Category: Melanoma Stories


Connecting the Dots – Clinical Trials and Patient Engagement

By Cody R. Barnett, MRA Director of Communications | 15 November 2017 In Allies & Partnerships, Melanoma Stories, News

MRA is thrilled to announce the launch of the Melanoma > Exchange, a melanoma treatment and research focused discussion group and support community. Through the Melanoma > Exchange, anyone touched by Melanoma can find support, ask questions, and build community among people who share a similar experience.

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“Hands down, I’m alive today because of clinical trials”

By Cody R. Barnett, MRA Director of Communications | 15 November 2017 In Melanoma Stories, Science

Jamie Goldfarb didn’t think of herself as having cancer. Yes, she had been diagnosed with Stage II melanoma four years earlier and Stage III the following year, but the surgeries to remove it had been successful. The PET scans that followed had been normal. This wasn’t supposed to be happening. Jamie was now a tired new mom with an eleven-week old baby and she was ready to get back to work. But, her world would turn upside down when she learned that not only was melanoma back, but it had progressed to Stage IV and spread to her liver and pancreas.

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Ten Years of Powerful Research and Results

By Cody R. Barnett, MRA Director of Communications | 13 November 2017 In Allies & Partnerships, Melanoma Stories, News, Prevention, Science

In 2007, when Debra Black was diagnosed with Stage II melanoma, there were few treatment options. In fact, for those diagnosed with late-stage melanoma, only two FDA-Approved treatment options existed, and they only provided a 16% chance at five-year survival. After dealing with her own health concerns, she and her husband knew that they could-and needed- to do more. That’s why later that year they worked with Mike Milken to found MRA and transform the melanoma landscape.

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“Seeing his Family Grow-Up Thanks to the Promise of Clinical Trials”

By Cody R. Barnett, MRA Director of Communications | 10 October 2017 In Melanoma Stories

In August 2012, T.J. Sharpe walked into the emergency room with a fever. He’d been ill for a couple of days and didn’t want to get his four-week old son sick if he could avoid it. Sixteen days later, he left a full 30 pounds lighter and with a stage IV melanoma diagnosis.

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Melanoma Survivor and Pro Baseball Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt Shares His “Game Plan” for Battling Cancer

By Your Cancer Game Plan | 19 September 2017 In Allies & Partnerships, Melanoma Stories, Treatment

Mike Schmidt, member of the Baseball Hall of Fame, is considered to be the greatest third baseman of all-time. As a professional athlete, he always felt invincible, but in 2013 a melanoma diagnosis threw him a curveball that he wasn’t prepared for.

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A Mother’s Perspective: New Options for Pediatric Melanoma

By Cody R. Barnett, MRA Director of Communications | 6 September 2017 In Melanoma Stories, News, Treatment

When Cheryl Trocke’s nine-year old son Graham was diagnosed with melanoma four years ago, she quickly learned that when it comes to kids, there were no great treatment options and that care can vary greatly based on where your child is treated. After surgically removing the primary tumor, Graham’s doctors suggested a treatment plan of ‘wait and see.’

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Doubling Down: Brandon Barniea Bets Big on Combination Therapy

By Cody R. Barnett, MRA Director of Communications | 6 September 2017 In Melanoma Stories, Treatment

Brandon Barniea didn’t believe he needed to visit doctors. The athletic 35-year-old had always been healthy – even when his wife and two kids were sick at home with the flu, he would miraculously avoid falling ill. So, when he found what felt like “beads” in his neck, reality came crashing in; following a biopsy, he was diagnosed first with stage III melanoma in August 2015 and later that year it progressed to stage IV.

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Invincible, Until You’re Not

By Pamela Goldsmith, MRA Director of Communications | 6 June 2017 In Melanoma Stories, Prevention, Treatment

Self described, lifetime sun worshiper and tanning bed devotee, 24-year old native Texan Ali Young was barely daunted the first time she was diagnosed with deadly skin cancer at the age of 18. Matter of fact, she recalls heading to the tanning bed the very day after her biopsy.

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Taking Charge of the Skin You’re In: 3 Levels of Melanoma Prevention and Detection

By Pooja H. Rambhia, MD Candidate, Case Western Reserve University | 3 April 2017 In Melanoma Stories, Prevention, Treatment

No healthy person in their twenties expects they’re going to get a call one day telling them they have an invasive nodular melanoma. Despite seeing and hearing of horrible stories about young patients developing cancers, we can’t imagine it’ll happen to us. That element of surprise is exactly what 25-year-old medical student, Alissa Prior, experienced upon hearing her diagnosis.

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Trena's Story: An African-American Retiree's Journey with Melanoma

8 June 2016 In Melanoma Stories

“Trena, you have melanoma and you are going to lose your toe. “ WHAT?!?! I am a Black woman in her sixties—that is crazy!!

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