Grateful, humbled, honored and fortunate. These are perfect words to describe how I am feeling today on my 41st Birthday. Who knew two years ago when I first heard the words “you have Melanoma” that it would lead me on such an incredible journey. I have dedicated myself full time to the Polka Dot Mama Melanoma Foundation and supporting its mission of: funding research, raising awareness and educating the community about melanoma — the deadliest form of skin cancer.
Over the past few weeks my son has been working on his application for middle school. One of the questions he was asked was: “Indicate a person who has had a significant influence on you, describe that influence”. When I sat down to proof read his application I could barely read through my tears. With his permission I would like to share his response:
“My Mom has had a significant influence on me. My Mom is a very strong person. She has been diagnosed with Melanoma three times. I am so happy her cancer was caught before it spread to other parts of her body. She had lots of surgeries, but she stayed happy. My Mom has worked hard to focus all her energy on helping others. She started her own Foundation called Polka Dot Mama. She works hard to raise money and teach kids about Melanoma. She likes to teach others about sun safety.
My Mom never gives up, and always finds the good in any situation. Our family has gotten much closer because of this and we try to have fun each day, even on hard days. My Mom has taught me the importance of helping others. I have seen that one person can make a difference in the world. I admire my Mom for all of the great things she does and all of the people that she helps.”
As parents we all have good days and bad days, happy days and sad days. It is amazing how a child can see through it all, and help us focus on the things we do right.
I believe in my heart that I have been placed on this journey for so many reasons. It is hard to explain how being diagnosed with cancer has had such a positive impact on not only my life but also my boys, my husband and my family. I have learned so much about myself, my purpose and each day my life is touched by so many amazing people. I feel grateful that unlike many, my cancers were caught early. This gratitude is what feeds me and drives me to continue working hard using my voice for those who continue to battle this ugly disease.
Big things are coming down the pipeline and it is my dream that in my lifetime there will not only be a cure but a rapid decline in the incidence of Melanoma.
Consider how you can make a difference by clicking the donate button.
Remember to always love the skin you are in not only by being kind to yourself but by protecting your skin 365 days per year.
Love Tracy, AKA Polk Dot Mama