Statistically, my cousin Ted should not be alive.
He was diagnosed with Stage IV melanoma in 2008, and he has been fighting Mel since 2000.
(All future quotes are from a note written by my cousin’s wife, Stacy)
Ted was diagnosed with stage IV melanoma in June of 2008 when a regular MRI showed a tumor in his brain. Median life expectancy for stage IV melanoma with brain metastases is 6 to 9 months. The five year survival rate for this diagnosis is 3 to 5%. Two and half years later, Ted is training for a half marathon and currently has no detectable evidence of cancer.
Make no mistake, Ted’s journey has certainly not been an easy one; I have never seen so much strength, resolve and fight in another human being, even having the smarts to put together his own treatment.
The simple fact of the matter is that this isn’t just about Ted (though, obviously my cousin holds a special place in my heart), but it is about how dramatically underfunded melanoma research is in comparison with other cancers.
There have been no new FDA approved drug therapies for melanoma in over a dozen years. In the last 12 months there have been several very promising stories about new melanoma drugs (Ipilimumab & PLX4032) that show amazing results for some patients. But the work is not done; more money is needed. Researchers are so close to finding new life saving treatments.
My cousin’s wife Stacy is running this years City of Oaks Half Marathon in North Carolina in honor of my cousin, and her husband, Ted.
In 2008, Team Go to Hell Mel raised over $70,000 for the Melanoma Research Foundation. This money was awarded in a research grant to Dr. Patrick Hu at MD Anderson in Texas. Please help us make a difference. Researchers are so close to discovering treatments that could dramatically increase survival rates for late stage melanoma. Please sponsor Ted and myself, as we run together on Nov 7 in the City of Oaks Half Marathon.
I’m not here to try to solicit money out of you guys.
More than anything, it is an opportunity for me to spread the word about this disease, my cousin’s fight and his amazing non-profit. I mean – that’s what a public forum like this is for, right?
If you would like to make a donation – know that your donation is not simply going to my cousin, Ted, it is going to the Melanoma Research Foundation to strengthen the fight to make the lives of countless others suffering from Mel’s wrath better.
Go to hell, Mel … we need to come out swinging.