Greetings Jack’s Fund: I have been running the 5K in October for many years. While I did not know Jack, the race is important to me for I have had three melanomas and one basal cell carcinoma…and I am not yet 40 years of age.
It is a wonderfully organized race, and I look forward to it every year.
The reason I am writing today is not because of skin melanoma, but because of ocular melanoma.
In 2009, a growth was discovered in my eye and it has been watched and monitored ever since.
On Nov. 6th, the growth started bleeding. Soon after, I was referred to a specialist in Chicago who diagnosed it as an ocular melanoma.
As I write this email, it is being treated.
Last Tuesday, a radiation plaque was sewn to my eye – they will take it off tomorrow.
From there, we watch to see the radiation do its job of destruction.
Ocular melanoma is a rare disease – around 2,000 cases in the US per year. But, here I am one of them. I do believe I have a genetic factor leading to all of these melanomas and so perhaps I am unique in that nature.
As you continue to grow your organization, I just wanted to share my story with you.
In your mission to educate, please include that melanomas can happen anywhere, including in the eye!
The next time one is getting a routine eyeglasses exam, have them dilate the eyes and take a look.
My growth was discovered at a routine eye exam at Target – but it was this eye exam that got me on the right path early!
Please help spread the word – thank you.