MRF Blog

#GetNaked: Jackie's Story

May 10, 2018 | Categories: Causes, Patient Stories, Prevention

“While my friends were applying for jobs and graduate school, my doctor told me not to make plans beyond five years.” – Jackie

 

Jackie held her college diploma in one hand and a melanoma diagnosis in the other. While Jackie’s peers were preoccupied finding jobs after college or eyeing graduate schools, she was told by her oncologist not to make plans beyond five years.

“Learning of my diagnosis was devastating.” The campus health center had previously told her the lump was only an inflamed hair follicle. What’s more, as a young African American woman, Jackie defies the stereotype that skin cancer afflicts only older, fair-skinned individuals who’ve spent years in tanning beds or sunbathing at the beach.

All the same, she took melanoma head on—through surgery, radiation and participation in a clinical trial. She cites a recurrence in her late twenties as a turning point. “I made a conscious effort to not let cancer consume me. I love to read. I continue to read. I love to dance. I salsa three times a week.”

The experience has motivated her to become an advocate for others who may not realize that melanoma can happen to anyone, regardless of age, race or gender. She serves on the MRF Board of Directors and is an active participant at their annual Advocacy Summit and Hill Day. Joined by dozens of her fellow patient advocates, Jackie brings the message to her representatives that “melanoma is a largely preventable cancer, and we should do as much as we can to detect it early and invest in research programs for a cure.”

Your support of the MRF means that young men and women who are facing melanoma in the prime of their lives can continue to make plans for their future. Please consider a tax-deductible gift today:

Learn more about Jackie's story and why she supports the MRF's #GetNaked campaign:

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