Charles Foster Jr.

October 13, 1964 to December 1, 1994

My brother, Charles Foster Jr., was 29 years old when he was diagnosed with metastatic Melanoma. This happened in August of 1994, when my nephew, Charles Foster III, was 16 months old. Chuckie, my brother, had just reached a point in his life where everything was going right. He had a job he loved, a wife and her children he adored and a son that made him feel "complete". He was redheaded with blue eyes, which he got from my mother's side of the family. When we were little, we would always play outside all summer and to keep from burning over and over, we would just fry ouselves and get the burn over with and just get tanned the rest of the summer. As we got older my brother got hairier, especially on his back, so he rarely went without a shirt. One day he was working on a friend's car, he raised up and something sharp on the hood nicked his mole on his back. He didn't think anything of it. A week later, it still hadn't healed and he went to the doctor. They excised it and came back with the bad news...Melanoma. A couple of weeks later he had some lymph nodes removed and all were positive for metastasis. The bone scan showed it was in his lumbar spine, both femurs and his sternum. He started treatments right away including, gene therapy, chemo and radiation. He recieved radiation twice a day. He was in and out of the hospital during Sept. and Oct. Even celebrated his 30th birthday at Mother Francis Hospital in Tyler. November he was there all month and deteriorated quickly. Large tumors started forming all over his scalp. On December 1st, just a few months after be diagnosed, he passed on with his wife, my mother and father and me in the room. I wanted to write this so that my nephew would know just how hard he fought to be with him and to make sure that he too is more careful about his moles and sun exposure.