I got a FULL BODY EXAM – How about YOU???

A couple months ago, an oncology dermatologist performed a full body skin exam to check for skin cancer.  As many of you know, it resulted in a bump on my nose being biopsied.  Luckily, the pathologist reported only good news – it wasn’t cancer.  However, that doesn’t mean that I’m not headed back to the dermatologist for another full body exam in a few more months.  To my surprise, I fall into a high-risk category because I have more than 50 moles.  “More than 50 moles?”  I thought, “No way!”  But, that’s because I didn’t realize that many of the brown, flat, circular spots on my arm that I endearingly referred to as “freckles,” were in fact “moles” in the dermatology world.


Most people I talk to, especially the youthful twenty-somethings, assure me that they’re not worried.  Many boast how they do not take action to prevent the most common type of cancer in the US – skin cancer.  Some laugh as they explain that they must have forgotten the sunscreen again or justify that they were only going for ‘a little color.’  If it weren’t for my cancer diagnosis, I too would think that it wasn’t going to happen to me – or at least not for 50 more years.  But, I did face a cancer diagnosis.  Thus, to continue my mission of ridding the world of unnecessary cancer deaths, I am asking/pleading/begging, that you take 5 minutes to watch the below video, take 10 minutes to check yourself out, and if possible, spread the word.  Why? Because…

here’s some bad news:
1.) The incidence of malignant melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, has doubled among whites between ages 25 and 29.
2.) It is the second most common cancer in children and teenagers.
3.) If it is not caught early, there is only a 10% chance of being alive 5 years down the road.

There is good news, though…
1.) The outlook is very good if it’s caught early!

Please, watch this and take action because 
I NEVER want to run in memory of you!

Real Superheroes Wear Mylar Capes!

Sure, they may not be able to fly or throw fire but real superheroes, or at least real-life superheroes, wear mylar capes.  I am specifically speaking about my amazing DFMC teammates who sported the infamous silver capes (aka mylar blankets) only after spending months raising funds to fight the ultimate villain and of course, running all 26.2 miles of the Boston course.

As a team, we set a collective goal to fund raise 4.5 million dollars by the end of the fundraising period.  That means that all 550 teammates needed to individually collect over $8,100.  Since the fundraising period extends far beyond the marathon, the team typically aims to reach the 65% mark by Marathon Monday.  At the Pasta Party on the night before the marathon Jan, our fearless leader, revealed that we were not at the 65% mark… we were already at the 80% mark!  That means that all 550 DFMC teammates have helped to collect 3.6 million dollars and we will likely surpass our goal.  To translate for the runners – we may get a PR!

By now, you are all painfully aware of my individual fundraising goal – $15,000 (for 15 years cancer-free).  What you may not know is that my individual grand total is now… drum roll please… over $22,400!!!  That is a lot of cancer fighting, thanks to all of you!

Just today I was reminded why donating to DFMC and the Claudia Adams Barr Program is different – every dollar has a huge impact.  While doing a little research on Barr investigators, I came across an article about one of the investigators.  Although I won’t get into his research, the article discussed how the money he received from DFMC and the Barr Program was increased five-fold.  How?  Because the funding he received as a Barr investigator, allowed him to present his ideas to other organizations such as the National Institute of Health, who agreed to provide additional funding.  That means that your generous donations that have now reached $22,400, may actually translate to $112,000.  As always, thank you for joining me in this fight.  You have all earned the title of honorary superheroes in my book!

The mylar blankets are kind of a big deal…

Marathon mention:
After crossing the finish line at Boston, the first people you see are smiling Boston Athletic Association volunteers waiting to wrap you up in a mylar blanket.  The blankets are used to reduce heat losses caused by thermal radiation, water evaporation, and convection.  If you think they resemble space blankets, that’s because they do.  Although NASA often gets credit for their development in 1964 for the US space program, the material was first used as decorative wall coverings in bathrooms in the 1950s – thanks, DuPont!  Luckily, NASA realized the potential of this material and now marathon runners across the globe can stay warm after they complete the 26.2 mile trek.  Yes, the blankets may serve a more important purpose to astronauts.  However, NASA did use the “we developed the technology to help marathon runners” card when trying to justify funding for the space program in 2007.  Soooo, if you ever have an opportunity to run in Boston or be a spectator right at the finish, keep an eye out for the silver capes – especially when the person wearing the cape is also rocking a Dana-Farber singlet!