03/25/1943 — 04/21/1978
Kevin was 33 and had just returned from a skiing trip with his friends. At first, he thought he had bruised or cut a small mole on his side. This was 1976 and unfortunately, awareness of melanoma was not as available to the public as it is now.
He treated it for a week or two but when he showed my Dad, my Dad told him to have it seen by a doctor. The mole was removed and biopsied that day and a few days later a diagnosis of melanoma was given. He was hospitalized to have the lymph nodes removed and it was found that the melanoma had metastasized into the lymph nodes. He was told that he could undergo radiation treatments, which he did, but his chances to survive were very low.Kevin never once complained or gave up. The treatments were heartbreaking to watch him go through. In 1976, they did not have the options that we fortunately have today.
Kevin was loved by everyone that knew him. He was never depressed or felt sorry for himself. Kevin kept everyone else on a positive note. He enjoyed his life to the fullest, from the time he was a little boy, he was adventurous, loving, and caring.
We were a very close and large family. Kevin was the fourth child of four boys and three girls and the second child of my parents to pass away. He was always more concerned about how his family would handle his cancer and death, than he was — especially his nieces and nephews who adored him.
His death was devastating and left a void that was filled if only barely by his pictures and stories that the family always shared and still desire to share, which is why I wanted to share Kevin on this memorial wall with others who have felt the loss and pain of melanoma.
I have since lost two other siblings to cancer (although not melanoma) and my parents. My older brothers and I are well aware of this insidious cancer and have been diagnosed with various forms of skin cancer over a period of years, but luckily, we have so far avoided the dreaded melanoma. I think our Angel Kevin is watching over us.
Please help support the Melanoma Foundation and use sun block and watch for any change or new moles!
In loving memory of my brother, Kevin.
Patricia Long Schuhmann, Loving Sister