Meghan’s Story

Age: 23
Diagnosis: Stage 2 Melanoma
Date of Diagnosis: January 2004

 

In January of 2004 my life was turned upside down when I was diagnosed with melanoma at the age of 20. Since I was 18 I had been visiting tanning booths in an effort to hide my pale complexion and erase all indication of my Irish heritage, so I could “look like everyone else.” Three years later I have come to realize that looking and acting like everyone else is far from what I want to do.

 

My battle with cancer was one that defined the person I am today and from first hand experience I know what it’s like to struggle with self esteem issues and embarrassment over scarring. My surgery is one that resulted in over 70 stitches, a large disfigurement on my stomach and scars under both arms where 8 lymph nodes needed to be removed to ensure the cancer had not spread inside my body. As a result I want to change how people view scarring and increase awareness about skin cancer. Due to the fact that skin cancer is the most preventable form of cancer I feel that most people don’t consider it an “epidemic.” With tanning salons popping up around every corner, I must disagree.
My mission is to educate and inform young men and women about the dangers of sun exposure and to raise awareness in general about this ever increasing problem.

Making awareness and education available is crucial. Since 2006, the Foundation has worked to raise awareness of melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers focusing on education, prevention and the need for improved patient care.
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