Saturday, June 03, 2006

Riding saved her life.

It's nice sometimes to be reminded of why we have this blog and our foundation website. I stumbled across a MySpace entry today that referred to us. It's from SJM in Ohio.

From SJM's MySpace entry ("Riding Saved My Life"):

It was March 2003 when Mother Nature finally took a break from ticking us off so we could get out for an early spring ride in Ohio. I have a mole on my forehead that has been there all my life and it became irritated by the fibers in my helmet lining on that ride. Remembering that any changes in a mole could be cause for concern, I went to a dermatologist for the first time in my life to get it checked out. I was 26.

It is a typical, round mole and didnt have any indication of irregularity so my doctors said I had nothing to worry about. Out of curiosity though, she gave me a once over to look for anything peculiar. My right shoulder blade region is where she found it. She cut it out for a biopsy and the biggest shock off my life came about a week later when she informed me that it was in fact Malignant Melanoma.

Tiffany immediately entered my mind.

I hung up the phone and through tears read everything I could on Tiffanys site that linked me all over the internet to find more information on the disease. I was freaked and I had every reason to be. That Friday, they got it all through outpatient surgery and I was left with a genuine Melanoma scar to commemorate that diseases attempt at getting me.

These days sunblock is my best friend and its a rare day if you find me without it. My favorites are Lubriderm Daily Moisture with SPF 15 lotion for my face everyday because its light and doesnt smell like sunblock. And for the active protection, I use Coopertone Continuous Spray.

Skin protection has two different set of requirements in my life. Protection from the pavement and sun. When people choose to neglect one, the other or both its upsetting because of how easy the scarring, pain and death can in a majority of cases can be avoided.

Wear protection; your life could depend on it in more ways than one.

Chuck Cadman's life saving clinic

I noted the passing of Chuck Cadman last year. He was a member of Canadian Parliament and he died last year from melanoma. The skin cancer clinic opened in Chuck Cadman's memory just recently diagnosed a fellow member of Parliament with malignant melanoma, potentially saving his life.

More below from CBC News:

A Conservative MP recently diagnosed with malignant melanoma is crediting a clinic set up in the memory of a former parliamentarian for catching the disease early.

Bill Casey says he was diagnosed two weeks ago, when he stopped in at a skin-cancer clinic for members of Parliament set up in honour of the late Chuck Cadman.

"I've been so, so lucky," Casey told the Canadian Press.

"It's just starting to hit me what I had, and how close I came to going through a whack of misery."

Cadman, an Independent MP from British Columbia, died of malignant melanoma last year at age 57.

At the clinic, which was set up on Parliament Hill by Cadman's widow and the Canadian Dermatology Association, a doctor identified a suspicious-looking mole on Casey's back.

He subsequently underwent surgery to have the mole removed. Tests later revealed that it was the result of malignant melanoma, a dangerous form of skin cancer.

"I'm in shock that I had it. I'm in shock it was fixed," Casey said.

"It's a very moving experience."