September 5, 2013 I had wide excision surgery on my neck for my first Melanoma. I managed to stay Melanoma free for one year. September 5, 2014 I had Mohs surgery and a skin flap done on my ankle for my second Melanoma. That was when I declared September 5 “Kick Melanoma in the Butt Day”. At that time I didn’t know how or what I was going to do but I had a burning desire to fight this ugly cancer and fight it good!! A few months later when I was diagnosed with my third Melanoma I started blogging. From there the Polka Dot Mama Melanoma Foundation was born.
Since then I have been working full time both on my foundation and our upcoming Taste for a Cure: Chef’s Gala Benefiting Melanoma Research. I have not done this alone and I am beyond grateful and truly humbled by all the hard work of the more then twenty volunteers who have helped make this endeavor a success in such a short amount of time.
On September 4, 2015 the eve of “Kick Melanoma in the Butt Day” I received notification from the IRS that we had been approved for our 501 (c)(3) tax exempt status. I immediately began to cry and could not stop. My sweet boys were worried at first and when I told them the good news they started to jump up and down and hug me over and over. My husbands reaction was the same as mine–tears followed by numerous hugs. I couldn’t think of a better way to “Kick Melanoma in the Butt”!!
I am certain that all of our hard work and dedication to this very important cause will make a difference in the lives of many. I believe that I was put on this journey for a reason and I am determined to use my voice and my passion to make a difference. Too many people in this country die each day from Melanoma. Too many people get diagnosed late and are left with few options for treatment.
Thank you to those who continue to support me, cheer me on and believe in me! Thank you also to the amazing people who give so much of their time to this cause — you all know who you are. These amazing angels donate their time and talent and are a true testament that people really do want to make a difference. Every day I witness sincere acts of kindness. With every door that I open I see five more open. It’s not always easy to put into words but those around me who have witnessed it can tell you, it is nothing short of AMAZING!!
Much love and gratitude,