Articles by Cody R. Barnett, MRA Director of Communications


Mitch Diamond Honors His Grandfather’s Legacy By Raising Awareness of Melanoma

By Cody R. Barnett, MRA Director of Communications | 13 April 2021 In Melanoma Stories

Five years ago, when he was just 8-years old, Mitch Diamond lost his grandfather due to melanoma. Now, for his Bar Mitzvah, he’s asking his friends, family, and community to help him raise awareness of and help prevent melanoma.

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Craig Finds Meaning in His Melanoma Diagnosis in the COVID-19 Era

By Cody R. Barnett, MRA Director of Communications | 11 March 2021 In Melanoma Stories

“I believe there is a reason that I’m going through this. If I can help prevent someone else’s melanoma, or make their journey easier, or help advance research – that’d be worth it,” says Craig. “I feel honored to be part of the melanoma community. It’s a powerful community – and I feel obligated to do something in support of it.”

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Denise Kellen is On a Mission to Advance Melanoma Prevention & Early Detection

By Cody R. Barnett, MRA Director of Communications | 23 February 2021 In Melanoma Stories

Growing up – from June until August – Denise Kellen and her family practically lived at Lido Beach on Long Island’s south shore. They’d swim, play on the surf, read, and sunbathe. Like clockwork she’d develop two to three severe sunburns that would leave her pale skin a fiery red before peeling away. If only Denise knew then what she knows now.

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Estimating Melanoma Risk by Examining Skin’s Mutational Burden

By Cody R. Barnett, MRA Director of Communications | 10 February 2021 In Prevention, Science

 We’ve known for decades that most melanomas – formed from the color-producing cells in our skin called melanocytes – are predominantly caused by UV-radiation-induced damage from the sun or indoor tanning devices. This damage is cumulative but is often invisible.

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Mary Jo Rogers: Research Will Get Us There

By Cody R. Barnett, MRA Director of Communications | 8 December 2020 In Melanoma Stories

With red hair and fair skin, Mary Jo Rogers has always known she was at high risk for melanoma, so she saw her dermatologist regularly. Despite knowing the risk, her 2011 diagnosis of Stage 3C melanoma still came as a big surprise.

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Gail: Stage 4 to NED (No Evidence of Disease) Through a Clinical Trial

By Cody R. Barnett, MRA Director of Communications | 10 November 2020 In Melanoma Stories

Gail was already on her way out the exam room door, following her annual physical, before she remembered to ask about a dry cough she’d had for about a week.  

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Amy Fights for Acral Melanoma to be Seen

By Cody R. Barnett, MRA Director of Communications | 28 October 2020 In Melanoma Stories

For patients diagnosed with acral melanoma today, Amy offers the following advice: “You aren’t alone. If you find a spot – any spot, really that looks different or concerns you – get it checked out. Advocate for a biopsy because doctors don’t always know what they are looking for when it comes to acral melanoma.”

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Take Life as it Comes

By Cody R. Barnett, MRA Director of Communications | 12 October 2020 In Melanoma Stories

At her local hospital, Karen was told she had both lung and brain cancer. She was in shock – she had been feeling great and was diligent about eating right and exercising. It wasn’t until she met MRA-funded investigator, Dr. Rizwan Haq at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute that she learned that her tumors were actually caused by malignant, stage 4 melanoma. Following radiosurgery and combination immunotherapy, Karen’s melanoma is stable.

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Elizabeth McGowan & Outpedaling 'The Big C'

By Cody R. Barnett, MRA Director of Communications | 18 September 2020 In Melanoma Stories

To celebrate her fifth anniversary of being NED, Elizabeth McGowan set out on a 4,250- mile adventure across the United States, coined 'Heals on Wheels.' Now, 20-years later, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author shares insight into her journey with melanoma and her solo bicycle trek in her book: "Outpedaling ‘The Big C’: My Healing Cycle Across America."

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Integrative Medicine Answers the Question: ‘What Can I Do to Support My Treatment?’

By Cody R. Barnett, MRA Director of Communications | 24 August 2020 In Science, Treatment

When Dr. Gary Deng sits down with a new patient to discuss their goals and how integrative medicine can fit into their overall treatment plan, he likens his work to taking care of a plant. “With the right amount of water, sunshine, fertilizer, and soil – a plant will thrive. That’s what integrative medicine is looking to do, but with an entire person,” says Deng.

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About the Author
Cody R. Barnett, MRA Director of Communications


Cody R. Barnett joined the Melanoma Research Alliance (MRA) as Director of Communications in August of 2017. He works to develop and cultivate strategies, messages, and stories that propel MRA’s mission forward. Cody is responsible for media relations, web and social marketing, publications and materials development, and organizational branding. He is committed to using the power of visual, verbal, and written communications to promote MRA as a powerful force for advancing melanoma research.

Before joining the Melanoma Research Alliance, Cody served as Director of Communications at AIDS United, where he directed all internal, public, member, and online communications for the national HIV-focused organization. Previous to this, he managed digital communications for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Aligning Forces for Quality (AF4Q) initiative.

Cody earned his Master of Public Health (MPH), concentrating in health policy, from The George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health in 2013 and a Bachelor of Arts in political science from York College of Pennsylvania. 

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