I’m a Sagittarius, but I swear I was born under the sign of Cancer. Three of my grandparents had the disease and both of my parents are cancer survivors. In 2001, I joined the club. That’s when my plastic surgeon caught my first melanoma (after three other doctors missed it). Since 2001, I’ve had over 70 moles removed. Most of them have been severely dysplastic. I’ve had three melanomas – all caught early.
After my first surgery, I was the Honorary Chairman for a local benefit for cancer research. At a reception, I had another cancer survivor tell me that I was lucky I just had skin cancer. It was at that point that I realized people knew very little about the deadliest form of skin cancer.
So, my friend Keith Warren (who lost his father to melanoma) and I decided to do something about it and started the Run from the Sun. The Run from the Sun is a skin screening with an evening 5K race built around it. Now in our sixth year, the race has grown to over 1,000 runners. But more importantly, more than 1,250 people have been screened and several melanomas caught because of our event.
In 2001, I said that if I could live 10 years that there would be a cure. Thanks to the efforts of the MRF, that’s becoming more likely every day.
Editorial Cartoonist for The Clarion-Ledger and 2001 MRF Wings of Hope Award recipient
Read my blog (please): www.clarionledger.com/ramsey
Story submitted, September 2009