Swimming champion Cate Campbell to March for a cure

World record holder, Olympian and Australian swimming champion Cate Campbell has been announced as National Ambassador for Melanoma Institute Australia (MIA). Cate is also supporting Melanoma March and will be attending the Brisbane twilight March at Riverstage on Sunday, 24 March.
Cate joined MIA Co-Medical Directors, Professor Georgina Long and Professor Richard Scolyer, and CEO Matthew Browne on a tour of Melanoma Institute Australia in Sydney to announce her role as ambassador. Cate also met young mum Jenny Day and her three little girls who lost their dad and husband David to melanoma. They are one of four families bravely sharing their stories of loss for the 2019 Melanoma March campaign.
“I will be joining the Melanoma March event in my home town of Brisbane as I know I was incredibly lucky, but for so many people diagnosed with melanoma this isn’t the case,” Cate said.
“We need to keep encouraging Australians to prioritise sun safety and skin awareness as part of their health regime, and we need answers. To find those answers we need research, and that means raising much-needed research dollars through campaigns like Melanoma March.
Please join me in helping those Australians bravely battling for their lives, and supporting families like David Day’s who are left behind.”
Melanoma Institute Australia CEO Matthew Browne says the organisation is delighted to have Cate Campbell on board as the 26-year-old athlete’s own recent brush with melanoma compellingly demonstrates the importance of being sun-safe and aware of changes to your skin.
“Cate embodies the Australian way of life and her love of the outdoors, be it swimming, hiking or kayaking, makes her an ideal National Ambassador for MIA,” Matthew said. “Many people don’t realise melanoma kills one Australian every five hours and is the most common cancer affecting 15 to 39 year olds. By having Cate on board we will better be able to reach young Australians with sun-safety and skin awareness messages.”
Cate went for a skin check in November 2018 after bumping into a friend who had a near miss with melanoma. Cate had a mole on her arm removed during the check, which turned out to be Stage I melanoma and required further surgery. It was her melanoma diagnosis that inspired her to become an advocate for the importance of sun safety and skin checks.
“As Australians, we spend so much time in the sun and with melanoma the most common cancer in young Australians I want to make sure people know the importance of having skin checks,” said Cate. “As someone with pale, freckly skin, keeping up with freckles and sun spots is difficult, but my melanoma developed in a mole I had my whole life and on the surface it looked like nothing had changed. I shudder to think what would have happened had I not had that mole checked. It literally saved my life.”
Melanoma Institute Australia is leading global research efforts to find a cure for melanoma. Despite recent breakthroughs tripling life expectancy for many advanced melanoma patients, more research is needed into why some people just don’t respond, and also to determine how to tackle earlier stage disease.
“To reach zero deaths from melanoma, we need to crack the riddle of so-called ‘super progressors’, like David Day, whose disease progresses rapidly despite these new treatments and they die within months” said Professor Georgina Long. “We also need to better understand how we can use these new treatments during earlier stage melanoma, to stop it spreading to vital organs in the first place,” added Professor Scolyer.
Take steps to end melanoma – and join Cate in the March toward a cure.

Raph’s story

Tess McGowan-Chan was just 30 years old and five months pregnant with her first child when she received a diagnosis no expecting parent would ever want to hear.

Celebrating her first wedding anniversary and excited to welcome her first child into the world, Tess didn’t think anything of a mole her husband Victor noticed on her back. Insisting she get it checked out, Tess went to the doctor where the mole was removed and sent for testing.

The following week, Tess was diagnosed with melanoma and given less than 12 months to live.

Welcoming their healthy daughter, Mabel, to the world in 2011, Tess and Victor’s high spirits wavered as it was revealed the cancer had spread throughout Tess’ body.

While savouring the joys of being a new parent, Tess was enduring treatment over four months and at the same time battling the juggle of needing to rest and enjoying time with Mabel. One of seven siblings, Tess’ family made sure she was never alone, ensuring someone was always with her, whether she was undergoing treatment or just at home.

Sadly, Tess passed away in 2012 but has never been forgotten. Her brother Raphael McGowan started a fundraising page for Melanoma Institute Australia in her memory to learn more about the insidious disease and share his newfound knowledge with others. This led him to develop bakslap, a device designed to help apply sunscreen and lotion to the tricky places to reach on our bodies.

Raphael has raised more than $80,000 for melanoma research over the years, hosting cycling events and fundraisers, and now he is bringing the Melanoma March to the Sunshine Coast.

“Tess is with me everyday and that’s driving me to do what I can to find a cure, so when Mabel and other kids grow up, their generation is free from melanoma.”

Tess’ family will be marching in this year’s Melanoma March to raise awareness and vital funds for melanoma research. Take steps to end melanoma and join the March for a cure.

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The Brazier Boys’ Story

The Brazier family, from the NSW Northern Tablelands, didn’t know much about melanoma until father of four Mark as diagnosed with the disease in 2015.

Mark’s melanoma progressed rapidly and he passed away the following year. Not wanting to see other families go through what they had, Mark’s four sons – Angus, Harrison, Thomas and Hugo – decided to raise money for research into the disease. They launched ‘Five Cent Friday’, a community fundraising campaign that swept across NSW and raised more than $25,000 for Melanoma Institute Australia.

‘Hopefully, this money can help save lives so no one else has to die from melanoma,’ said Angus. The boys and their mother Kath aren’t stopping there. They are also selflessly sharing their story as part of the Melanoma March 2019 campaign and hosting their very own Melanoma March in Guyra!

Time won’t stand still for families affected by melanoma – Neither will we. Join the Brazier family in the March for a cure!

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Mark & Kylie’s story

In February 2014 Emma Dunlop spotted a freckle inside her hairline that was turning pink. It was removed that day and turned out to be a melanoma.

Emma quickly became one of MIA’s most loved and active community fundraisers, working tirelessly to raise funds for research whilst at the same time battling her melanoma. Emma volunteered for Melanoma March each year, and even though her disease had progressed to Stage IV, she made sure she was at Melanoma March Western Sydney in March 2018. Sadly, Emma passed away at the age of 33 in May 2018.

Emma’s husband Mark and her sister Kylie have vowed to share her story to spread awareness and raise to funds to one day find a cure for melanoma.

Take steps to end melanoma and join them in the March for a cure.

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Jenny’s story

Young father David Day had his whole life ahead of him when he noticed a lump under his arm that lead to a devastating diagnosis of melanoma, at just 33 years of age. 

Young father David Day had his whole life ahead of him when he noticed a lump under his arm that lead to a devastating diagnosis of melanoma, at just 33 years of age.

David’s wife Jenny was 38 weeks pregnant with their third baby when he was diagnosed with melanoma. Two weeks later Jenny gave birth to their third daughter, Annie, and just five days after that, David had surgery to remove some lymph nodes in his armpit.Sadly, David passed away from melanoma with his family by his side in August of 2017.

Jenny and her daughters are bravely marching this Melanoma March in David’s memory and you can join them.

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Melanoma March is up and running for 2019!

Melanoma March is back and bigger than ever for 2019! With over 21 Marches confirmed across the country and more to come, it’s time for Aussies everywhere to get involved.

Time moves on for families affected by melanoma. Just as time won’t stand still, neither will we. We will continue research and prevention strategies to end melanoma.  That’s why we’re asking Australians everywhere to unite in taking steps to end melanoma.

Events are traditionally a family-friendly walk (4 to 5 kms) which bring together melanoma survivors, families affected by melanoma, researchers and doctors working towards a cure, and the wider community.

Up for a bigger challenge? Join Jay’s Longest Melanoma March – an epic 2000km, 50- day trek from Adelaide to Sydney. Sign up to walk a day with Jay, melanoma survivor, and help raise awareness and find a cure for melanoma.

Melanoma March is Melanoma Institute Australia’s major annual fundraising and awareness campaign. Melanoma March 2019 is an initiative of Melanoma Institute Australia. In some states, we work collaboratively with other melanoma organisations.  In South Australia, we work alongside Australian Melanoma Research Foundation; in Western Australia, we work with melanomaWA; and in Victoria, we work with the Skin & Cancer Foundation Inc.

Every five hours, one Australian dies from melanoma. Time won’t stand still and neither will we. Take steps to end melanoma – join our March for a cure. Register or donate at www.melanomamarch.org.au and follow the campaign at https://www.facebook.com/MelanomaMarch/

 

 

Joanne’s story

Joanne and her trusty companion Frankie spend their days spreading a message of hope in hospitals, nursing homes, even prisons.

Joanne and her trusty companion Frankie spend their days spreading a message of hope in hospitals, nursing homes, even prisons. It is a long way from her darkest hour facing palliative care.

Joanne’s melanoma journey began six years ago when she had a mole removed from her thigh. Four years later the cancer retuned in her groin, and she was told she had Stage III melanoma. Despite a second round of surgery, it quickly progressed to Stage IV.

“I have to confess I’m of that generation that did not put any cream on at all, it just didn’t happen,” Joanne recalls. “The only cream I put on was coconut oil, or baby oil. Now that’s probably where that melanoma started a long time ago.”

Joanne vividly remembers the discussion with her oncologist who suggested she get in touch with the palliative care unit. It is a memory she will never shake.
“Palliative care means you’re dying,” Joanne says. “It is a dreadful, dreadful disease.”

Joanne was thrown a lifeline when her oncologist at Melanoma Institute Australia suggested she try what was at the time a new treatment for melanoma. After an extended period of being very unwell, she turned the corner, and now, none of her tumours are measurable.

“Thank goodness I went to the right place at the right time, because otherwise I wouldn’t be here,” Joanne says. “If I had presented five years ago with what I had, then there is no way I would have survived. It is only through the research done at Melanoma Institute Australia that I am sitting here today.”
Joanne and Frankie, her therapy dog, now devote their time spreading a message of hope to others.

“We’ll go anywhere won’t we Frankie, to say there is life, there is hope. The Melanoma Institute has been there for me 24/7 and I have depended on them and I will be eternally grateful for the rest of my life.

Joanne’s is the latest in a series of emotive videos launched by Melanoma Institute Australia, showing the impact of melanoma on everyday Australians.

Watch her story below and join her in the fight against melanoma by signing up for a Melanoma March event near you.

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James’ story

Melanoma impacts more Australian teenagers and young adults than any other cancer.

Melanoma impacts more Australian teenagers and young adults than any other cancer. Dr James Wilmott, who has a young family of his own, has devoted his career to determining why these young Australians are susceptible to melanoma, and importantly, how to save them.

James Wilmott is part of the new generation of melanoma researchers, and was drawn to Melanoma Institute Australia by the direct link between clinical research and patient care. He knew this was an area in which he could really make a difference.

“Being a scientist, you don’t often see patients in your day to day work,” he explains. “I thought by working at Melanoma Institute Australia, where it brings together clinical research and basic science, I could see patients as well as do the cutting edge research.”

Dr Wilmott’s work focuses on why 15 to 39 year olds are being diagnosed with melanoma at a higher rate than any other cancer. Early results of whole genome sequencing of tumours from these patients show 90% of all mutations in a 16 year old patient are caused by the sun – a surprising result given the young age of the patient.

“It is surprising because it looks similar to what we see in adults… and the accumulation over a lifetime,” Dr Wilmott says. “They must have some sort of genetic abnormalities that make them more susceptible to UV damage. If we can pinpoint the genes that make them susceptible, and then find them in other young patients, we can target them with preventative measures to prevent them from getting melanoma in the first place.

“It’s an exciting time to be involved in melanoma research. We’re making great inroads into melanoma care,” he said.

James’ is the latest in a series of emotive videos launched by Melanoma Institute Australia, showing the impact of melanoma on everyday Australians.  Watch his story below and join him in the fight against melanoma by signing up for a Melanoma March event near you.

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Jay’s story

Jay was your typical Aussie bloke – a truck driver, husband, dad and mate to many. Then he got melanoma. ..

Jay was your typical Aussie bloke – a truck driver, husband, dad and mate to many. Then he got melanoma. His cancer diagnosis turned his life upside down, and set him on a path to helping educate others about how to prevent the potentially deadly disease.

“No one wants to get diagnosed with this disease,” Jay says. “My children have seen what I’ve been through, and it’s scary.”

It was Jay’s wife who insisted he have an itchy and bleeding mole on his ankle checked out. Jay thought the mole was just being rubbed by his work boots. It wasn’t. It was melanoma which was 1.95mm deep and had spread to his lymph nodes.

Nine years on, Jay is fighting fit. But he has lost too many friends to melanoma to rest easy. He is committed to educating young Australians, including his own children, about how to be sun-safe. He knows research is the key to ending melanoma for future generations.

Jay’s is the latest in a series of emotive videos launched by Melanoma Institute Australia, showing the impact of melanoma on everyday Australians.  Watch his story below and join him in the fight against melanoma by signing up for a Melanoma March event near you.

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Bettina & Madi’s story

Little Madi misses her Dad. But she is determined to honour his memory and support life-saving melanoma research.

Little Madi misses her Dad. But she is determined to honour his memory and support life-saving melanoma research.

Madi was only a toddler when her Dad Peter was diagnosed with melanoma after finding a painful lump in his arm in 2014. Peter’s doctor explained that his was a rare and aggressive form of cancer called nodular melanoma, which presents as lumps. The prognosis was grim. The family was shattered. Peter passed away before Madi turned four.

“I miss Daddy,’ says Madi. ‘And I love him.”

It was Peter’s wish that his family do all they can to prevent little Madi from being at risk of developing melanoma. He knew research was the key to ending melanoma for future generations.  Madi and her mum Bettina are honouring Peter’s legacy by encouraging Australians to join them in signing up for Melanoma March and raise funds to support life-saving research.

“I’m doing Melanoma March and I am doing it for Daddy,” little Madi says.

Madi and Bettina’s story features in a series of emotive videos showing the impact of melanoma on everyday Australians. Watch their story below and join them in the fight against melanoma by signing up for a Melanoma March event near you.

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