Shannan Ponton thought he was invincible – he wasn’t. But his melanoma battle ended up saving more than his own life.
His melanoma story began on a beach in Bali when his wife spotted a suspicious looking mole on the back of his thigh. She booked him in for a skin check immediately on his return to Sydney – it was melanoma.
Despite undergoing two rounds of surgery and now sporting a 20cm scar, his melanoma hadn’t spread. He was so rattled by his melanoma diagnosis that he immediately called an ‘intervention’ with his mates, inviting 15 of them around to his house for a BBQ.
“I said boys, we all lead a similar lifestyle. I’ve just been diagnosed with melanoma. I want all of you to go and get a skin check,” Shannan recalls.
All 15 mates at Shannan’s ‘intervention’ that afternoon booked themselves in for skins checks – two were subsequently diagnosed with melanoma.
“If it wasn’t for that intervention and that feeling in my gut to go beyond trying to just help, and actually making a difference, those two guys could not be here now,” Shannan added.
Shannan’s story is the first to be featured in a series of emotive videos launched today by Melanoma Institute Australia, showing the impact of melanoma on everyday Australians. Stories to follow will include a young family devastated by melanoma; and a pregnant woman faced with the impossible choice of delivering her baby early or delaying melanoma treatment.
Watch Shannan’s story below and join him in the fight against melanoma by signing up for a Melanoma March event near you.