In the summer of 2006, Kevin noticed a mole on his shoulder that seemed to have changed colors, so he went to see a dermatologist. A biopsy determined that the mole was a malignant melanoma.
When Nicole Kinnunen started dating her husband-to-be, she spotted a large, strange-looking mole on his leg. He told her it was nothing. Eleven years after they married, that melanoma left their family without a husband and father.
Last Thanksgiving, The Skin Cancer Foundation staff shared what we were thankful for. This year, we asked our online community of skin cancer survivors to tell us what they’re grateful for this holiday season. Here are a few of their responses.
When the sun starts to set, the countdown begins. The children excitedly check an ultraviolet (UV) light meter, waiting for it to register zero.
Chelsea Dawson’s days are filled with the hectic joy of motherhood. After ending her workday at the Department of Veterans Affairs in Virginia, she heads to day care to pick up her toddler, Lee. Then it’s home for dinner with her husband, Bryan, and stepson, Gavin, before putting the kids to bed and catching her breath. Balancing work, home and family can be tough, but you won’t hear Chelsea complain.
She was a much-sought-after model, and her looks were her meal ticket. But when her clients asked her to “get a little color” for photo shoots, she never dreamed it would lead to skin cancer —and a disfiguring scar smack in the middle of, yes, her face.
Given the prevalence of skin cancer in the United States, it’s not surprising that so many celebrities have had the disease. In fact, one out of every five Americans is going to get skin cancer. In our very own “Just Like Us” feature, we share ten celebrities you may not realize have had the world’s most common cancer.
Since skin cancer is the world’s most common cancer, it goes without saying that it affects people all around the world. What is less obvious, however, is that anyone regardless of age, skin tone or race can develop the disease.
Skin Cancer Foundation staff members learn a lot about skin cancer. Many of us also have friends or family members who have suffered from the disease. However, few of us have developed the disease ourselves.
Tia Costello was eight months pregnant with her second child when she was diagnosed with melanoma. “I was angry. I screamed into the pillow multiple times and I felt my baby inside me start to move,” she recalls. “I knew she felt the panic inside. I was scared and I feared for her too.”