Kerry’s Family’s Story

Melanoma March to us is now for the rest of our lives, to represent Kerry.’

Kerry’s family is marching because she didn’t survive.

Kerry El-Hourani had a mole removed from her right ankle in 2005. She was given the all clear.

Ten years later, in April 2015, Kerry and her family were shocked by a Stage IV melanoma diagnosis.

She was referred to Melanoma Institute Australia medical oncologist Associate Professor Alex Menzies who oversaw her treatment.

Kerry and her husband Zac spent a lot of time at MIA during Kerry’s treatment.

‘There’s a lot of knowledge in that building. It was like our second home near the end,’ recalls Zac.

Kerry cycled through many treatments and trials, struggling with side effects and surgeries but, unfortunately, her melanoma continued to progress.

Kerry had to have half her femur removed and a total knee replacement as melanoma took over her bones.

‘The amazing nurses, doctors and professors were a great support, always telling us what was next. New trials, new treatments - Kerry tried a lot of it. Not everything worked for her.’

‘They gave us four years.’

In May 2019, Kerry – wife to Zac; mum to Hannah, Sarah and Jordan; daughter; auntie and friend - passed away. She was just 46.

‘Her positivity and strength are something she will always be remembered for,’ says Zac.

‘She was so happy; she loved to dance.’

Kerry and her family have been a huge part of Melanoma March since 2016. In her first-year fundraising, Kerry raised $5000.

In 2017, Kerry cut the opening ribbon for the march at Barangaroo. In 2018, Kerry could only complete half of the Manly route. In 2019, Kerry didn’t make the march – she was too unwell. But Zac, her children and an enormous group of Kerry’s friends marched for her.

‘March was a good month for Kerry. She was big on fundraising; she loved the challenge.

‘She set the targets way too high, but she always managed to raise what she wanted, scraping in on the last few days.’

For Kerry’s children particularly, Melanoma March brings back fond memories of their mum, her determination and everything she stood for.

‘Melanoma March is a place to meet people who are going through the same thing as you, a place to feel support,’ Kerry’s children say. ‘There are so many stories there that you can relate to.’

Kerry’s family is committed to helping Melanoma Institute Australia reach our goal of zero deaths from melanoma by making people aware that melanoma doesn’t discriminate.

‘The more we spread the word about melanoma, the more people we can educate, the more people we can help so other families won’t be affected like our family has been,’ her family says.

‘I can see in the future there will be zero deaths, I think we are approaching that,’ says Zac.

2020 will be the first year since Kerry passed away that Zac, Sarah, Hannah and Jordan will be marching.

‘We’ve lived it since 2015 when Kerry was diagnosed. This is our story and we’ll tell it every day.’

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