jeanne bernhard wrote -
While on vacation in 2015, my mom, Donna, began to experience vision issues in her left eye. She went to see and Ophthalmologist in Florida who assured her the vision issues she was experiencing were simply age-related. My mom, feeling something amiss, upon return to Pennsylvania went to see her regular Ophthalmologist. She was immediately sent to Will’s Eye Hospital in Philadelphia. There was nothing age-related about her issue. It was cancer: Ocular Melanoma. When she told me I immediately asked, “Cancer in your eye? Your eye? Is it serious?”
My friends, it’s serious.
Here are some facts about Ocular Melanoma (OM):
- Ocular Melanoma is an extremely rare cancer of the eye.
- It is an aggressive cancer that often spreads to the liver.
- There are only around 2000 news cases of OM diagnosed in the United States each year.
- There is currently no cure for metastatic Ocular Melanoma.
Fortunately, efforts toward finding a cure for OM are growing, and organizations such as the Ocular Melanoma Foundation (OMF) are on the forefront of providing much needed education and support to OM patients, their families and healthcare professionals. OMF’s primary mission is simple – to uncover effective treatment options and ultimately a cure for OM.
My mom, who is the strongest woman I know, is now an OM fighter. Even while undergoing radiation therapy and enucleation (removal of her eye), she continues to be the center of strength in our family, taking care of and worrying about everyone else instead of herself. She doesn’t want to be defined by her diagnosis but instead wants to live her life playing the hand she was dealt. Her strong, positive attitude amazes and inspires me every day.
Still, every day I wish that I had the knowledge and strength to single-handedly beat her cancer down, defeat it, and give my mom back her health and the eye she lost. But I can’t and that leaves me feeling helpless, scared and so very worried about her.
But, if my mom is an OM fighter, then I stand with her as an OMF Warrior. I don’t have a sword or a suit of armor but I do have a pair of running shoes. And so I’m running the AACR Rock ‘n’ Roll ½ marathon in Philadelphia, in support of my brave, inspiring and strong mother, and to raise awareness about Ocular Melanoma. By donating to my race, you will help raise money for the OMF and bring awareness to this disease.
Your donation will be GREATLY appreciated!!
The Ocular Melanoma Foundation is a private non-profit organization committed to accelerating and enhancing scientific research, advocacy and awareness of OM and providing education and support to all those battling and searching for a cure for this disease. Specifically, OMF is raising funds, engaging academicians and clinicians, and actively partnering with foundations and other leading agencies supporting cancer research to:
- Support and accelerate scientific research and discovery and its translation into effective treatment options for patients.
- Provide resources for education and support to OM patients, their families, and to healthcare professionals treating OM.
- Act as an advocate within the melanoma and broader cancer community to raise the awareness of OM and the need for a cure.
THANK YOU so much for your support and please see an Ophthalmologist regularly!!!
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