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I'm a Jesus loving girl who is blessed with an amazing husband and two beautiful children. At the age of 23, while pregnant with my firstborn I noticed a dome shaped nodular area on my left hip. It started growing larger and eventually started bleeding. After the birth of my baby girl and my 24th birthday I decided to get the ugly bump checked. The result was Stage III nodular Malignant Melanoma that had extensions into my lymph nodes. I completed a year of Interferon chemotherapy. a year later I became pregnant with my second child. After his birth I developed two more melanoma primary tumors-- stage 1 2010, and stage 2 in 2011. Since then I have made it my mission to advocate and educate to bring about melanoma awareness in hopes that it could save others from this deadly disease. Thankfully, I am very healthy and doing very well! I have No Evidence of Disease and I'm showing Cancer Who's Boss by staying fit and healthy. I plan to blog about my adventures in running over cancer during training for my first Full marathon Fall 2014. Remember to love your skin, protect your skin, and check your skin. Share the love and spread the chemical-free lotion!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

AIM For A Cure 2012-Charlotte, NC

Hello Friends,

I remember stumbling upon a post on Facebook back in January 2012 from the Melanoma Prayer Center about AIM at Melanoma's walk/fun run in Charlotte, NC.  I remember thinking how awesome it would be to raise a bunch of money not just for cancer in general but specifically for Melanoma.  The number of people diagnosed with melanoma is on the rise and sadly the number of deaths due to Melanoma continues to increase.  More research for better treatments need to be available!!!  If Melanoma is caught early the chance of survival is great, something like 99%.  But if Melanoma is caught in the later stages, there aren't good treatment options.  If you are diagnosed with stage II the only treatment option is surgical wide excision and interferon (and some oncologists don't even use interferon for stage II).  If you are diagnosed with stage III the FDA treatment options are surgical wide excision, Lymph node dissection or Ultrasound surveillance, and High Dose Interferon Alpha 2b for One Year.  If you are diagnosed with stage IV the treatments are surgery, Interleukin 2, Zelboraf if you have BRAF mutation, and Yervoy.  Sadly only about 10% of those with stage IV Melanoma survive...We need to change this and take Melanoma Down!!!!

Saturday Nov 17, 2012 the AIM for a Cure Melanoma Walk/Fun Run was a reality.  I was so excited and blessed to meet many of the melanoma warriors I follow on fb and blogs in person.  I was so thankful to travel from Kentucky to North Carolina with my best friends Hattie and Jason, My Mom and Step Dad, My little Sis Teaonna, My babies Livi and Andrew, and My biggest Fan--My Hubby Aaron.  Thanks to those who sent in donations for Hattie and I, we turned in over $1,700!!! Thanks to Randi for helping get our T-shirts for the event, while I'm so last minute! At the time of the event over $60,000 was raised to Show Melanoma Who's Boss!!!

I didn't get the opportunity to grab a hug from Anne, who organized the event, but I want to say: Anne You did an amazing job!!!!  There was free skin cancer screenings from Charlotte Dermatologists, UV skins was there, Awesome T-shirts, Free Starbucks Coffee, Bagels w/ cream cheese, protein bars, water, oranges, chemical-free Aveeno Sunscreen, lots of awesome giveaways, and hundreds of people affected by Melanoma.  I was moved to tears as I listened to those who spoke at the event about their loved one's who passed away from this horrible beast!  Sadly, one of the things I observed as I looked around was how many young people were getting the purple survivor shirts at the event.  We have to stop this beast!!!!

There were lots of people walking and some running...I decided to run, mainly because it was cold and I wanted to warm up.  I had so many names I wanted to put on the back of my shirt because sadly I know way too many people in my personal circle who have/are battling this disease, but I picked four: Joe Stevens (passed away Feb 13, 2012), Me (stage 3-battled 3 x's), Kim Blevins (stage 3-battled 2 x's), Jen Christie (stage IV warrior-Fighting for her life), and All Cancer Warriors!  I want you all to know that I ran for Donna from the Cancer spot, My friend Casey T. from back home, Kasee K. from back home, Megan F. from work, Sara W. my running friend, Eric Sizemore, my patients I meet with melanoma, my fb Melanoma friends, My Blogger Melanoma Friends and those who I've never met but connected because of this horrible disease.  I Run for all of You!!!

Here are the Pics from the Event:  Enjoy......

All the walkers/runners for the Event
Livi-I run for My Mommy and All the Cancer Warriors
Teaonna- I run for My Sister and All the Cancer Warriors
The Back of Our Shirts
Teaonna and Livi
My little Andrew

Hattie and I Running for all the Melanoma Warriors
Mom, Livi, Me, and Teaonna

Livi, Aaron, Andrew, and Me--Andrew didn't want to pose for the pic

Mark, Me, and Rich--check out those TuTu's.  Rich writes Hotel Melanoma
Carol and I.  Carol writes Attitude of Gratitude

Chelsea and I.  Chelsea writes Adventures With My Enemy Melanoma

It was such a blessing meeting all of you and getting to hug you in person!  I hate that we all share this common bond with this ugly Beast, But together we are Showing Melanoma Who's Boss!!!!

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