Last year was the first year ICLS joined up as a group to sponsor the Strides for Melanoma Walk. The Melanoma Network of Canada hosts this walk to spread melanoma awareness throughout Canada. The incidence rates of melanoma and other skin cancers make this the number one, most frequently diagnosed cancer worldwide. In Canada, melanoma is the 7th most commonly diagnosed cancer.
Working where I do, seeing patients diagnosed with melanoma frequently, I joined in, wanting to support the cause. Little did I know that not long after that walk last year, I would be diagnosed with melanoma myself.
I had been keeping an eye on a very small mole on my lower leg that had started to change shape and I didn’t like the look of it. Being a nurse, working in a Dermatology office, I didn’t have far to go for help. I showed our dermatologist, Dr. Sapra the spot which I was concerned about and a biopsy was sent confirming I had melanoma. He assured me it was caught early and I would be fine. I had my wonderful ICLS family behind me for support. I knew I was in the best hands possible! I was referred to a surgeon who specializes in melanoma removal and Dr. Turley operated on my leg not long after I was diagnosed. I knew I would be left with a scar, but hey I work in an office that has a laser for that! Most importantly, I was healed in no time and cancer free.
Last week I was part of the ICLS team joining the annual walk, this time as a healthy survivor of melanoma. More than ever I know the importance of having your skin checked and hope to do whatever I can to support melanoma awareness.
From top left: Nathalia Zapata, Stephanie Sinclair, Rachel Rosbrook, Cindy Kuprenas, Kendra Westcott, Abi Chow, Karen Rosbrook, Cher Besser, Kelli Mraud.