Donna Reith

Unknown to April 14, 2001

This is my Mom, Donna Reith. She was finally diagnosed with Stage III MM in July '91 after she went through 5 biopsies over the period of a year. Her Primary appeared on her nose. All 5 were read incorrectly. By the time it was diagnosed, she was Stage III with one lymph node positive for MM. She went through a total of 17 surgeries as a Stage III, many were reconstructive as they removed 1/2 of her nose due to the primary Melanoma. She attempted interferon in '91, but the side effects were incredibly severe and treatment was terminated. She remained NED until March 4, 2000 when a large lump was buldging out of her back and growing at a rapid pace. The Core Needle Biopsy indicated it indeed was Metastatic Melanoma. As months would pass, she would develop metastases in both lungs and in her brain.

She tried EVERYTHING and then some to combat this beast. She participated in two different clinical trials after FDA Approved treatments failed her. She was involved in Phase I trials for Perillyl Alcohol as well as Endostatin. She was dropped from both studies due to progression. When the brain mets caused seizures and left her unable to communicate, she decided to try Gamma Knife, without success unfortunately. Two months before she died, she developed several very large blood clots in both lungs and in one of her legs. Meanwhile, the brain mets was progressing. Mom needed to make a choice between Hospice and continuing the battle. There was no choice in her mind.......she continued to fight. She began Temador just 12 hours before she died. She was an inspiration and a Godsend to all who had the pleasure of knowing her. She loved life so much and fought very hard, always........always with a positive attitude and a smile to share even during the worst of her battle. She passed away peacefully on April 14, 2001.

To those who love her, she will forever be the strongest, most amazing woman we'll ever know.