Articles by Renee Orcione, MRA Digital Engagement & Communications Manager


Perseverance through Advanced Melanoma: Clay Hummer

By Renee Orcione, MRA Digital Engagement & Communications Manager | 15 November 2023 In Melanoma Stories, Prevention, Science, Treatment

Clay Hummer is no stranger to perseverance, and his journey to today was not always easy. He gave up a career in law that he worked hard for to get completely sober and start a fresh chapter, moving to Texas in his 40s where he met the love of his life Christi. So, when he was diagnosed with melanoma shortly after his move, he knew quite a bit about overcoming a challenge.

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Melanoma Risk in the Military Community

By Renee Orcione, MRA Digital Engagement & Communications Manager | 9 November 2023 In News, Prevention, Science, Treatment

Ahead of Veterans Day, the Melanoma Research Alliance (MRA) wishes to recognize the brave individuals who have served and sacrificed for our country. As the largest private nonprofit funder of melanoma research worldwide, we are keenly aware of the important intersection between military service and melanoma.

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Navy Veteran Ashlynn Soellner's Melanoma Journey

By Renee Orcione, MRA Digital Engagement & Communications Manager | 8 November 2023 In Melanoma Stories, Prevention, Treatment

Shortly after her active-duty career in the Navy came to an end, Ashlynn began noticing new moles on her body. She scheduled an appointment with her dermatologist, where a lesion on her shoulder was biopsied. Just a couple weeks later, she received an official diagnosis: she had melanoma. “You never think cancer will happen to you, especially when you are young. I was in complete shock,” said Ashlynn.

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A History of Sunburns and an Early Stage Melanoma Diagnosis: Jill Roth

By Renee Orcione, MRA Digital Engagement & Communications Manager | 26 October 2023 In Melanoma Stories, Treatment

Jill Roth has lived her entire life in Dennison, Ohio. There, she grew up in a close-knit family, eventually started her own, and later became a caretaker to her elderly parents. Now retired, she looks back on her upbringing fondly – especially the countless summers spent by the pool.

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Advancing Research after a Rare Diagnosis: Janet Yannelli's Acral Melanoma Journey

By Renee Orcione, MRA Digital Engagement & Communications Manager | 16 October 2023 In Allies & Partnerships, Melanoma Stories, Science, Treatment

“I had never heard of acral melanoma, even though I’m a nurse,” remarked Janet Yannelli, lifelong Maine resident. Acral melanoma is a rare melanoma subtype that accounts for about 1-3% of cases each year. Acral melanoma forms on the palms, soles of feet, or under nails.

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Thriving after Advanced Melanoma at 26: John Elson’s Story

By Renee Orcione, MRA Digital Engagement & Communications Manager | 20 September 2023 In Allies & Partnerships, Melanoma Stories, Treatment

John Elson woke up – on his birthday – and discovered a lump in his neck. The New Yorker wasn’t entirely concerned and initially explained it away as a muscle knot. However, when the lump didn’t go away and he noticed a second one near his armpit, alarm bells started...

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Compassion, Dignity, & Fashion: Paloma Soledad’s Melanoma Story

By Renee Orcione, MRA Digital Engagement & Communications Manager | 7 August 2023 In Allies & Partnerships, Melanoma Stories

Advanced melanoma challenges patients and families in ways they often could never expect. For New Yorker Paloma Soledad, various side effects from her treatment made it difficult to feel comfortable in her everyday clothing. As a creative artist and designer, she saw this as an opportunity to find a solution...

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Andrew Smith: Father, Veteran, and Melanoma Survivor

By Renee Orcione, MRA Digital Engagement & Communications Manager | 25 June 2023 In Melanoma Stories, Prevention, Treatment

Andrew Smith was 37 years old when his wife Anna noticed an odd-looking spot on his nose and encouraged him to get it checked out. While this father of three wasn’t particularly concerned, he did bring it up with his primary care physician to assure his wife that everything was okay.

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Melanoma Detection in the Digital Age: Total Body Photography

By Renee Orcione, MRA Digital Engagement & Communications Manager | 20 June 2023 In Science

In most cases, the earlier a melanoma is found and treated, the better the patient’s outcome. That’s why learning what to look for, performing monthly self-checks, and getting a clinical skin exam if you are at high risk for melanoma or other skin cancers is so important.

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Melanoma Awareness Month: In Case You Missed It

By Renee Orcione, MRA Digital Engagement & Communications Manager | 13 June 2023 In Allies & Partnerships, Events, Melanoma Stories, News, Science

Last month, the entire melanoma community came together to recognize Melanoma Awareness Month, hear from leaders in the field, connect with other advocates, and spread awareness of melanoma and the importance of prevention and early detection.

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About the Author
Renee Orcione, MRA Digital Engagement & Communications Manager


Renee Orcione joined the MRA team as a Development Associate in February 2020 and was promoted to Digital Engagement & Communications Manager in September 2022. In her role, Renee provides substantial communications and programmatic support and is responsible for creating, executing, and optimizing content and campaigns to advance MRA’s mission and vision through digital channels.

Renee graduated with a BA in Public Communications and Spanish from American University’s School of Communication in 2016. While in college, she discovered her passion for non-profit work while interning with the Colorectal Cancer Alliance and was involved with several other mission-based organizations, including Run Hope Work and City Dogs Rescue & City Kitties. Renee joined MRA after spending two years at Child Care Aware of America, a nonprofit focused on advancing quality child care for all families.

Outside of the office, Renee enjoys traveling, visiting her family in Massachusetts, and spending time with her dogs Linus, who she adopted through City Dogs Rescue, and Rony, her husband's retired military working dog.

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