Why I Step - Lynn Merrill Iverson
Lynn lost her brother Bert to stage IV melanoma in July 2019, just eight weeks after his diagnosis. By the time Bert and his doctors caught his melanoma, it had metastasized to his lungs, pancreas, and brain. Immunotherapy and radiation treatments were unsuccessful - it was too late and the melanoma was too aggressive. At only 49 years old, Bert passed away with Lynn and their parents by his side, leaving behind five children, one of whom is currently fighting her own melanoma battle.
Today, Lynn remembers Bert as a kind and compassionate brother, father, and friend. She shares that Bert had a love of music, animals, and classic cars. “Every time I see an old Corvette, I smile to myself and think it is a nod from Bert reminding me that if we speak his name and tell his story, he will always live,” says Lynn.
In 2021, as part of MRA’s inaugural Step Up for Melanoma challenge, Lynn joined hundreds of supportive and passionate individuals across the country to share Bert’s story, keep his memory alive, raise awareness, and complete 310,000 steps during Melanoma Awareness Month.
Not only did Lynn share Bert’s story, she also raised $1,887 in his memory. “This campaign spoke to my heart. If I could help even one person understand what melanoma looks like, then I have succeeded,” says Lynn of her fundraising and awareness efforts.
Lynn, like many of the other participants, joined the Step Up for Melanoma challenge because melanoma has impacted her life. “I joined this challenge because I believe if there was more education surrounding melanoma, Bert and others diagnosed with this cancer would have a chance of a better outcome,” she says. Lynn wishes more people understood how serious melanoma is.
Lynn is stepping up again in 2022 in memory of her brother. “As we speak their names, our loved ones live forever,” she says.
100% of the proceeds from the Step Up for Melanoma challenge will go towards melanoma research. Last year, 840 people participated and raised $58,000. This year, over 1300 have already registered with a goal of raising more than $100,000 for live-saving research.
It’s not too late to join the Step Up for Melanoma challenge here.