One of the most important messages the Melanoma Research Foundation shares is:
“You Are Not Alone.”
Melanoma is diagnosed in more than 196,000 Americans each year, and the numbers continue to rise across all races, ages and genders. Anyone can develop skin cancer. One of the MRF’s key roles is to support newly diagnosed patients, survivors and caregivers.
Doug Brodman, current board member, turned to the MRF as his first source for information and help when he was first diagnosed:
“Our family realized we needed to educate ourselves about this disease in order to better understand and prepare for the battle ahead. That’s when we discovered the Melanoma Research Foundation.”
-Read more about Doug’s story.
The “Newly Diagnosed” page starts with this advice:
“You have been given a diagnosis, not a death sentence.”
When found early, melanoma is one of the most treatable cancers. In later stages, treatment may be more challenging but no matter how advanced your diagnosis is, the MRF has a plan for you. They’ve carefully outlined what you need to know, what you need from your treatment team, advice to help you get through appointments, access to information about clinical trials and financial assistance, and more. If you need it, it’s there. If it isn’t there, the MRF is connected with an entire community of medical professionals whose life’s work is to provide life-saving care.
Knowing what to do and who to talk to is huge, but many people will tell you the thing that got them through was the community. Patrick Guddal, melanoma survivor, MRF advocate, and founder of Connect Melanoma, likes to say:
“The skin cancer community is like a club that you never ever wanted to be admitted to. But once you’re there you never leave. The friends you meet and connections you make start to feel like home. I’m forever grateful for their role in my life.”
–Read more about Patrick’s story.
There are a number of ways the MRF brings the community together. It hosts an online patient forum where you can connect with other patients and caregivers. It holds ongoing patient & caregiver meetings to provide opportunities to learn from leaders from major academic medical centers. It partners with other organizations like CancerCare, Imerman Angels and Patient True Talk to connect people to support groups or one-on-one help.
If you are, or know someone who is newly diagnosed, we strongly encourage you to visit the MRF’s Patients & Caregivers page. It can make all the difference in helping navigate a diagnosis.