MRF Blog

#GetNaked: Joe's Story

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

“One month before our wedding, I noticed a lump.” – Joe

 

Joe was a Naval officer on tour in Washington, D.C. Andrée had left Boston behind to take on the nation’s capital herself. The two fell in love and, weeks before they walked down the aisle, life dealt them an unexpected blow. Joe had a recurrence of melanoma. He’d had a close call in high school when his pediatrician removed a cancerous lesion from his back. Now, melanoma surfaced in his lymph nodes, gallbladder and bones.

The initial shock gave way to action. “I tried to learn as much as I could, and follow my own health, so that I could have informed conversations with my doctors.” He sought second and third opinions from health specialists before choosing the best treatment plan for him. Joe’s advice for anyone facing a melanoma diagnosis is: “Stay positive. It is a part of your life, but it is not who you are.”

Andrée shared that the journey has “taught them patience and perspective—not to react on impulse, but to figure out the right next step.” Through the highs and lows, they make sure to have honest conversations and celebrate the “wins.” The couple has ample reason to smile these days, becoming the proud parents to Gabe, a beautiful baby boy.

Joe continues to prioritize prevention. He explains, “There are easy things that you can do. Use sunscreen, get annual checkups, reduce your sun exposure.” For her part, Andrée jokes that she’s taken on the role of “permanent sunscreen reminder.” Keep your eyes peeled for her at the next Washington Nationals baseball game, with plenty of SPF in tow.  

Your support of the MRF means that more families can celebrate "wins" like Andrée and Joe. Please consider a tax-deductible gift today:

Learn more about Joe and Andrée's story and why they support the MRF's #GetNaked campaign:

 

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