With melanoma being the leading cause of cancer death in young women ages 25-30 and 160,000 Americans expected to be diagnosed with the disease this year*, her mission to spread awareness has become more important than ever.
Tell us about your diagnosis…It felt like the end of the world. I had little hope that I would survive. There were so few treatment options at the time that I was constantly in fear that the melanoma would come back. The scariest part was realizing that if the melanoma did come back it would be stage IV. I was willing to do anything at the time to try and extend my life. My son was only 3.5 and I knew he was too young to lose his mother.
I had a major surgery, participated in an experimental trial and was on an oral bio chemotherapy for a year. Each week my mom and I would go to Philadelphia where the trial was held. Those days were very challenging. I would not have had the strength to persevere without the support of my family and friends. I put on a very brave face to the public but, I was suffering silently for years. I am truly grateful every day for the gift of life that I have been given.