Yesterday I heard from melanoma survivor, Marshall Ramsey, who CURE
featured in our Survivorship Special Issue back in 2006 ("Taking Control
I was touched and amazed by his ongoing passion to give back to the cancer community. He said this year marked his 10th year of survivorship, and he has "appreciated over 1,080 sunrises since then."
To give back, he works with the Melanoma Research Foundation, promotes sun safety, and speaks publicly about the importance of humor in cancer. He also helps organize an event called Run from the Sun
, a 5K Melanoma Run/Walk in Jackson, Miss., where he is a cartoonist for The Clarion-Ledger
. He's a two-time Pulitzer finalist for his political cartoons, but I think this one is definitely worth mentioning:
H.O.P.E.: How to slay a dragon's little brother
Marshall has always used humor to help him get over the fear of cancer recurrence, something that stays with survivors even after the cancer is long gone. Here is his remedy: H.O.P.E.
A not-so long time ago in a land kind of far away, there was a noble knight who battled a terrible dragon named Cancer. It was a bloody, hard-fought fight, one where the knight fought valiantly. The knight had amazing weapons at his disposal. He had support from his friends and doctors. But It wasn't an easy battle; it took a great toll on the knight. He even lost his hair. Yet the day came when the dragon was gone. Victory was declared. The knight had won. He sat in his doctor's exam room and smiled -- he was Dragon-free. He celebrated his amazing accomplishment with a toast to his doctors and friends. They had fought the beast together and won. He had survived.
But little did the knight know, the dragon had an annoying little brother named Fear. And Fear would show up on the knight's doorstep one Saturday morning and move in with him.
Fear followed the knight around everywhere he went. To his job. Back to the castle. To the grocery story. To the Post Office. He was there when the knight woke up. He kept the knight from going to sleep. The knight frequently was up up all night. He even saw the little brother whenever he looked in the mirror. Fear was driving the knight mad. Like the rude house guest that he was, Fear would not go away.
You can read the full story, here
As for me, I'm already making plans to travel to Jackson to participate in the Run from the Sun, and I'm bringing my sunblock and hat.