My first experience with Melanoma was in 2008 when one of my best friends, Doug, was diagnosed. He found a mole on the back of his leg that had changed over time. We fought hard, but sadly he lost his battle against this terrible disease only 3 years later in 2011.
My next encounter with melanoma was in 2018 when I was personally diagnosed. I had a mole on my neck that I noticed had changed (see the St. Patrick’s Day photo). I had it removed, and thought I was in the clear. Indeed, I was only 6 months away from being declared “medically cleared” of the cancer when it recurred. Last December, just 4 days after the birth of my 2nd son, we found the cancer had spread to my lungs. I’m now fighting for my own life.
Melanoma and skin cancer diagnoses are on the rise in Canada. Skin cancer is more common than breast, prostate, lung, and colon cancer combined. Each year we lose over 1,300 Canadians to melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. Together we can prevent melanoma, as 85% of cases are caused by overexposure to UV rays from the sun or artificial sources of UV radiation like tanning beds.
I’m not going to let melanoma beat me, and to honour Doug’s memory and the memory of everyone else whose lives have been affected by melanoma, I hope you will join me in raising money for this extremely worthy cause.
Please help us fund melanoma prevention and research to finding a cure by clicking donate on this page. Better yet, consider spreading the word even further by joining my team this month (“Team Thompson”) as we snowshoe, ski, hike, bike and walk these summits.