Category: Melanoma Stories


Creating Art to Create Change: The Power to Heal & Mobilize Community

By Renee Orcione, MRA Development Associate | 11 January 2021 In Allies & Partnerships, Melanoma Stories

Following the initial shock of her diagnosis and the strain of facing treatments on her own, Barbara was faced with yet another hurdle. Her arm surgery had left it nearly immobile. Not only was this a problem for her daily functioning, it made it extremely difficult for Barbara to pursue her lifelong passion of art.

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Mary Jo Rogers: Research Will Get Us There

By Cody Barnett, MPH, MRA Director of Communications & Patient Engagement | 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 Barnett, MPH, MRA Director of Communications & Patient Engagement | 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 Barnett, MPH, MRA Director of Communications & Patient Engagement | 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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Fueling a Revolution: Driving Research Forward

21 October 2020 In Allies & Partnerships, Melanoma Stories, News, Policy, Prevention, Science, Treatment

MRA is powering a revolution in melanoma research. A revolution that is not only benefiting patients with melanoma but also impacting the field of oncology at large.

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Take Life as it Comes

By Cody Barnett, MPH, MRA Director of Communications & Patient Engagement | 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 Barnett, MPH, MRA Director of Communications & Patient Engagement | 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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Working to Take the Luck Out of Melanoma

By Cody Barnett, MPH, MRA Director of Communications & Patient Engagement | 16 August 2020 In Melanoma Stories

Ellen believes that research is the best tool we have to “take the luck” out of melanoma. She’s proud to be involved with an organization – and a cause – that is relentlessly moving forward in search of answers, new treatments, and ultimately a cure for melanoma. “I know that given the right support, research will get us there,” she says.

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Putting Her Faith in Research & Her Doctor

By Cody Barnett, MPH, MRA Director of Communications & Patient Engagement | 23 July 2020 In Melanoma Stories, Treatment

All things considered, things are looking up for Margaret Oplinger. A marble-sized tumor is all that’s left of her Stage 4 melanoma; and her ongoing treatment, every-other week with nivolumab (Opdivo®), will hopefully enable her immune system to attack – and eliminate – this last remnant.

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A Personal Journey, A Virtual Platform

23 June 2020 In Melanoma Stories, Prevention, Science

Meet Shirin Bajaj, a third-year resident at NYU’s School of Medicine and MRA Dermatology Research Fellow. Learn about her work and MRA's Dermatology Fellowship Award Program.

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