BENEFITING: MELANOMA RESEARCH ALLIANCE FOUNDATION
A little over 3 months ago, my Dad was diagnosed with Stage IV melanoma. Growing up, melanoma was a common word in our household as my dad has had a couple surgeries to remove cancerous cells from his side, face, and head. Over time I really thought melanoma to be a less serious kind of cancer in comparison to breast, lung, and other forms of cancer, as my dad had always been able to “cut away the bad”. A month before my wedding, my Dad told my now wife and me that his melanoma had come back. Unfortunately, this time it wasn’t going to be as easy as getting the cells cut away. It had spread throughout his body (fortunately it had not reached the brain). I immediately went to the internet to learn about the prognosis and the treatments available. Doing a standard google search, you will see that the “odds” are not in your favor based on many sites/studies. However, the more and more you search, you start seeing articles and published studies on “immunotherapy”. My Dad’s oncologist had recommended this treatment and he has completed a 12 week cycle of immunotherapy. If you know my dad, you know that he is humble, generous, hard-working, and always puts God and others before himself. He does not deserve the card that he has been dealt, and neither do the other thousands of cancer patients who face challenges, treatments and uncertainty every day of their illness. Significant advances have been made in understanding metastasized melanoma and how to stop the spreading of tumors while boosting the immune system to fight existing tumors. In fact, the very treatment, immunotherapy, that has gotten my dad so far in his battle against cancer, only became FDA approved 4 months before my dad’s diagnosis. I am adamant about keeping up this pace of progress so that ultimately, a cure can be found. My dad has been there for every milestone of my life. This week, I reach a new milestone as I turn 30. In celebration of my dad and all the ways he has shaped the past 30 years of my life, I am asking that you consider donating to the Melanoma Research Alliance Foundation. Thank you for your support and for helping to find a cure for cancer.