my liver and bones. I was accepted into a National clinical trial to begin a new drug they are testing out called Ipilimumab. I received the treatment every 3 weeks and have blood work done every week. The drug was not working, so we moved to another highly acclaimed trial where the treatment is in pill form and is called BRAF Mutation. Feeling good on this one so far, and soon I'll have tests to see if its had any effect inside of me.
Ultimately out of all of this, I have become a stronger, more aware person. I'm certainly not perfect, but I feel like I have another purpose about me and would like to do some good here with all of this. Life is precious and short and can be altered in an instant. In October I am planning to accomplish my ultimate goal of completing a full Ironman and would love to combine that with educating and illustrating to others about the power of protection, passion, and positivity.
The proceeds I am raising are going towards the amazing organization, Outrun the Sun, who are fully supporting and encouraging me on this journey! Their name, purpose, and values are all about what I am striving for with Ironrays, the name of my fundraiser. It stands for not only my race, but the strength and resilience of iron. Please read their mission below and join me in donating to Outrun the Sun and to supporting my undertaking!
"Outrun the Sun, Inc. is dedicated to building national awareness of melanoma and other skin cancers, educating communities about preventive measures that reduce melanoma’s incidence rate, and to raising funds for melanoma research, leading to effective treatments and a potential cure"