11/09/1983 — 12/13/2011
My 28-year-old daughter was diagnosed with Stage IV melanoma on Jan 7, 2011. She had been a tanner on and off for 10 years. She spotted a mole on her left ankle and had it removed. The dermatologist said it was precancerous, took it off, stitched it up, and told her to come back for a follow-up in 6 months. Before the 6-month checkup, she was over at our house and said, “Hey mom, look at this on my back.” It appeared to be a bite, either bug bite or flea bite because she had a dog.
Within 2 weeks it got bigger, and by the time she got to the derm’s office it was the size of a golf ball. They took a biopsy and it was Stage IV melanoma. Further testing showed it had metastasized to her lungs, brain, and near her stomach. She went through all the new treatments including the B-Raf and Yervoy. She even had whole brain radiation.
After 11 months of treatment, she passed away in our home on Dec 13th.
The one thing I would say to any young person out there is don’t TAN, use sun protection, and check your skin a lot. Jen wanted no one else to ever have to go through what she did. So we are trying to spread her story for awareness and possibly prevent another young person and family the horror of this disease.
Doreen Buckel, mother