I live in Australia and was diagnosed with Melanoma to the Lymph Nodes (right Axilla). Being given that news is frightening. I had previously had a Primary Melanoma removed 3 years earlier and none of the experts could believe it had spread. The primary was caught very early. With the shocking news that my life was now threatened everything becomes confusing. You search the net, listen to surgeons and oncologists, look at alternative therapies. One of the calming sources was a visit to the MIF website and reading their personal accounts of survival. It was inspiring. I also emailed the Foundation with questions and received a very prompt reply that was very helpful. I am currently Melanoma free and intend staying that way. A special mention to Herman for his story as I found that the most inspiring. Thanks for being there in my hour of need. Peter Mawer
I was diagnosed with melanoma last year for the first time in July and again (2nd primary site) in August. According to the doctor, it was all very rote - but melanoma is deadly and so much can go wrong. I was terrified. Worse, no one around me really understood. I found the forums at the Melanoma International Foundation and it was like finding a life line. Here were people who not only understood what I was experiencing but who could offer really sound advice. I trust what is posted there because I know that medical professionals are reading there too. What I've read there has helped guide my relationships with my own doctors as well as helped me deal with the diagnosis.
I was diagnosed with an early stage melanoma three years ago. I was nervous and scared. I knew very little of melanoma and went on the internet to find out more. I needed answers to all my questions. I found MIF and started reading the forums. Although that alone was informative, I really wanted to know more about how I should view my own situation. So I posted a new topic on the forum. I received many responses, including a few from Catherine Poole. I cannot say enough how important it was to me to hear others stories and the words of encouragement regarding my own post. This is a serious disease and can mentally destroy someone, but this website gave me a much better outlook, a sense of relief, and most importantly, strength. The togetherness of the people on MIF provided the support I needed to look forward to the rest of my life and taught me to be strong in the face of adversity. The site has many wonderful things to help those that suffer from melanoma by way of forums, links, latest research, and the common bond of immediate friendship. I would not be where I am today without the information and voice of reason MIF gave me. I highly recommend this site to anyone wanting to learn more or needing that shoulder to lean on. Thank you to everyone at MIF for the dedication and support in fighting melanoma. It will never be forgotten.
I was diagnosed with a late stage melanoma on June6, 2005. At the time, my prognosis was dismal and I was given 6-9 months, 12 months at best. In spite of that, I just celebrated my seventh NED anniversary last month.
Many people still see melanoma as “just skin cancer” and do not know that it is an incurable, and way too often, fatal disease. I consider myself an “odds beater” and feel that because of my unexpected survival, I have a responsibility to educate others about melanoma. So I try to educate (without “preaching”) anyone who will listen to the dangers of melanoma.
To those who have already been diagnosed, I share my story and tell them not to view their prognosis in terms of statistics because I have never believed that I am a number, I am a person. Also, it is important to never give up hope and to surround yourself with supportive, loving people because this is not something you can face alone. I truly believe that my good fortune is the result of exceptional medical care along with hope. No treatment plan by itself can produce positive results. I believe medicine must be combined with plenty of positive energy.
Had I given up and just waited to die I would have missed so much, my daughter’s graduation from college, the marriage of my son to a wonderful woman, the birth of my first grandchild, my 35th wedding anniversary, the chance to make many new friends, and otherwise ordinary daily events that make life so precious.
In the early years of my diagnosis, I received a fantastic book at no charge from MIF, authored by Catherine Poole through my participation in an online patient support group for anyone dealing with melanoma. I thought it was just wonderful that your organization made this available to me without any money changing hands.
I think so highly of MIF that I am nominating them for an annual donation made by my daughter’s employer. Each year they pick a not-for-profit organization that is located close to DC and is small enough for them to feel their contribution can really make a difference. Although I missed the deadline in 2011, you can be sure I will not miss it this year!
Thank you for helping me with my mission to increase melanoma awareness and my personal feeling that one should not let melanoma rule your life…you rule your life while remaining hopeful and diligent. I appreciate this opportunity to express my appreciation for your organization!
I was diagnosed mith malignant melanoma. I had surgery after fighting with the insurance company. I did not know what I was getting into. The only thing I knew was that melanoma was deadly. After my surgery, infections and reccuperation from 18 lymph nodes removed. I entered a clinical trial. Unfortunately, I did not get the trial drug, but got the other more toxic drug. After talking with the foundation and getting a better of sense of my options and the positives and negatives, I chose not to go with the interferon. I am now 9 months cancer free. I hope I made the right decision, only time will tell.
The Melanoma International Foundation (MIF) has been an excellent source of information for me since I was diagnosed with melanoma at the end of 2011. Clearly anybody receiving this life changing diagnosis will appreciate the supportive community available through the MIF, but the first thing that the MIF helped me to do was to actualy understand my diagnosis by explaining details included in biopsy reports (details which, I'm sorry to say, many doctors have a hard time explaining) and what this meant for the future. The MIF website is the most informative place I managed to find on the internet. It gave me the support (encouragement, information, hope and strength) I desperately needed at a very difficult time in my life.
The information I have gathered and support received have made my diagnosis a little bit easier to take and work through. Thank you so much MIF. Robert Bruce
My dad was giagnosed with stage IV melanoma and the MIF was very supportive and helpfull to my family helping us deal with a difficult time. They were able to explain the treatment options and give us ideas on how to deal with the disease.
MIF and its members have been a source of comfort, inspiration, and most of all information since my melanoma diagnosis almost three years ago.
When diagnosed with Melanoma the questions I had were numerous and constantly popping into my mind. Thankfully I found this source which allayed some of my concerns and, fortunately for me, allowed me to realize that while I'm by no means "out of the woods", my situation isn't as dire as I immediately assumed it was. I simply didn't understand the prognosis and being able to come to this website with questions and have them answered same day most often was very helpful as my family and I faced this awful disease. I'm now more educated and have even been able to provide guidance to others who were recently diagnosed.
I think this site is excellent. Catherine Poole the moderator is very informed and up-to-date on the latest treatments and research. She is also very kind, caring and supportive towards the patients and caregivers. I used this site almost daily after my brother, Wes, was diagnosed with Stage IV Melanoma in 2008. Catherine and the others on the site provided my family with wonderful information, support and encouragement. I will always take comfort in this.
I am a melanoma survivor. When I was first diagnosed I found this terrific organization and they have helped me to connect with fellow melanoma patients, research physicians and treatment options, and kept me abreast of activities surrounding this challenging disease. Their publication and email information is helpful, interesting and current.
The forums were an enormous help when my brother was first diagnosed with stage IV metastatic melanoma. The users and moderator (Catherine Poole) supplied a wealth of knowledge about the most current clinical trials which were his only hope at the time. Feedback was quick and accurate.
The MIF has been a huge psychological support for me, as well as the go to place when I want information on melanoma. I am always telling my doctors about this site. When they are impressed because of the knowledge I have, I give credit to the MIF.
MIF has been a wonderful source of accurate and reliable information for myself and my dealings with melanoma. I can honestly say the information and people found on this site are the best and without a doubt helped me cope with my two brushes with melanoma (both were diagnosed as "in situ).
The information is current and dead on accurate. The supportive forums are my lifelines. As any person who has heard the word "cancer" mentioned to them as a diagnosis will tell you, you need support and encouragement as much as you need the actual medical treatments.
Catherine Poole and her group are always available to answer questions on line or if you need more information she will also reach out to you personally. As a skin cancer survivor, she knows first hand what all of us are going through. She has blazed a skin cancer trail for others and I am grateful that she has.
I am the family researcher. Every family should have one, right? In 2008 my father was was extremely ill; advanced metastatic melanoma. In the process of leaving no stone unturned, I happened upon the Melanoma International Foundation website. I e-mailed Catherine Poole, President of Melanoma International Foundation, directly with some specific questions. She responded immediately, with wisdom and compassion. Her insight and the information she provided at such a desperate time will not be forgotten.
I am so grateful to have found Melanoma International Foundation on the internet. Connecting with others who are battling this disease has helped me in dealing with my diagnosis. Also, the moderators do an amazing job of making sure that accurate information is shared. It has been a valuable tool in my education about Melanoma.
Having Melanoma experts so available and willing to respond to questions has been truly amazing. Such a comfort when facing a life threatening disease.
I found the Melanoma Foundation after just being diagnosed. I was not under general care, so was not receiving any kind of feedback from the surgeon who had removed the malignancy. After thirty days I had an appointment only to find I was being sent for further testing which they would receive within two days and I would have to wait another 30!!!! I requuested a copsy of my lab work and quicly submitted the info online to the Melanoma Foundation. Thank goodness I did! They were quick to tell me I was a low risk, and explain the results to me. Since my surgeon had zero compassion or bed side manner (this is not his specialty) and found it acceptible for me to live three months before giving me the all clear I was releived to talk/chat to other individuals going through the same thing as well as get some professional council on my results! I am happy to report that I feel I have made true friends on this website, and still communicate with some to this day. In addition I visit occasionally to lend my support to other newly diagnosed individuals. This site was a true blessing in my life at a time when it was so needed. God bless the individuals that spend their time to keep it up and runnin!