Lani's story

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My 36-year-old husband was diagnosed with spitzoid melanoma stage 1b in April 2012. He had a mole on his lower back that turned black that I just happened to notice one day. He had the mole his entire life and kept telling me that it was nothing to worry about. On a family vacation a few months later, I had his parents look at it and they thought it might be something to have the dermatologist look at. Something in me said it was not OK. He made an appointment with a dermatologist, but it was about a month out and I was antsy so I called my primary care physician. Please, please have an annual skin exam done to save yourselves and your children. It could save your life.

Our primary care physician removed the mole and eight stitches later, my husband was told it "was nothing to lose any sleep over." One week later he was told it was spitzoid melanoma. Three weeks after his diagnosis my husband had a wide excision and one lymph node removed. We waited anxiously for the results for two weeks. Fortunately for us, both biopsies came back negative. This is the scariest thing that has happened to us and our four young children.

Please, please have an annual skin exam done to save yourselves and your children. It could save your life. Subsequently, I have had a skin exam and my children go this month for theirs. I am starting a lifelong relationship with a dermatologist for my children and I tell everyone I meet about the importance of sunscreen and keeping our children safe.

 My community and friends will know my husband’s story. My next-door neighbor went to the dermatologist because of my husband's situation and was diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma. Please schedule an exam or go to a free screening if you can. God Bless.

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