Articles by Cody R. Barnett, MRA Director of Communications
Mary Jo Rogers: Research Will Get Us There
With red hair and fair skin, Mary Jo Rogers has always known she was at high risk for melanoma, so she saw her dermatologist regularly. Despite knowing the risk, her 2011 diagnosis of Stage 3C melanoma still came as a big surprise.
Gail: Stage 4 to NED (No Evidence of Disease) Through a Clinical Trial
Gail was already on her way out the exam room door, following her annual physical, before she remembered to ask about a dry cough she’d had for about a week.
Amy Fights for Acral Melanoma to be Seen
For patients diagnosed with acral melanoma today, Amy offers the following advice: “You aren’t alone. If you find a spot – any spot, really that looks different or concerns you – get it checked out. Advocate for a biopsy because doctors don’t always know what they are looking for when it comes to acral melanoma.”
Take Life as it Comes
At her local hospital, Karen was told she had both lung and brain cancer. She was in shock – she had been feeling great and was diligent about eating right and exercising. It wasn’t until she met MRA-funded investigator, Dr. Rizwan Haq at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute that she learned that her tumors were actually caused by malignant, stage 4 melanoma. Following radiosurgery and combination immunotherapy, Karen’s melanoma is stable.
Elizabeth McGowan & Outpedaling 'The Big C'
To celebrate her fifth anniversary of being NED, Elizabeth McGowan set out on a 4,250- mile adventure across the United States, coined 'Heals on Wheels.' Now, 20-years later, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author shares insight into her journey with melanoma and her solo bicycle trek in her book: "Outpedaling ‘The Big C’: My Healing Cycle Across America."
Integrative Medicine Answers the Question: ‘What Can I Do to Support My Treatment?’
When Dr. Gary Deng sits down with a new patient to discuss their goals and how integrative medicine can fit into their overall treatment plan, he likens his work to taking care of a plant. “With the right amount of water, sunshine, fertilizer, and soil – a plant will thrive. That’s what integrative medicine is looking to do, but with an entire person,” says Deng.
Working to Take the Luck Out of Melanoma
Ellen believes that research is the best tool we have to “take the luck” out of melanoma. She’s proud to be involved with an organization – and a cause – that is relentlessly moving forward in search of answers, new treatments, and ultimately a cure for melanoma. “I know that given the right support, research will get us there,” she says.
For Melanoma Researcher Dr. Betina Yanez, It’s All About the Journey
If you close your eyes and imagine what a melanoma researcher looks like, Dr. Betina Yanez is probably not what you imagine. That’s because Dr. Yanez, a health psychologist by training, isn’t your typical melanoma researcher. Instead of researching new treatment targets or experimental combination therapies, she focuses on patient experience and quality of life.
Putting Her Faith in Research & Her Doctor
All things considered, things are looking up for Margaret Oplinger. A marble-sized tumor is all that’s left of her Stage 4 melanoma; and her ongoing treatment, every-other week with nivolumab (Opdivo®), will hopefully enable her immune system to attack – and eliminate – this last remnant.
Painting a Portrait of the Melanoma Clinical Trial Participant
MRA Chief Science Officer Marc Hurlbert, MRA Director of Communications Cody Barnett, and Antidote's Head of Partnerships Lindsey Wahlstrom-Edwards discuss what matters most to melanoma patients when it comes to participating in clinical trials.
About the Author
Cody R. Barnett, MRA Director of Communications
Cody R. Barnett joined the Melanoma Research Alliance (MRA) as Director of Communications in August of 2017. He works to develop and cultivate strategies, messages, and stories that propel MRA’s mission forward. Cody is responsible for media relations, web and social marketing, publications and materials development, and organizational branding. He is committed to using the power of visual, verbal, and written communications to promote MRA as a powerful force for advancing melanoma research.
Before joining the Melanoma Research Alliance, Cody served as Director of Communications at AIDS United, where he directed all internal, public, member, and online communications for the national HIV-focused organization. Previous to this, he managed digital communications for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Aligning Forces for Quality (AF4Q) initiative.
Cody earned his Master of Public Health (MPH), concentrating in health policy, from The George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health in 2013 and a Bachelor of Arts in political science from York College of Pennsylvania.