BENEFITING: IMPACT Melanoma
ORGANIZER: IMPACT Melanoma
EVENT: Boston Marathon 2014
EVENT DATE: Apr 21, 2014
Dear Family and Friends,
In the summer of 2005, my family was shocked with news that my younger brother Tim, 21 years old at the time, was diagnosed with malignant melanoma. Tim was informed that due to his reoccurence, the depth of the disease and the time that had elapsed since his initial consultation, that he was up against a 50% survival rate over the next five years!
That was unbelieveably hard to hear. My little brother had a 1 in 2 chance of making it through the next five years...really? Scared, immediately humbled and confused, the fight against cancer was on for Tim and the Fater family.
Over the course of the few months, Tim endured three surgeries; a sentinel node biopsy, a radical lymph node dissection and a reconstructive skin graft procedure. His dermatologists, surgical oncologists and plastic surgeons at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute and Brigham and Women's Hospital were otherworldly. They were positive and supportive but also realistic throughout.
Following the months of surgeries, Tim decided to partake in another year of demanding and energy draining intravenous treatment called interferon. Throughout it all, Tim was truly as strong and steadfast as I could imagine. He was inspirational in the face of such adversity, never once felt bad for himself and in all honesty, motived and energized many of our family member and close friends.
In the years since these tough times, Tim has remained vigilant through countless doctor’s appointments, skin checks, scans and follow-ups at Dana Farber. Luckily, there has been no sign of the disease since the removal of the lymph nodes in the Fall of 2005.
The Melanoma Foundation of New England has become an integral part of Tim's life through mentorship and educational programs such as Billy Buddies and Your Skin Is In. Our entire family has followed suit, remaining actively involved in regular programs such as Martinis for Melanoma, Shades of Hope, and of course, staying up to date with our own annual skin checks and preventative measures.
In conclusion, skin cancer is preventable and I ask you all to please be sunAWARE and sunSAFE. Lets do our best to eliminate skin cancer from all of our lives.
I now will leave you all with a few words from Tim...."As I look back on the whole experience now, I can credit the origin of the disease pretty certainly on my sun exposure during my childhood and teenage years. Growing up in the coastal city of Newport, Rhode Island – I was always outside. Whether it was playing sports, sailing, surfing, golfing or working at an outdoor bar on the beach. I specifically remember a number of bad sunburns. It was an annual thing – part of the summertime routine. I did not use sunscreen nearly as much as I should have; nor was I ever particularly good at listening to most of the repetitive warnings and sun smart rules that are often lectured. This might be the most frustrating part of the whole experience – the fact that skin cancer is, for the most part, very preventable."
Thank you all so much for your support and encouragement!
Melanoma Foundation of New England wrote -
While we are forever changed by the events that took place on April 15, 2013 and the days that followed, we will not let this define our experience. Before the tragedies on Marathon Monday, Team Running for Cover was already a remarkable group of individuals who came together to take on the challenge of the marathon and raise money for a cause they are passionate about. They are now forever bonded, pulling together as teammates – and now friends – they supported each other and never waivered in their dedication to the team’s mission.
The Melanoma Foundation of New England's mission is to reduce the incidents of melanoma in the New England region through education, prevention and support. MFNE hosts a range of educational programs to spread awareness. These programs include Your Skin Is In, a program teaching high school and college students the dangers of tanning, and The Skinny on Skin, which teaches beauty professionals to recognize potential melanomas on the head, neck and scalp of their clients.
Team Running for Cover is running the 2014 Boston Marathon to raise funds to support MFNE's mission. All funds raised will be used to fund and expand these educational programs throughout the New England Area.