Our Story

MelaNoMo'! started in 2009, a year after I was diagnosed with stage III melanoma.  I was 23 when I was diagnosed and had no clue what a melanoma was or the severity of the disease.  "How serious can skin cancer even be?"  I had an ugly looking mole on my back that I wanted removed for that very reason- it was ugly.  I did not know this one mole was going to change my life forever, and even possibly be a cause for my death.  The past 4 years have been a roller coaster of emotions and a true battle.  I have had 5 surgeries, undergone a year of flu like symptoms and injections, and a 3 month stent in an ICU hospital setting; all of this for "skin cancer". 

MelaNoMo'! was formed for two main reasons: first and foremost, to create awareness about the deadly skin cancer melanoma, especially in my age group.  How is it possible me, my wife, and my family did not have any knowledge on the most common cancer in 25-29 year olds? My wife, Margaret, and I decided this had to change and awareness is key.  The disease can be prevented and if caught in early stages is very treatable.  It is our fervent hope that young adults learn how to protect their skin, learn the importance of sunscreen, and have regular skin checks for early detection.  The second main reason for creating this organization is to contribute to research.  Throughout my personal battle, one of the toughest fights has been decision making.  There are very minimal treatment options for late stage melanoma.  Every doctor, patient, internet website has a different opinion and none of those are very promising.  In the end, I was responsible for which road to take.  I was my own patient advocate.  This is a scary place to be when you have so much else on your plate to deal with.  We have to change the treatment options and research is the answer to doing this.  Ipilumimaub was approved in 2011; this has been the first late stage melanoma drug approved in 20 years.  We are making progress, but much more is necessary.

MelaNoMo'! has raised over 120,000 in 7 years and we are looking to increase the number any way we can.  I am just a normal 31 year old guy who was thrown a large curve-ball.  If I can help others understand the severity and importance of education in melanoma, I can save lives.  This is not JUST skin cancer- it is much more.  I have received the greatest blessing of all clear scans in November of 2011 and continue to live cancer free. I am living life to the fullest with my wife and our two beautiful girls. We do not know what the future holds, but know that we have each other and a strong faith that God has a plan for everything.  We also know that we are not going to let melanoma win in our lives.  We move forward and do not hold back- until one day there is a cure.  Please help us in our mission to spread the word and create a world with no more melanoma, MelaNoMo!.

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