Jaime Regen Rea

April 6, 1977 — March 16, 2007

Jaime was only 29 years old when melanoma claimed her life. A beautiful, vibrant life has ended before it had a chance to bloom. And it’s just not right.

Who could have guessed what a profound effect one little ugly mole would have on our family and everyone who knew Jaime and her courageous fight? That mole on her back, perhaps encouraged in its mischief by Jaime’s teenage addiction to tanning beds in search of a “killer” tan, was the beginning of a 9-year journey filled with surgeries, chemo treatments, radiation, and clinical trials. Oncologists, surgical oncologists, dermatologists, radiation oncologists, interventional radiologists, and melanoma specialists became our extended family; cancer centers and hospitals became our second homes. Jaime was stage II for 4 years, just long enough for us to start to relax, and then it advanced to stage IV for the last 5 years. The last year her condition began a steep downward spiral, and we found ourselves going from really bad scan reports to even worse ones — and from very nasty treatments to even worse ones. But her amazing smile never faded and she never lost hope, even when all the medical experts told her there was none.

Along the way, Jaime touched many lives with her positive determined attitude, beautiful smile and contagious laugh, and her strong will to live. She loved life and lived it to its fullest, never complaining about her pain and discomfort. Throughout her journey she brought hope and inspiration to hundreds of other melanoma patients and their families around the world. She fought this evil disease ’til her last breath, never believing that she wouldn’t survive. However, at the end, even though her mind was still willing herself to fight another day, her tired and worn little body no longer had the strength.

Jaime was my best friend, my hero, my precious baby girl, and the light of my life; she was Daddy’s little girl and spoiled rotten. I hate this evil disease for taking her from us all and for taking her future and her dreams from her. And I will do everything I can to continue Jaime’s fight against melanoma because I know that is what she would have wanted.

I miss you, SweetiePea, and love you with all my heart –
Jaime’s mom, Donna

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