With May bringing us both Melanoma Awareness Month and Mother’s Day, there is a clear connection and opportunity for me to briefly share a piece of my story. For me, this cause has tremendous significance because of the impact it has had on my family and life thus far. When I was nine years old, my mom passed away after an extended battle with melanoma. She was thirty-five. From what I can remember, she basically tried every treatment made available at that time – chemo, radiation, surgery, etc. I wanted to dive right in to those details because, with melanoma, that is essentially the best strategy you have. It is the most dangerous form of skin cancer and, whether it is mother’s day or any other day, it doesn’t discriminate.
My mother was an intelligent, caring and beautiful person. But most of all, she was a positive person. No matter what, my mom kept a smile on her face. This was the case even through all of her treatment. As I reflect on that now, I can only imagine how much strength that took. It is with that in mind that I emphasize that this message is a positive one. From the positivity and optimism of my mother, I have learned to do the same. It is with this perspective that this cause can become a labor of love, an investment in better things and a vigilant resolution to choose life.
I have been involved with the Enright Melanoma Foundation since 2015, with a motivation that is certainly personal. I have had some great experiences connecting with other people and spreading the message from a genuine point of view. In some ways, my efforts here are for Mother’s Day, birthdays, holidays and just plain ‘everydays’ that are preserved through awareness, early detection and education. For those that can relate to what I am sharing, my hope is that this underscores the motivations you already have. For those that may not be able to relate, that is the perfect reason to act now and keep it that way. Actively pursuing sun-safe behaviors is a key to prevention. Unfortunately, there is no fast forward button for you to see for yourself. More importantly though, there is no rewind button either. This Mother’s Day, wherever you are, you have the chance to control your happy ending. You have the chance to contribute to the cause and influence the culture change. You have a choice in deciding whether or not to protect yourself. Something so simple, this is a decision that comes from you and extends out to your family, friends and everyone else that loves and cares about you. Go ahead and happen to things before they happen to you.
We have come to live in a time where there are quality resources available and there is a need to share and promote these resources. Greater knowledge and awareness can make all the difference. I encourage everyone to please take a look at the available resources dedicated to melanoma awareness, early detection and education. The programs and information offered by the Enright Melanoma Foundation are free and available to anyone online at www.applycoverenjoy.org and www.enrightmelanomafoundation.org . Use them. Learn from them. If there are events in your community, come to them. Share your story. Donate. Connect with us and our mission.
Most of all – Be sun-safe now and in the future!
Sincerest thanks for reading and Happy Mother’s Day,