Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Humbled by Melanoma Nation

It is truly humbling how the melanoma community comes together.

Earlier today, I was mentally composing my thoughts about how two events of the last week brought together the melanoma community in different ways.  And now, within the last few minutes, a third amazing demonstration of the love of melanoma nation has taken place.  But let me talk about the first two first.

About a month ago, I asked folks if they’d be willing to donate to a raffle/auction to be held at the upcoming MRF walk in Apex, NC.  Honestly, I figured I might receive a couple items in addition to my BITNP shirt and coffee mug that might fit nicely in a little basket.  What I’ve received is a kitchen table full of boxes of items received from across the country and Canada!  Scarves, calendars, bracelets, stationery, a CD…all sent from people touched in different ways by melanoma.  In fact, far too many items to fit in one basket, so I’ll work with the event organizers to best utilize the items for maximum fund-raising.  Thanks to every person!  The response was truly touching.

The second gathering of melanoma nation took place as our own Chelsea Price walked the red carpet and spoke at the Skin Cancer Foundation’s big gala in NYC last night.  (I almost titled this blog, “Another Blog About Chelsea’s Big Night…J ).  I personally ate dinner with my eyes glued to my tablet as I waited for updated photos from the Skin Cancer Foundation’s (SCF) website and tweets.  The funniest moment was when they posted Brooke Shields’ photo on the red carpet, and the Rev. Carol chimed in, “That’s nice, but show us a photo of Chelsea Price!”  The SCF obliged moments later with a stunningly beautiful photo of Miss Price. 
I have a feeling others felt the same pride as I…and also noticed that her expression seemed to say, “WOW!” and “WTF is happening?” at the same time.  What an amazing night for Chelsea…and what an amazing night for us all.  If nothing else, SCF felt the presence and importance of the online community.

Thirdly, as I logged on tonight, I received a private message to my BITNP page.  It was from a gentleman named Justin Eakes that read as follows:

Hello, I know this is last minute but I am having a memorial service Sat. 13th, for my wife who just lost a 2 ½ year battle with melanoma Oct. 4th.  I was wondering if you knew of a place that I could either overnight or buy in Kansas City, small black ribbons that we could hand out to everyone who is coming to the service.  If you know of anything like that or similar, that would be great.  If not that is ok too.

Thanks for any help, and sorry for being last minute the thought just came to us today.

Justin Eakes.

Within 15 minutes, over 20 people responded with prayers, thoughts, and even offers to make him ribbons and overnight them!  I sit here in amazement to the magic this group can perform.

We all told Chelsea how proud we were of her…and I’m here to say that I am SO proud of each and every person in melanoma nation.  Melanoma doesn’t stand a chance against a love-force such as ours.

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