Category: Melanoma Stories


Melanoma Isn't Just Another Skin Cancer

By Cody Barnett, MPH, MRA Director of Communications & Patient Engagement | 5 October 2021 In Allies & Partnerships, Melanoma Stories

Too many people think that melanoma is just another skin cancer – and in 2005, Daisy Helman was one of them. She had just learned that a lump her father noticed on his arm was actually melanoma. “I just assumed that this wasn’t a big deal. Just cut it out – dad will be fine. Looking back, I was so wrong.”

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Asking the Tough Questions: Perspectives on Being a Caregiver, Self Care, & Mucosal Melanoma

By Cody Barnett, MPH, MRA Director of Communications & Patient Engagement | 18 September 2021 In Melanoma Stories

“Being a caregiver can be the hardest job,” says Patricia Janiak. “Your loved one might be the one going through this – but we’re the ones who have to put on our brave face while always being a step ahead. We’re the ones who call the doctors, ask the tough questions, and when needed, we push the envelope.”

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Mark, Stage 4 Melanoma, & a Personalized Vaccine Clinical Trial

By Cody Barnett, MPH, MRA Director of Communications & Patient Engagement | 6 September 2021 In Melanoma Stories

The melanoma treatment landscape had dramatically changed in the time since Mark was first diagnosed with melanoma. New options had earned FDA approval and many other approaches were actively being tested in clinical trials. Hear Mark's story with a personalized vaccine made to help train his immune system to fight melanoma cells.

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Advancing Melanoma Research in Times of Uncertainty

By Cody Barnett, MPH, MRA Director of Communications & Patient Engagement | 9 June 2021 In Allies & Partnerships, Melanoma Stories, Policy, Prevention, Science, Treatment

Each year, the annual MRA Scientific Retreat brings hundreds of people from across the melanoma research ecosystem together to exchange ideas, report on scientific progress, celebrate achievements, and mourn the losses. In these ways, the 2021 Retreat was no different.

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Against the Odds: Racing for Melanoma Research

19 April 2021 In Allies & Partnerships, Melanoma Stories, Treatment

Patrick O’Neill along with his four closest college friends and fellow Boat Racing, LLC members, find themselves in a very implausible position: first-time horse owners heading to the Kentucky Derby—horseracing’s pinnacle event.

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Summer Kramer: Aligning Passion with Purpose

19 April 2021 In Allies & Partnerships, Melanoma Stories, Prevention

Frustrated with her inability to find stylish UPF protective clothing after her own melanoma diagnosis, Summer Kramer founded her own company called SUMMERSKIN. Now, eight years later, she has aligned her passion with purpose through a new partnership with the Melanoma Research Alliance.

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

By Cody Barnett, MPH, MRA Director of Communications & Patient Engagement | 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 Barnett, MPH, MRA Director of Communications & Patient Engagement | 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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Relentless in the Fight: Dr. F. Stephen Hodi

5 March 2021 In Melanoma Stories, Science

Every revolution needs trailblazers—people who restlessly and relentlessly search for paths forward. At MRA, we’re fortunate to partner with innovative trailblazers who are guiding the entire field of melanoma further, such as two time MRA-funded investigator Dr. F. Stephen Hodi.

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

By Cody Barnett, MPH, MRA Director of Communications & Patient Engagement | 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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