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To those valiant fighters,
may we always continue the fight with your memory in sight…… 

Sidwell D. Hutchins

DOB: July 19, 1933
DOD: July 5, 2018

Biography:  Sid was a Atomic victim in the Korean war as he was stationed outside of Las Vegas for 6 weeks during some atomic testings as a chemical, biological radiological warfare instructor. Twenty One years he had a massive melanoma on his chest and really had a mastectomy, by over cutting, taking out a lymph, stapling the area and graphs by a wonderful doctor at Barnes. Forty two years later had a hernia repair and his tissues came back metastatic melanoma.After many tests he had 9 spots from neck to thigh, no primary so assumed from first attack, no idea how old the little spots were. He had a special immunity so we tried the newer attack with the "killer pills" but a cell got away and killed his stomach.

Phyllis Hutchins, wife

Jake Erickson

DOB: August 18, 1992
DOD: April 7, 2016

Biography:  Jake was born in Phoenix and he grew up in Glendale, AZ. He loved to play video games and had the aspiration of being a professional one day. He had a talent for building computers. He had a dry wit. Jake was diagnosed in July 2013. His battle was lost in less than three years.

Michelle Coady, mother

Allen Miller

DOB: March 2, 1973
DOD: May 6, 2011

Biography: Allen began his battle with melanoma on November 29, 2010. He had a mole removed that had evolved into what we thought was a boil since he had been dealing with boils since Hurricane Katrina. It turned out to be melanoma. He was diagnosed on December 2,2010 and went through two more surgeries to remove all of the lymph nodes under the right armpit. After more tests he was diagnosed with stage 4 metastatic melanoma. It had spread to his liver, lungs and spine. He started a new treatment of ippilimumab on March 1, 2011, the day before his 38th birthday. He didn’t have any problems other than fatigue and a headache. He did another treatment on March 22 and had the same symptons. He was due another treatment on April 12th. He did not want to go for that one because he had begun having pains in his chest, abdomen , back & left leg, and the treatment involved sitting which was very uncomfortable to him,but he went anyway. The routine blood tests were done before treatment and! his liver enzymes were not at a good level so he couldn’t take his treatment anymore. He was sent for a CT scan and we found out that he had a fluid buildup in his abdomen that caused one of his lungs to collapse. He was hospitalized a few days and then was sent home with hospice. Everything spiraled down from that point. After a couple of weeks at home, he went to the hospice hospital so that they could monitor his medication because he was in such horrible pain that they couldn’t get it under control. After 5 days, I was told ,only because I asked, that he did not have very long, so I brought him home because that is where he wanted to be when he died. We had him home for about 4 hours and he died. This was a very sad time but I am grateful that he is in no pain. I asked God to heal Allen but if it wasn’t in his plan to heal him to please not let him suffer. Allen got the ultimate healing. He is now in heaven. He won’t suffer anymore from the cancer .

Message: Allen was gone in 5 moths.You were a very loving and devoted son to me and life will never be the same without him. You were also my friend. You are also sadly missed by numerous family members and friends. I will never forget the memories of you Allen. I miss you and love you very much. 


Steven Israel

DOB: May 12, 1945
DOD: March 9, 2011

Relationship to Victim: Son

Biography: My father was diagnosed in April of 2009 with Stage IV Melanoma. The disease spread to his lungs and in February of 2011 we found out that the melanoma had spread to his brain. My father underwent whole brain radiation, but ubnfortunately was unsuccessful.

Message: My father is my hero. He faced his diagnosis with dignity and fought his disease valiantly. He remained positive and focused on his family throughout his treatment. He died peacefully surrounded by his loved ones. He will be deeply missed. He was truly the best husband, father and grandfather.

Stephen Ray

DOB: Janaury 4, 1972
DOD: February 7, 2011

Relationship to Victim: Friend’s son

Biography: Son of Carolyn Ray of Madison, MS. Melanoma was discovered 8 years ago. Returned in August of 2010.

Cynthia Rubin

DOB: May 15, 1950
DOD: October 7, 2010

Relationship to Victim: Twin sister

Biography: Career as nurse/nurse manager in ob/gyn for 37 years.Very fair skinned, with blonde hair and brown eyes. Sunbathed as a child and teenager.Mole and back was removed, and was melanoma stage 2. No chemo or radiation was needed. Five and a half years later, tiny nodules appeared in both lungs. After 2 pulmonary operations, started chemo, including clinical trials. Deceased after being ill for 15 months.

Message: My sister Cynthia was not only my twin, but a huge part of my family’s life. She was not only kind, caring, smart and generous, but dedicated not only to her career as a nurse, but to our entire family. Life won’t ever be the same for us. We miss her terribly.

Roger Berg

DOB: 04/11/49
DOD: 01/29/08

Relationship to Victim: Son

Biography: Roger P. Berg was born in Brooklyn, NY in 1949. He had many jobs throughout his 58 years, and eventually owned his own flooring business for 20+ years. Although he worked very hard in the business world, his favorite and most satisfying job was being a dad/husband, and he was GREAT at both. He always put his family first, even until his last days. Roger stood for the meaning of giving and selflessness, and we all miss him each and every day.

Message: Pops, on behalf of our entire family, we miss you very much. You are constantly in our minds and will always be in our hearts. We love you buddy.

Paul Skelly

DOB: 5/9/1961
DOD: 9/4/2010

Relationship to Victim: Son

Biography: My dad was the only boy of 6 kids, grew up in the town, and house, he and my mom raised my 3 younger sisters and I in, and was a City of Rochester Fire Fighter. He was a Lieutenant and was diagnosed with melanoma in april 2008, cleared of it by february 2009 and it came back hard by july 2009. He went through 3 clinical trials through Boston’s Dana Farber hospital and fought harder than I ever could have imagined. September 4th, 2010 will be a day that nobody in my family EVER forgets. It was the day that we lost our superman. I have never seen a man more loved by his community and more than my dad.

Message: There will forever be a hole in our hearts Daddy, but we’ll never-EVER-forget you or the things you taught us girls. We love you.

I’ll get there someday, by your side.

Donald Bruce Williams

DOB: 1936
DOD: 2010

Relationship to Victim: Sister

Biography: My brother Bruce grew up on a Montana Ranch, went on to a military career of more that 30 years, was healthy and fit until age 65, then had tumors removed from his neck, his bowel, his lungs, and finally expired about a year after his diagnosis that it had metastizied through out his body. He joined several clinical studies to further research for a cure. He was well-informed and followed rules for prevention and good health all his lifetime.

Message: Bruce was fair skinned and red haired. Our sister was same. She didn’t get skin cancer. Our mother had dark brown hair and fair skin. She lived to 90 yrs with only one little patch on her face after a lifetime in sunshine with no sunscreen. Two brothers and our father (age 91) had no cancer of any kind. I have annual skin checks by my dermatologist, wear a hat, sunscreen moisturizer daily, and pray for the best.

Lynn Gailie

DOB: November 25, 1950
DOD: July 3, 2010

Relationship to Victim: Daughter

Biography: My mom was first diagnosed with melanoma when she was young with just one spot on the side of her face. It was caught early (I was very young at the time so my knowledge is limited) and they removed it and one lymph node. In June she got very ill – couldn’t eat, slept all the time and couldn’t take more than a few steps without sitting down. When we finally convinced her to go to the hospital she couldn’t even walk down the stairs. She was taken by ambulance to a local hospital where they put her through several tests and two weeks of antibiotics. Initially she was just on a nasal cannula for O2, and gradually went to the mask before (from Friday to Monday) having to be put on a vent. Lastly before transferring her to another hospital where there was a thoracic surgeon to perform a biopsy they tried steroids. When that didn’t work either they finally transferred her but by that point she was already in the hospital over two weeks. The biopsy was performed on a F!
riday, and the results came back the following Wednesday. She passed away that following Saturday. It was all so fast there was no time to digest the dx even.

Message: I never thought that we wouldn’t know if the melanoma came back. There was no lesion on her skin, there was nothing. Just all of a sudden it was everywhere. It hit like a ton of bricks. I happened to meet another girl the day after she passed away who had just experienced the same thing with her father. She had a little more time after the dx, but once it was found in him it was way too late as well. I found myself wondering why her dermatologist didn’t send her for scans every year. I wondered why we didn’t know to ask about the risk of it returning and how viscous it would be when it did. We were so completely shocked at how fast it was. We were planning for hospice and things like that but she only made it 3 more days. I just have so many feelings and questions that I could never even express in words.

James Francis Schoen

DOB: June 15, 1928
DOD: August 21, 2010

Relationship to Victim: Children & Grandchildren

Biography: James Francis Schoen died Saturday, August 21, 2010 in his home after a short battle with cancer. Jim was born in Natrona Heights, Pennsylvania on June 15th 1928 to Jacob and Margaret Schoen.

He graduated from Harbrack High School in 1946, received a Bachelors Degree in Teaching from Slippery Rock College, and pursued a Masters degree in botany from Penn State University. During the Korean War, Jim served in the United States Army and was stationed as a medic at the Walter Reed Hospital in Washington, D.C. He later joined the Department of Agriculture in the Beltsville, Maryland Grain Division, where he worked as a plant pathologist for over 40 years, testing seeds being imported or destined for export for disease.

Jim was an active parishioner at the Shrine of Saint Jude church in Rockville, Maryland. A member of the Holy Name Society and Knights of Columbus, he was a volunteer hall monitor and occasional teacher for the CCD program at the Saint Jude School where he joked that he was the best hall monitor in the county. He spent many hours working with the Saint Jude Garden Club which landscapes and maintains the church gardens. Jim was a daily communicant and would always be seen at the daily 9:00 AM mass, where he would occasionally fill in as an altar server, a job he accepted gladly, commenting that he had always wanted to be an altar boy but couldn‚t learn the Latin. Most importantly, Jim was a member of the Secular Franciscan Order for 48 years, a group of laypersons who strive to follow the example of St. Francis in becoming an instrument for God‚s work.

Jim loved the outdoors and nature and used his extensive knowledge of horticulture to create an exotic and beautiful garden at his home in Aspen Hill. He was a dedicated and faithful husband to the late Anne F. Schoen for 43 years and raised four children. One of Jim‚s most beautiful attributes was that he never knew a stranger in his life, taking a sincere interest in every person he met. When a casual acquaintance would meet Jim for a second time, they would marvel how he would remember not only their name but where they grew up and other details shared in their prior conversation. Jim was an outstanding conversationalist. Because he was so well read, he could talk extensively and in depth on any subject matter that covered the range from astronomy to zoology and everything in between.

Jim is survived by his children Timothy J. Schoen from Fort Lauderdale Fla., Robin A. Schoen from Washington D.C., Jon S. Schoen from Darien Ct and Kelly J. Hutchison from Hyattsville MD; He was the brother of William and John Schoen from PA. In addition to eleven grandchildren and two great grand-children, he is survived by his dear friend, Sue McLaughlin, and her daughter, Kathleen.

Christine S. Ollhoff

DOB: January 31, 1943
DOD: August 30, 2010

Relationship to Victim: Husband & Children

Biography: Christine was born January 31, 1943 in Chicago to Walter E. Byker and Nora N. Nelson Byker. Both preceded her in death. She grew up and was educated in Chicago public schools. As a youth she was involved with the Girl Scouts of American and became a Senior Scout in her teens.

Chris married Richard J. Schmidt on April 20, 1963. The couple purchased a hobby farm in Merrill, WI where she loved the outdoors, the animals she tended and her vegetable and flower gardens. As a homemaker, she was actively involved in both the Boy and Girl Scouting programs, leading her children‚s scout groups. The couple had three children-Dennis, Sandra and Mark, who she poured her energies into as a stay at home working mom. Chris was renowned for crafting, sewing, baking, making fresh Christmas wreaths and garland from bows she hand-picked from the back 80 acres and managing the family book publishing business. Her children learned how to golf, play volleyball and downhill ski alongside their adventurous mother. Chris was divorced in 1987.

She married John A. Ollhoff on February 16, 1991. They retired to Bella Vista and built their dream home in 1998. She was meticulous in her design „suggestions‰ and took great pride in welcoming neighbors and new Arkansas friends to their beautiful home. Her love of gardening was recognized in 2002 when she was awarded second place in the Bella Vista „Yard of the Year‰ contest. Her yard and gardens continue to be colorful neighborhood assets. In addition to her garden, Chris was an avid golfer and a member of the Bella Vista women‚s 9- and 18-hole golf groups as well as the Metfield Mommies. She joined John in working tirelessly for incorporation of Bella Vista and they also volunteered in the Crime Watch program.

She is survived by her husband John of Bella Vista; son Dennis (Angela) Schmidt, Oregon, WI; son Mark Schmidt, Merrill, WI; daughter Sandra Schmidt (Sheila Fitzgerald), Richfield, MN. Step children include Christy (Larry) Langbecker and John Ollhoff, both of Merrill and Kimberly (Charlie) Hoffman, Cambridge, WI. Eight step-grandchildren and two step-great grandchildren also survive as do two brothers, Stuart (Chere) Byker, Bloomingdale, IL and Thomas Byker, Norcross, GA. Chris is also survived by numerous cousins and many dear friends. 

Chris is playing pain-free golf on wide, emerald fairways and enjoying the company of her departed parents and many beloved dogs–especially Gizmo, Frisbee, Sigmund 1, Suni and Sigmund 2, whoŒve joined her from the Rainbow Bridge.

Message: Chris was diagnosed 3 years ago in Octoboer and fought a good fight. When it spread to her brain, there was no stopping it. It’s a nasty disease…please do all you can to find a cure!!

Richard L. Childs

DOB: April 28, 1946
DOD: June 18, 2010

Relationship to Victim: Wife

Biography: Richard was always survivor. He overcme a devastating arm injury at age 22 that would have stopped a lesser man.He became a successful business man and a role model to all who knew him. In 1993 he had a cutaneous melanoma removed from his anlkle.The frequent medical followups became semiannual visits with his primary care doctor as the years went by. February 2010 he beast reared its ugly head and in four short months my husband of almost forty years was gone. He was an incredble husband and father and an amazing person. He never complained and had hope he would get PLX4032 a promising new chemotherapy trial.We had to wait to “follow the rules” of the trial. The melanoma did not wait for any protocol and my husband died.I will miss him forever.

Message: Please, there has been progress with many other cancers but not melanoma. There was nothing in 1993 for my husband and today there is still nothing. HIV has even made great strides.

Dr. Howard Miles Leslie

DOB: December 13, 1960
DOD: August 7, 2010

Relationship to Victim: Friend/Co-Worker

Biography:Born in Birmingham, Alabama. Howard “Doog” Leslie attended the University of Alabama earning a Bachelor of Science Degree Futhering his education he graduated from the University of Alabama School of Medicine. Dr. Leslie practiced Emergency Medicine, working the past 19 years as a partner with Blue Ridge Emergency Medicine with Oconee Memorial Hospital. Loving Husband, father and Step-father. Loved life, the abililty to help save lives, and the humility to accept when he could do nothing more to save the life of a patient. He practiced with the upmost of Professionalism and is a lasting credit to the on-going work at Oconee Memorial Hospital. He is survived by his loving wife,”LB”, four children and three step-children. His legacy will live on through thier lives.

Message: I’ve lost a very endearing and loving friend and co-worker. I never heard him complain about the cards that had been dealt to him. I only saw a smile, heard a laugh, and was encouraged by him everyday I worked closely by his side in the Emergency Room. He is a credit to his chosen profession. But, more so, a undeniably irrepace-able friend. Some people leave an indelible print inside your very soul. That was “Doog”. It was an honor to have been your friend.

Alan L. Yoos

DOB: February 7, 1950
DOD: August 15, 2010

Relationship to Victim: Wife

Biography: Alan had a long history of cancer in his family and his paternal grandmother died of melanoma in 1979. Alan became seriously ill in May 2010 and after undergoing testing, MRI, PET and CAT scans it was found that he had stage IV malignant melanoma with metastasis in almost every area of his body – the brain, one lung, his heart, colon, chest, back, pancreas, stomach, etc. Alan underwent radiation treatment for 2 months and chemotherapy for 3 months, before succumbing to this awful disease on August 15, 2010.

Douglas Pavlak

DOB: July 23, 1956
DOD: June 17, 2010

Relationship to Victim: Friend

Message: Doug was a great friend and a hard worker. He championed for the less fortunate. Doug will be remembered as the friend everyone should be blessed to have.

Carol Jean Hardin

DOB: September 22, 1948
DOD: June 8, 2010

Relationship to Victim: Son & Daughter-in-law

Biography: Carol loved the beach and spent many days enjoying the sounds, smells and sights of the ocean. In 2008 a spot was removed from her back. It was melanoma. She recovered quickly and soon she was back to work as a busy realtor.

In the fall of 2009, she began suffering from recurring headaches. The neurologist didn’t think much of it and suggested she stop taking over the counter pain relievers and cut back on caffeine. The headaches never went away. 

Next, a doctor suggested “sinus” surgery. The surgery was scheduled but Carol obtained a second opinion because her eye began to cross. The doctor found a mass behind her eye. A biopsy was done in February 2010 and she was diagnosed with Giant Cell Arteritis. Finally she was releived to learn the cause of her awful headaches! But unfortunately, she didn’t get better and decided to get a third opinion from Duke Medical Center. Within a few days she was examined by Duke and was admitted immediately. The melanoma was back and had spread to her brain, spine, bones and other organs. Shortly thereafter, she completed radiation treatment. But that was all the doctors could do.
For the past few months, she never missed a beat. Her spirits remained high and her faith and trust in God never waned. Although she was in pain, her mind was sharp. She held on to her sense of humor and her determination to fight.

Her final weeks were spent with family and friends. She was able to wake each morning to the magnificent view of the ocean. She passed after watching the sunrise on June 8, 2010 shortly after 6:00am. 
She is survived by husband Keith; son Michael, wife Victoria; sister Donna, husband Dennis; sister Becky, husband Ron; brother David and wife Regina. She never met a stranger, touched so many lives, and will be missed by many.

Message: We love you mom! xoxo

Stewart J. Liggett

DOB: June 1, 1935
DOD: July 28, 2009

Biography: 23 years ago a melanoma was removed from his back.  Last August, 2008, following a gallbladder attack, and subsequent removal of the gallbladder, metastatic melanoma was found in the gallbladder, lung, spleen, adrenal gland and brain.  He underwent a year of chemo and 2 stereotactic brain surgeries but nothing stopped the disease.

Message: My husband fought this disease the same way he lived his life with a strong will and a fiery attitude.  He is missed by his wife and family…and his two JR’s, Roxy and Buster.

Jeffery George Hepplewhite

DOB: September 30, 1945
DOD: July 11, 2009

Relationship: NUMBER ONE UNCLE

Biography: My uncle had many master degrees as a horticulturest. He not only was book smart, he was everything smart.He was so cultured in art, music and the threater. He always knew any questions I asked.His true love was being outside working with all types of plants and flowers. He lived and breathed flowers and plants. He also was one of the best floral designers in the area. He was the hardest working man I have ever known. He worked with many florists, green houses and lastly he worked on an estate. His other love was animals. He had and showed such affection for his beloved pets.He treated them like a family member.And most of all, he was in touch to his relgion. He was a true baptist and always put his God and church first.And his faith had him at peace. 

Message: My Uncle Jeff was and will always be the BEST uncle anyone could ask for. We understood each other and was always there for each other.He never judged anyone and always got to know you for you. He didnt have a mean bone in his body. To know him was to love him.He touched everyone he knew and he met. He always made a lasting impression. He was taken too early from us but then again if he knew God needed a angel, then he would go with no hesitations. Thats how unselfish my uncle was. I love you unle jeff. You were and always will be my best friend. You will never be forgotten but rather remembered in all the hearts you touched.

love you more,
love always and forever,
your niece,
Gina Noelle Guiliano

Brian Hogan

Biography: Today I buried my husband of 3.5 years after a 2 month battle with Stage IV melanoma. Even though Brian’s battle was short, he couldn’t overcome the tumors in his vertebrae, brain. liver and lungs. There were few signs that he was sick. He thought he had a pinched nerve in his back. This is a terrible disease that must be stopped. No one deserves to live an energetic and healthy life one day and the next to have the idea of mortality knocking on your doorstep. We did 3 weeks of brain radiation. 3 rounds of chemo and never got to try any of the clinical trials available to us because it overcame him so quickly. 

Message: Brian, I will love and miss you forever

David Cohen

Biography: My father was a wonderful, fun loving, and generous man. He loved the sun, but the sun ultimately betrayed him. He was diagnosed with Stage 1 melanoma in October 2002. He was under the “regular care” of a dermatologist who after 18 months, limited office visits to an external exam. Unfortunately, trouble was brewing inside and went completely undiagnosed. On May 27, 2008, our father was rushed to the ER with abdominal pain. The diagnosis was horrific: late stage metastatic melanoma. For four weeks, we saw our dad’s condition deteriorate. After one week of a worthless biochemotherapy treatment, we brought our dad home with hospice. He passed away while his family held his hand, and a relative read his beloved Psalms. 

Message: Nothing will bring our father back. The lesson in all of this is that people need to understand what a scourge melanoma is. Do not trust doctors when they tell you that “everything is fine”. A simple blood test for ldh levels (liver function test) may have allowed my father to have his disease caught earlier and to live a few more months. Melanoma recurs like all cancers, but in many respects is far more aggressive than most. 

Dad, we love you forever, and ever. 

Gary Wolfe

Biography: My Dad was a very hard worker. He spent most of his life in the sun making a living as a superintedant for a construction company. He worked hard so we could enjoy life and have nice things. He loved his family, grandkids, and friends. He was very brave. On his death bed all he talked about was the Love of Christ and in the midst of terrible pain, he had peace in his heart.  

Message: “Christ Love Daddy”,until we meet again.   

Joda Lea Spaulding Dillow

Biography: My sister and her husband of two years were expecting their first baby.  Her OB/GYN, family physician and dermatologist all looked at the suspicious mole but were not concerned.  The mole continue to grow and change in shape and size.  Joda finally insisted that the mole be removed.  The diagnosis:  Stage III melanoma.  A beautiful baby girl was delivered one month early so my sister’s fight for her life could begin.  But the cancer was also in her liver:  Stage IV.  Nine months of treatment provided no progress towards killing the cancer.  My sister died at M.D. Anderson on June 27, 2006 leaving behind a nine-month old baby girl, a five-year old step-son, a husband and a huge family who love and miss her dearly.

Message: The hole in our hearts remains, but a peace endures knowing that Joda is in heaven.

Theodore Pryor

Biography: Ted went to Brandies Univerity and graduated Magna Cum Laude. He went on to become a very high level computer programmer and lived outside of Denver. He was a champion bowler with many 300 games on record. He was a sportsman, a rock climber and an excellent overall athlete. He loved philosophy and astronomy. By the time his melanoma was discoverd he was already in stage four. We did everything we could. We lost him 10 months later. He is sorely missed. We pray for him every day. He asked that his ashes be scattered in a fjiord in Norway. We are going there in a few weeks to carry that out. We wish all of you the very best.




Eamon G. McCarthy

Message: My husband Eamon lost his battle with melanoma at the age of 35.  He had a great spirit and a strong faith. Not to mention a smile that would light up a room.  He was an educator, an Eagle Scout and a hard worker. He loved working with children.  He will forever be my hero.

Charles Barry Sr.

Biography: Charles Barry was a man full of wisdom, fun, love, and lots of adventurous stories of his life.  A father of four and loving husband of 21 years.  He worked hard everyday to make sure his family was well taken care of.  His hobbies were the outdoorsy ones.  Hunting, fishing, and camping.  Charles received Jesus Christ as his Saviour in 1986, the start of his new life as a Christian.  He raised up his children with great love and respect.  He taught me everything I know, whether it be about life or God.  I, as his youngest daughter knew him best.  He was the added fun to everything along with my mom.  In the spring of 2005 he was diagnosed with Malignant Melanoma, from a mole on his upper back.  It was removed and the cancer was said to be gone.  He went every so often for pet scans and check ups to make sure everything was good.  In August of 2006 the scans showed that the cancer was back and had metasticized in his lungs.  The nodule was removed, but more grew and we took him to a big cancer hospital to seek treatment.  When we got there he was going to start on Interleukin-2.  While waiting the doctors arrival in the hopital room, in came another doctor who said that the cancer had spread to his brain and that he could not receive the IL-2.  We were shocked.  So he underwent gamma knife surgery to rid the lesion on the brain.  After that he had to have full head radiation for 2 straight weeks, right through Christmas.  They sent him home to regain strength.  When he got home, he became very ill with pneumonia, collapsed lung, and hospitalization.  He couldn’t get strength.  The doctors said there was nothing more they could do.  So we kept him home and we took care of him until he went home to be with the Lord at 6pm Wednesday Feb. 28th, 2007.  The hardest thing I’ve ever had to experience in my life, was the loss of my Dad.  God just needed him more.

Amber Lynn Murphy

DOB: December 9, 1982
DOD: August 7, 2007

Biography: My name is Evelyn Murphy and I reside in Garden Grove Calif.  I am the mother to three wonderfull children.  Amber, Michelle and Ryan and here is my story.

Amber Lynn Murphy was born December 9, 1982 and was the eldest of the three children.  Amber lived on her own, worked full time as a server and attended Golden West College.  Amber had a remarkable and everlasting smile.  After reading an article in a magazine about the A.B.C’s of melanoma, she decided to have a mole looked at.  In July 2004 she was diagnosed with a atypical melanoma.  August 3, 2004 she had a sentinal node biopsy and all the lymph nodes in right armpit were removed.  We were told that the melanoma was confined to the mole and that she was ok.  The dermatologist advised that she would need to have the other moles checked on a regular basis.  Every three months the first year, then every six months the second year followed by once a year thereafter.

Amber went in for regular check ups with her primary physician and any referrals she had to the dermatologist was at her request.  As she would see the dermatologist she would tell them what moles were suspicious and insist on removal of some.  This is the only follow up she received and it was always at her request.

February 2006 Amber starting getting sick.  Early February she passed out at work and I was called to pick her up.  She had been to the doctor earlier that week and was told she had an inner ear infection.  She was given an antibiotic.  As I was driving her home from work I contacted the doctor office.  I spoke with the doctor and he told me it was a viral infection and she needed bed rest.  He took her off work the rest of the week.  We never questioned it due the fact Amber had recently ended a two year relationship with a live in boyfriend and started a new job.  I assumed that she was just overtired and needed the rest.  Amber never really got better.  She gradually started having pain in her knee that then moved to the hip and continued down the entire leg.   In April, she began getting some bumps and bruising on the skin, which we later found out the proper term was “subcutaneous nodules”.  She again went to the doctor and was told they were cysts and could be popped.  

The doctor even said “let me show you” of which Amber refused.  By June the pain was unbearable and Amber had been dropping weight and having dizzy spells and vommitting.  Amber sought care at a chiropractor during the summer and was advised she had scoliosis.  She became worse and was dropping weight quickly.  In mid August she went to the ER and was told he had sciatica and given muscle relaxants.  They did not work and I accompanied her to the doctor.  At that time she was taken off work for one week.  She was referred to the dermatologist for the skin lesions and to an ortho for the back pain.  She met with the dermatologist who took a sample of the lesion for biopsy.  The dermatologist referred Amber to an Oncologist for evaluation.  She met with the orthopeadic doctor and was told possible slipped disc.  During this time Amber became progressively worse.  She could not keep anything down and had white spots and severe vertigo.  She went to the ER two other times and ag
 ain no diagnosis.  

Now here is where I lifed changed for the worse.  On Sept 5, 2006 we had a consultation with the Oncologist.  He did a thorough exam and ordered blood work and a PET scan.  He was concerned with Amber’s symptoms but thought that it was possibly Lupus.  He asked who Amber’s Oncologist was.  We provided him with info on the Oncologist we were referred to in 2004.  What we found out is that this Oncologist was a “surgical” oncologist and the one we were speaking to now, was a “medical” oncologist.  He advised of the difference between the two.  He asked what therapy or chemo did Amber undergo.  We advised “none”.  We were now getting concerned and we did some research.  What we found is that cancer can spread two ways, through the lymph nodes or through the blood stream.  We found that in most cases, patients are given one round of chemotherapy to kill off any unseen cancer cells that may be in the blood.  This did not happen for us.

On September 11, 2006, after a very long weekend and Amber just looking worse, we called the primary doctor and told him we were taking her to the ER and we wanted her admitted of which he agreed.  On the way to the ER, Amber got a call from the dermatologist advising the biopsy was positive for melanoma.  Amber was admitted and had numerous MRI’s and CT scans.  We learned that for the past two years the melanoma had spread through the blood stream and into her lungs, liver, thoracic spine, abdominal region and pelvic bones.  Amber was is bad shape and she immediately began chemotherapy.  Amber underwent 3 rounds of Dartmouth regime.  

We learned of a melanoma clinic at UCI and went there for a second opinion.  We liked the doctor very much and the fact they he specialized in melanoma.  Amber went through 3 more rounds of bio-chemo with interlukine.   After the results proved not to be favorable she was put on a light therapy for comfort and control of symptoms.  In May 2007 Amber began bleeding in her abdomin and had a partial hysterectomy.  At this point she never fully recovered.  

Amber fought the hardest battle of her life and never once gave up.  Amber cared more about the people in her lift and the people she would leave behind.  Even though Amber was so very sick, lost all her hair and dropped down to 88 lbs, she never complained.  She never complained that she was dealt a bad deal at life.  She awoke everyday with the same beautiful smile that she wore for 24 years.  Everyone who new Amber, remembers her for her smile and what an inspiration she has been to so many people.  Amber lost her battle with cancer on August 7, 2007.  Amber passed away at home where she was on hospice under the care of her loving family and friends.  Amber was an inspiration to all of us and will truly be missed, but never forgotton.

Jeanne Martin

DOB: October 5, 1944
DOD: August 22, 1907

Biography: My mom was first diagnosed with melanoma in February 1999.  She underwent a year of Interferon and the cancer seemed to go dormant.  In November 2004, my mom discovered a tumor under the skin that turned out to be melanoma.  The cancer had come back. Since 2004, my mom underwent several rounds of biochemo, as well as surgery to remove the initial tumor and other tumors that developed.  She also had radiation therapy and even took a pill form of chemotherapy that was experimental as it related to melanoma.  My mom ended up in ICU with respiratory problems and multiple infections.  Sadly, the infections were too much for her body to handle and she passed away on August 22, 2007.

Message: I am devastated by the loss of my mom and will never be the same without her in my life.  She was a strong woman who fought an amazing battle until the very end.  Even though at times she wanted to give up, she always had hope of getting better and beating the battle that is melanoma.  I feel as though people are not aware of the devastation that melanoma can cause.  However, I am hoping to bring awareness to everyone I meet and inform people that by checking your skin regularly, perhaps this deadly disease can be avoided.  By wearing sunscreen, seeing a dermatologist and asking your doctor about any skin irregularities, maybe we can lessen the number of people who have to suffer the kind of pain I have endured by losing the most generous, loving, wonderful woman I have ever known, my mom.

Peggy Gibson

DOB: October 30, 1938
DOD: August 4, 2006

Relationship to Victim: My GraM

Michael Keith Hill

DOB: August 25,1960
DOD: March 29, 2007

Biography: Mike went to college and became a coach/teacher. He loved his job, especially coaching. 
He had high hopes of beating this ugly disease and getting back to school and teaching the kids the importance of sunscreen and the dangers of tanning.

Mike was diagnosed with Melanoma in May 2006. He had several surgeries and skin grafts trying to remove the melanoma. But to no avail, it eventually spread to his liver, lungs, spleen, spine and he had numerous tumors on his skin from his legs to the top of his head.

Mike kept a positive attitude and knew his chances of beating the cancer were slim, but he had hoped to prolong his life by at least a couple of years.

He has a seven year old daughter Jalen and he so wanted to spend as much time with her as possible.

The cancer finally got the better of him and he died of organ failure on March 29,2007 at 11:11 p.m.


If you suspect a mole is changing. Don’t wait to have it checked. My brother Mike noticed a mole on his back was changing for months before he went and had it checked and it turned out to be too late.

It is extremely important for you to have any chance of beating melanoma that it be caught early. 
From the time of diagnosis to his time of death was 10 months. It is a very fast cancer. 
I went and had my body checked for melanomas and I am going to have a yearly check with my dermatologist from now on. I pray that I don’t ever have to go through what my brother went through. Or anyone else for that matter.

May You Rest In Peace Michael !

Your baby sister Susan

John Barnes

DOB: 1976
DOD: March 29, 2007

Biography: John was a wonderful person, full of life, spirit and energy. Even when he was dignosed with cancer he never stopped smiling. John was the kind of man any woman would have been proud to marry and he will be missed greatly. He will forever be our hero.


Even though you had to go, 
you’ll never be far away, 
for we will see you smiling down on us
each and every day, 
from a beautiful place in heaven that you are soon to see, 
rest in peace my dear cousin, all my love Annemarie

W. Sam Westbrook

DOB: April 4, 1940
DOD: January 28, 2004

Biography: Born to Eugene M. and W. Earlene Westbrook, one sister, Estelle W.
Godbee. Worked 35 years at Akzo Nobel Chemicals before retiring in 2000.
Married 42 years to Martha R. Westbrook, had 3 daughters.

Message: Missed every day (still) by his wife, 3 daughters/husbands, and 4

Jerry Glen Fromeyer

DOB: October 3, 1966
DOD: January 21, 2001

Biography: Jerry was a great all around person. If some one needed help he was the
first one there. There is 3 great loves of his life 1 his kid’s,2 Shelly,
and 3 his music. Jerry and shelly owned a trucking company and based out of
Mesa Arizona.Jerry served in the United States Air Force. I could go on
forever about my brother. Jerry is missed so much not a day goes by I dont
think about him.

Message: If I had one more thing I could say to Jerry, it would be thank
you Bro I love you. I watched this dreadful cancer take a man larger than
life itself in a very short time. I still sit by the phone every sat evening
and wait for his call. I hope and pray that some day we will be able to walk
together again. I miss you Bro.

Michael J. O’Malley

DOB: October 13, 1954
DOD: October 31, 2006

Biography: Michael was diagnosised with Ocular Melanoma in August of 2005. His
right eye was removed and all was well until this past summer. After
numerous test it was finally concluded that he had liver cancer (melanoma)
that was October 6th. He passed away October 31st. He had “N” stage
cancer. We were told he had a couple of months those couple of months ended
up being 3 1/2 weeks. Michael was only 52.

Message: Michael… loving husband, best friend and soul mate and
incredible father,you have been our strength and the back bone of our
family. I only hope and pray that I have the strength and courage to
continue on in your footsteps. I love you and am so blessed for sharing
these 15 wonderful years with you. God has you now but you will always be
in our hearts forever.


Shannon John Mark Lawler

DOB: August 29, 2000
DOD: June 18, 2006

Biography: Shannon was born on 29th August 2000 weighing 4.2kg. he was boen with a condition called melanocytic nevus. As the same suugests it can turn to Melanoma. He was diagnosed in october 2005 with melanoma. We were told they got it all. He got a lump on his chest in feb 2006 within weeks we were told he was terminally ill. He lost his battle with Melanoma on the 18th June 2006.

Message: Shannon my Darling Son i LOVE you and MISS you.
Not a day goes by that i don’t think of you and cry for you and us left behind. A parent should not have to bury their child it isn’t natural.


Joseph M. Dicus

DOB: October 24, 1927
DOD: January 15, 2006

Biography: Born North Little Rock, AR, Graduate of University of Tennessee, Chatanooga, Masters Degree in Geology from Emory University, Retired from U.S. Defense Dept. Mapping Division, 1989. 
Married Jean Bennett January 1, 2000. 
Survived by 2 sons and 1 daughter from a previous marriage and 2 step-sons.

Message: We had six wonderful years of happiness and many plans for travel and enjoying our life together in retirement but it was not meant to be. I now want to devote my time to making everyone aware
of this dreadful beast we call Melanoma. Information available to the public is too little too late. Let’s do it NOW.

Frank M. Wolf

DOB: July 10, 1938
DOD: November 12, 2006

Jack Ashman

DOB: June 4, 1931
DOD: March 28, 2006

Biography: He was a wonderful man. He served 4 years in the navy, and then married my grandmother, Mary Ann. They had 11 children together, and now he has 23 grandchildren. He loves everyone dearly. He was a longstanding member of his church, and a wonderful man to talk with and to learn from. I only wish we had more time to ask more questions.

Message: No matter how heart breaking it was to watch him go, and to watch everyone of us suffer, at least we can say we had the privelge and honor of meeting such a great man. He has indeed left me in awe of the legacy he left behind. He will be forever loved and missed by everyone of us Ashmans.


DOB: September 1, 1964
DOD: August 21, 2006

Message: he was a care and loveing dad im only 12 and he died

Luigi Marrocco

DOB: October 14, 1946
DOD: 06/02/2004


Thomas Hutchings

DOB: June 2, 1955
DOD: November 9, 2002

Biography: Tom was first diagnosed in 1985. One of his doctor’s thought that the melanoma may have been dormate for several years.

Message: We will love you forever.

Cathy, Ben, Moira, Brenna, Aidan, Kate, Ryan, Julianne, Cora and Mitchell

Anthony Paul Lewis

DOB: April 16, 1963
DOD: April 20, 2004

Biography: Anthony was diagnosed with mestatic melanoma stage 4 when we found out and given maybe 3 months to live. 7 yrs prior a mole was removed on his back,melanoma,they said they got it all and a 3 to 5% chance it would come back,he remained healthy,athletic,top shape,and BOOM it was back,he caught a bad cold he could not shake,and coughed and his right hip broke,he did chemo,radiation,experimenting drugs in hope to live longer for a cure one day,i watched him deteriate,but he neaver gave up the battle of this beast,he passed away 4 days after his 41st birthday to be with our father in heaven.tony loved life.

Message: TO everyone who is fighting this cancer,god bless you all,and to the families and friends who are there for them or was.Its been 2 yrs 5 mo.and i miss my tony,i feel cheated and robbed of my dreams with my soulmate and best friend,but i thank god he isnt suffering anymore.To continue in life is hard and empty,but my prayers are there will be a cure and everyone educated and pay attention to this,dont let it end by our lost……

JoAnn Lynn Horaney

DOB: February 28, 1974
DOD: August 31, 2006

JoAnn amf-6.jpg
JoAnn amf-2.jpg

Biography: Daniel Atwood’s wife and our beautiful daughter, JoAnn Lynn Horaney, chose August 31st at twilight to leave us.

Twilight was her very favorite time of day. When she and Daniel first met they would sit together at twilight and watch the fireflies. They were married at twilight this year on June 4th, surrounded by family and fireflies. It was only fitting that she should depart at twilight.

A lump that appeared on her right ear in 2001 was diagnosed as melanoma in 2002. After ear resection, neck resection including sentinel lymph node and several more lymph nodes removed the “Beast” returned a year later again in her neck, more surgery and more lymph nodes were removed. Interferon was started and stopped when a new tumor showed up on her shoulder in 2003. Several treatments of radiation were done to the neck. Lymphedema started to be a problem. Self injections of GM-CSF were started in July 2004. Then on 1/19/2005 melanoma appeared in both of her lungs. A double Thorascopy surgery was done. On 9/7/2005 the melanoma metastasized to the brain. Stereotactic radiation surgery was preformed, but in her case this caused more harm than good. She developed necrosis (swelling due to dead tissue from the procedure) and a craniotomy was preformed on the frontal lobe on January 6, 2006. She had hyperbaric treatments 2 hours a day 5 days a week from February 9, 2006 to March 28, 2006, to try to heal the swelling caused by the necrosis, but the 3/17/06 MRI showed new tumor growth in same area of the brain and also! a melanoma lump growing in the area of the scar tissue on the neck. On 03/30/2006 Stereotactic was tried again to the same area of the brain. The next day she had 3 grand mall seizures. On May 4, 2006 a second craniotomy was done to remove Tumor Re-growth and Necrosis. The surgery to remove Melanoma on neck was done 6/22/2006. On 07/20/2006 it was discovered at a follow-up scan that the Melanoma has spread to Liver, Lungs(again), and Spine. Further x-rays showed disc disease at T-8 also. The brain MRI showed growth again at the original brain tumor plus a new tumor on left side. She got 3 doctors opinions all telling her to focus on quality of life which left her with not much quantity – from July 20th to August 31st.

JoAnn has been cremated and has asked family to celebrate her life as we scatter her ashes in Lake Lanier and then in Lake Michigan.

Message: Read, Learn, Live – wear your sunscreen, hats, protective clothing. DON’T DIE TO BE TAN – Stay away from tanning booths & beds! It’s not just a little spot you have removed and live on. This is a DEADLY BEAST. Be aggressive – if you find a spot DON’T WAIT get it checked NOW and have a punch biopsy done NOT a scraping. Have them stage it and check into having the sentinel lymph node biopsied so you know if it has gotten into the lymph system or not. The depth not the size is what is important.

Vicki L. Crosley

DOB: October 27, 1946
DOD: June 29, 2006

Biography: Mom went to the heart doctor thinking she was having a stroke or heart attack because she experienced worsening TINGLING and NUMBNESS moving up her left ARM. MRI revealed it was due to 14 brain tumors (metastic melanoma). We also learned it had spread to her heart and lungs. Mom died 7 weeks later after many terrible seizures and finally the brain tumors ruptured. Mom was always worried about this because in 2001 she had a stage 2 melanoma removed from her arm along with a couple lymph nodes. She had follow-up for 3 years. She was FAIR SKINNED/LIGHT COMPLECTION, never really tanned in the sun. Doc told her it would come back. I remember when mom was half way through radiation she started losing her hair and she went outside to brush it really good and get all the loose hair out. Mom said she wanted the birds to be able to use her hair to build nests, kind of a way to stay with use. Ive seen 3 nests so far made with her hair. It’s a comforting reminder of mom…

Message: My sister, myself, my neice and nephew all have the exact MOLE PATTERN as her on our backs. I had a displastic nevus removed from my arm 3 weeks ago, just learned those are normally HERIDITARY. It’s kinda scary knowing I’ll probably be in my mom’s shoes in the future. I’m only 22 and losing my mom is almost unbearable. Im miss her so much!!

Rodney Jay Lovell

DOB: August 20, 1952
DOD: August 3, 2006

Biography: (Rodney) worked in pharmecutical industry for over 30 years started with Stanley Drugs/Bergen-Brunswig and then Mckesson Was an avid golfer many 1st place tournament trophies and awards Steadfast,loyal,dependable and great deal of humor

Message: I miss you deeply,my brother,dear; the end was so quick,we did not have any time to share. My memories of you will carry me through the coming days nights weeks and years to come
Big Sis Diane

Terence Jerome Denigan

DOB: October 20,1 966
DOD: September 8, 2003

Biography: Ninth of 10 children. New father of a baby girl. New husband. Friend to so many. Assistant Attorney General for the Marquis Islands. Berkely grad. Former water polo champion. Man of incredible grace and integrity. The most courageous person I have ever known. A hero. A quiet star. So missed.

Message: Terry, I will always love you. I will never get over losing you,and neither will mom and dad or anyone else in the family. Life will never be the same without you in it, and you are never more than a second away in my thoughts. I think about you all the time and so does everyone else. God bless you every moment Terry. I hope you are so happy with God now, and I can not wait to be with you some day. I wanted to trade places with you with all my heart when you were suffering and dyeing before our eyes. You had so much to live for and the world is lacking with you gone from it.
Anita Denigan, sister

Larue F. (Hixson) Strashensky

DOB: June 24, 1939
DOD: October 15, 2000

Biography: Larue was diagnosed with melanoma in Dec. 1999. She had lymph nodes removed and was on interferon. However, in August 2000, it was discovered she had fluid developing around her lung. The surgeons drained the fluid only to have the cancer metastasize in other organs.  She was gone 4 weeks later.

Message: She is truly missed by all who have known her: husband, children, brothers, sisters, friends and grandchildren.
Patricia M Strashensky, daughter

Kelly Moyer

DOB: May 13, 1973
DOD: August 12, 2003

Biography: Kelly, my one & only niece, was a bright and shining star in many of the lives those who knew her.  She was strong, intelligent, kind, funny & so sweet.  To her, life was really not “about her” but more about those fortunate people who knew her – family, friends.  She had a way of looking into your eyes and seeing what you were feeling & offering support & love.  She was 29 years old when she was diagnosed in Oct. 2002.  She had never been a “sun bather”. She had two precious little girls and fought with everything she had in her heart & soul to get well, but it was too late, and she died on Aug 12, 2003. 

Message: Her family was devastated.  Her mother (my sister) is raising those precious girls in the way Kelly would have wanted and is having a wonderful & loving relationship with them.  There is not a day that goes by that I do not think of Kelly – it was a privilege to have had her in my life for much too short a time.  

Karen B. Ashbrook, aunt

Jeanne Kershaw

Biography: My mom died when I was 2 years old from Melanoma. She was such a kind and beautiful woman and was taken from us within a year of her diagnosis. She passed 6 days before my second birthday. I am now 12 and was assigned a service project for religion class. I decided to cut my hair for Locks-of Love and donate money to the AMF. Total I raised $133.00 which was sent to the AMF in memory of my mom.

Message: Your were an amazing mother of 2 and taken too soon from us. We will remember, miss, and love you forever and hope that one day we will see each other again one day.

Your Loving Daughter,
Mary Catherine

Jacquelyn Kramer, Jackie

DOB: October 5, 1930
DOD: May 20, 1999

Message: My Mom was the light that will never stop shining in everyone’s life she came in contact with. She Was a WARRIOR!!!never a tear but so much pain.I miss her and hope she misses me. My one true Love.

Love Artie, son

Mark Sinopoli Sr. 

DOB: June 20, 1961
DOD: April 4, 2006

Biography: Mark, my husband and my best friend was only 42 years old when he was diagnosed with Melanoma. He was the bravest person I know.  He fought so hard,always thinking of me and his kids before himself.  He fought so hard to live.  His fight lasted just less that 3 years. He tried everything available. Interferon , GMCSF and we were going to try the IL2 treatment but by the time that it was offered Mark was too weak to undergo treatment.  They said it would kill him.  They send us home after a very hard trip to Southern California with a slight hope that Thalidomide and Temador might help him.  It didn’t however.  Mark got weaker and weaker and contracted some virus which the doctors never really figured out.  During that time, the cancer spread from his lungs to his liver and then his spleen.  They finally told Mark after two hospital stays where his blood counts and blood pressure were seriously low that he only had weeks to live. Mark said very bravely “Well honey, we better tell the kids”.  Although our kids knew there wasn’t a cure for this awful disease we never spoke those words because wewere never willing to give up faith and hope that he may survive.  How do you tell your kids that their Dad is going to die I kept thinking all the way home from the hospital that night.  I don’t even know where the words came from or how they came out of my mouth that night but they did. It was one of the worse days of my life. 
The next day Mark came home but we did not get the weeks we were told.  Knowing that her Dad was not going to see her graduate from high school in June. Our daughter planned a mock graduation for her Dad. She arranged for herself and her brother who is only 16 to both be decked out in full blown graduation attire.  With the graduation music playing and diplomas being handed out by their aunt we celebrated their graduation on May 31st 2006 instead of June 16th. Four days later Mark died. 

Message: Mark was a man of courage, strength, love and faith but all of that was no match for this disease.  We will forever hold Mark, my husband, my best friend, a fantastic Dad, Son and brother in our hearts.  I love you Baby!  I hope you are happy and healthy in heaven with all of the other angels.

Love your best friend.
Bitsy, wife

Kim Clohessy

DOB: October 6, 1954
DOD: April 14, 2006

Biography: Kim was a loving husband, and father of Jon and James.  
In his professional life, Kim was a leader of the IT industry, with tremendous accomplishments in a number of areas, most notably amongst the Eclipse community.
Kim’s melanoma was very aggressive, and the end was surprisingly quick, but he fought hard, and continued with his life, work family and sailing during that time.

Message: Kim will be missed by his friends, sailing mates, many work colleagues, and most of all will be treasured by his family forever. 

Alison Clohessy, wife

Terence Jerome Denigan

DOB: October 20, 1966
DOD: September 8, 2003

Biography: Ninth of 10 children. New father of a baby girl. New husband. Friend to so many. Assistant Attorney General for the Marquis Islands. Berkely grad. Former water polo champion. Man of incredible grace and integrity. The most courageous person I have ever known. A hero. A quiet star. So missed.

Message: Terry, I will always love you. I will never get over losing you,and neither will mom and dad or anyone else in the family. Life will never be the same without you in it, and you are never more than a second away in my thoughts. I think about you all the time and so does everyone else. God bless you every moment Terry. I hope you are so happy with God now, and I can not wait to be with you some day. I wanted to trade places with you with all my heart when you were suffering and dyeing before our eyes. You had so much to live for and the world is lacking with you gone from it.
Anita Denigan, sister

Douglas Herren

DOB: June 26, 1958
DOD: February 14, 2006

Biography: He died suddenly after one week in the hospital of metastatic brain tumors.

Message: Doug was soft spoken and friendly.  He loved the outdoors and camping.  He loved to hike, fish and 4-wheel drive.  He was a loving husband and father.  He will be missed by so very many whose lives were touched by his humor and passion.

Sharon Herren, wife

Robert D. Morrison

DOB: June 1, 1932
DOD: August 23, 1999

Biography: Bob was a loving husband, father and grandfather.  He was diagnosed with level four melanoma Dec. of 98 and had surgery.   1 month later it had spread to his lungs, liver and 65 lymph nodes.  We went to M.D. Anderson for treatment but he lived only 9 months. 

Message: We miss you our Love, and see you everywhere we go.  You will live in our hearts.

Don’t ever ignore any changes you see on your skin, you never know what’s going on beneath the mole or lesion.  Our son has been diagnosed with level 1 melanoma since his fathers’ death.  His father has predisposed him to the ugly disease.

Jane Morrison, wife

Louis James Mczak

DOB: March 23, 1950
DOD: July 29, 2005

Biography: Jimmy had been diagnosed with melanoma in 2000.  He had surgery on the side of his head and was told he was cancer free at each of the following check ups. Unfortunately, the melanoma returned in 2005 and he began to experience brain hemorrhages.  Five months later he succumbed to the disease.

Message: We miss you Jim but your spirit will always live on. Love and hugs.

 Carolyn, sister

Douglas E. Kaser

DOB: April 14, 1939
DOD: February 7, 2005

Biography:Born and raised in southern CA. in 1957 his family moved to my home town of Ojai (o-hi), CA. across the street from my families’ home. He was a second generation U.S. citizen (German-Swiss) on his fathers’ side and native-Californian (French, Spanish, Hispanic) on his mothers’.  VERY FAIR SKINNED/BURNED EASILY.  Did not sunbath-preferring shade when possible or indoors.  He worked with orchids (green-houses), later in residential construction.  In 1959 he began working with and in the “sheet-metal” industry for 2 years followed by 40 years on the highways in construction (freeways & highways) for the State of CA. Division of Transportation.  In 1993 he was diagnosed with Melanoma on his face on a flat birthmark.  Two office surgeries followed, then a 7.5 hr. surgery to remove lymph-glands on left side of his face (from behind left ear, down left side of face, neck area, into left collarbone to left shoulder.  The lymph-glands were clear!!….check-ups for 5.5 yrs. and he was still clear, “BUT” during that time he was never given a “CT-SCAN “, “PET-SCAN”, or MRI.—only chest x-rays and blood tests.  1998-1999 it began on his lower left cheek-jaw area (UNKNOWN TO ME).  Oct. 1999 a 2nd. Biopsy (deeper-one) confirmed it.  Doug was then referred to an oncologist group (PMK ASSOC.S’) with Dr. Lynn Kong being our request and preference.  Surgery followed by 30 radiation treatments daily (to kill healthy tissue around surgery area) then massive doses of Interferon 1x day for a month, followed by one (1) self injected shot 3x weekly M-F for a year. After that his check-ups continued until his left lung was engulfed.  After a routine check in Oct-Nov 2002 another routine check Dec.26th. showed a shadow in left lung.  Diagnosed in JAN. 2003 he was accepted into a test drug program, he did well on it and continued on x-tended program until 2004 Oct. when it traveled to his right lung.  He then had to quit the test drug program (criteria of program) remaining on CHEMO every 3 weeks thru the port-acaths implanted in his chest for the program (2003).  Within 6 weeks it was in his brain (Dec.15th.)  Feb.07, 2005 GOD took him home to his “CASINO” in the sky.

Message: My husband never questioned “why me”, never felt sorry for himself AND he never missed a day of work UNLESS he was in the hospital.  Prior to his retirement in June of 2002, when he was taking radiation daily, getting massive doses of Interferon daily, he left work (sick-leave) got his treatments and returned to work. When he came home he collapsed, was he sick, did he ache and was he in pain???? YES-YES-YES-EVERYDAY & NIGHT!!!  We need to educate the people about MELANOMA!!  Too many think and say, oh that’s “ONLY” skin cancer–NO BIG DEAL!!!  We need awareness education and people to speak at gatherings.  I did not know there was a MELANOMA FOUNDATION, so when my husband died I asked for donations for MELANOMA RESEARCH via American Cancer Assoc. I’ve not seen pamphlets, brochures, or
anything to do with it at Drs. offices, or hospitals or foundations. WHY-WHY-WHY!!???

Bless all!!
Lin Kaser, spouse (12 days shy of 45 years)


DOB: February 2, 1964
DOD: September 13, 2005

Biography: My husband John was diagnosed with melanoma April 2003, it was on his back.  It spread to his lymph nodes.  The Dr. told us they got it all.   He went to the U. of Penn Hospital to do research.  He was free of cancer until Thanksgiving of 2004 when they told us that the melanoma had spread to his brain, liver and remaining lymph nodes.  That Christmas he started a combination of Gleevec & Temador.  It was horrible!  He was so sick with vomiting he wasn’t able to eat anything. I would go in the middle of the night to buy vanilla milkshakes for him, it was the only thing he was able to keep down.  With all this he never missed a day of work.  The medicine didn’t work, the tumor on his brain got larger, they had to operate.  When the hospital did the MRI they found many tumors on his brain.  He did fine with the operations and also had radiation.  The weekend before he was to return to work in May 05 he had terrible pain in his back, he was unable to walk, eat, or use the bathroom.  We called 911 and they took him to the hospital.  They found a huge tumor on his spine.  Again they operated and did radiation.  The Dr. told us that he would never be able to walk without the aid of a walker.  June 05 he started chemo with Taxotear, after several cycles the Dr. told us it wasn’t working.  In the beginning of August 05 they told us there was nothing else they could do.  He started to decline very quickly, losing his memory and losing control of bowels, he was also unable to eat.  He went from about 240 lbs. to about 165 lbs when he passed away.  He started home hospice care and he started to have seizures that would affect his sight, hearing, ad he couldn’t remember anything, also his speech went, he would just mumble.

Message: On Labor day the hospice nurse told us that he had entered his final phase of life.  On the 8th day he took his final breath.  That was Sept. 13th, 2005 .
My wonderful loving husband, John, was a very brave man.  He told me every day how much he loved me and that this cancer was not going to beat him.  John had a very positive attitude and gave everything he had, but it beat him.  I miss him so very much.  Every day I miss him more than the day before.  My love for him will never fade and he will always be here with me.  His courage has touched so many people both family and friends.  My wonderful man, John will never be forgotten.

Kimberly Spinks, wife

Kerri Ann (Patenaude) McNamara

DOB: October 1, 1977
DOD: September 23, 2000

Biography: Kerri was first diagnosed with Melanoma Cancer in April 1998.  They had operated on her for a brain tumor and found out it was Melanoma.  The doctor’s never found a source on her skin.  She was in remission until May of 2000 and passed away in September 2000.  Her last wish was to marry her fiancé.  They had dated since 8th grade and had 2 young sons.  She got her wish on September 16, 2000 .  She was married in the hospital’s waiting room.  She had a smile that would brighten up a room.  Kerri was loved by
many and is sadly missed.

Judy Hardy-Goddard, mother

Jill Marie Kitterman Gashler

DOB: March 27, 1957
DOD: January 15, 2004

Biography: Jill was diagnosed with melanoma in December of 2001. She fought her cancer with dignity and laughter but this ugly disease won the battle. Jill passed away January, 2004. 

Message: Jilly Bug, I miss you so very much. You left way too soon. We were going to be old ladies together sitting on the front porch and telling tales. From the day you were born you were special to me. Oh my beautiful niece, I wish you were here. This Christmas will be very difficult for all of us. There are so many things I didn’t say. I love you, babe. Fly with the angels.

Claire Standard, aunt

Montserrat Casabosch de Romero

DOB: August 29, 1945
DOD: October 24, 2002

Message: La bondad de su espiritu vivra en el corazone de todos / The humbleness of her spirit will live in everyones heart forever.

Miguel Romero, son

Joseph F. Nalley

DOB: January 30, 1947
DOD: November 5, 2004

Penny L. Knowlton, daughter

Jill Marie Kitterman Gaschler

DOD: January 15, 2004

Biography: Jill was diagnosed with Melanoma in December of 2001. She fought very hard to try and beat the cancer.

Message: My words can’t begin to explain how much I miss you. I am getting ready to start the Christmas cookies, after 29 years, I will be doing them alone this year. I can’t imagine you not being here for Christmas. I still can’t believe you’re gone. I would give anything to talk to you one more time, to hear your laugh, to hug you and just to tell you that I love you. You left a huge hole in my heart that can never be replaced. I love you Bug.

Renee Ortiz, cousin

Diane Faulkner

DOB: May 16, 1954
DOD: August 7, 2004

Biography: My mom was diagnosed in 1994 with a superficial melanoma that was removed. We thought and even doctors said its all clear, she did her monthly and yearly exams and labs. In January of 2003 she had a tumor removed from her bladder, which turned out to be melanoma. To our dismay it had metastasized to her lungs, spleen and brain. She went through multiple treatments and surgeries at M.D. Anderson in Houston and had the best attitude of any healthy person. She finally went home (as she would say) on August 7, 2004.

Message: I am an only child age 29 and this is the hardest thing of my life. I miss my mom everyday and she was the best mom a person could ever have. Me and my dad struggle every day but with each other’s support and the support of my wonderful husband we are gonna be ok. I want to be a voice to rid the world of this horrific disease. I want to do all I can to support the effort

Kristen Leigh Patterson, daughter

Jerry Glenn Fromeyer

DOB: October 3, 1965
DOD: January 6, 2001

Biography: I don’t know much about his personal biography except that he worked with my father for a short time in law enforcement. He was in the Air Force, but I don’t know how long. He was a truck driver for as long as I can remember though.

Message: I looked up to my uncle like a father when my dad wasn’t around. He would always point me in the right direction. He was a great father to his children. I know his only daughter misses him terribly. She always talks about him. I still cry when I think about him even though he’s been gone for three years. His loss made a huge impact on my life. I am currently in the U.S. Navy. I will always look up to him for his guidance, now and forever.

Robert William Fromeyer, Jr., nephew

Charles E Greer, Jr.

DOB: October 26, 1946
DOD: March 12, 1992

Biography: Charles had his first occurrence of melanoma in 10 of 1966 when he was 20years old. He had a mole the size of a pencil eraser on the underside of his bicep on his upper arm and also 2 tiny moles in his armpit. They removed the mole and all tissue to the bone and he had a large skin graft. He was followed up for over five years without a reoccurrence but in April of 1989 he broke his shoulder bone in the same arm and thinking it wasn’t healing properly he went back to his doctor and they found a large lump in the same armpit. He had surgery to remove it and also 12 nodes were removed. We were sent to MD Anderson Hospital. At that time they were unable to do any chemo or trial tests because the tumor had been removed and it was advised to have regular exams and tests to see if it returned and our prognosis was that it would. He was scanned and tested regularly for the next 3 years and in November of 1991 in reappeared in his liver, spleen, and lymphatic system. He passed away in March of 1992. He was very fair skinned, blond and green eyed. He had a severe sunburn as a teenager, but after that always protected himself from the sun when he was outdoors. We had 3 children and 2 grandchildren at the time of his death. Our 20 year old granddaughter now has had an atypical mole removed from her back and we are waiting the results of that at this date. She had juvenile melanoma at the age of 15. Charles has a family history of melanoma as his mother and grandmother both had it as young women, but his mother is still living at this time and had no reoccurrence. Her melanoma was on her foot.

Message: As a wife of a loved one who lost their battle to melanoma and a mother and grandmother of loved ones who are so likely to have it, I constantly try to teach and warn them of the dangers of this dreaded disease. It affected our life, left me a widow at 43 years old with a minor child and left his parents with the tragedy of losing their son. My hope is one day we will have a vaccine to prevent this dreaded disease. Thank you for your foundation and the facts. 

Karen K Greer Baker, spouse

Richard Ellis

DOB: March 11, 1944
DOD: July 18, 2004

Message: He was a strong Christian, fabulous husband, hard worker, great father and grandfather.
He had a good sense of humor and a big heart. My husband, daughter and I will miss him more than words can describe.

Donna Moriarty, sister in-law

Kevin John Hickey

DOB: July 11, 1953
DOD: April 17, 2004

Message: Kevin became the best friend I had from the first time we met, 20 years ago. He was a friend to everyone, helpful and caring. When it was clear that he would win this battle, I was saddened by the fact that he had not married or had a family of his own. I realize now that we were all Kevin’s “family” and that he touched us all in a way that will live on. Kevin’s legacy is the difference he made in the lives of the people he knew. That is a life well lived and worth remembering. He was my “all time favorite friend”.

Ann P. Webb, friend

Susan Dianne Phillips

DOB: June 23, 1952
DOD: February 15, 2004

Biography: Susan was diagnosed with malignant melanoma in 1983 when she had a mole removed from the back of her neck. For the next 20 years she was free of cancer. Then in August 2004, lumps in her breast were diagnosed as breast cancer. Shortly thereafter she collapsed at work and she was found to have brain mets. In October she had a seizure and the brain tumor was removed. It was at this time we found out she had metastatic melanoma, not breast cancer at all. She tried Temador and Thalidomide but it didn’t help. The cancer had spread to her adrenal glands and lungs as well. On February 15, 2004 she lost her fight with melanoma. My mom was such a special person. I miss her each and every day more than I ever thought possible. She was truly a beautiful lady who would do anything for you. She had the most beautiful smile I’ve ever seen. She touched so many lives; I know she’s missed by everyone she knew.

Message: I love you Mom. Until we meet again, I love you! 

Missy, daughter

Russell “Lang” Willis

DOB: June 10, 1947
DOD: July 17, 1998

Biography: My Dad was diagnosed with stage IV melanoma and died 8 weeks later. My Dad was the most extraordinary, vibrant, generous, intelligent and compassionate person I ever knew. The expanse of my grief is limitless but I take solace in my fond memories and share them with my sons, the grandchildren he never met.

Message: I also try to live by the words my Dad borrowed from Max Ehrmann’s “Desiderata”:
“With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world, be cheerful. Strive to be happy.”

Cynthia Willis Caruso, daughter

Serge Lombard

DOB: March 10, 1964
DOD: March 14, 2004

Message: The San Diego doctors did screw up! Serge was a member of a truly close family and well loved by all who knew him. His memorial service at the International Center at UCSD was attended by over 180 friends. Something good must come of this great loss!

Selwyn Berg, father

Pamela Warfield-Galbreath

DOB: May 4, 1947
DOD: July 10, 2001

Biography: While I was still styling my mothers hair one sunny day in September, I noticed a purple looking mole on the top of her head. I told her that she should have it checked by a doctor. To my horror I heard the word cancer come out of my mothers mouth. I was shocked, scared and angry all at the same time. Never did I think that the worst thing in the world could bring out the best in a person. My mother never let the cancer beat her spirit. She never complained once even when she was bed ridden in the hospital. She always thought of others before herself. She called me from the hospital to see how I was feeling because I had a cold. A cold! She was dying of cancer and was worried about me! I wrote this to let the world know how beautiful my mother was, not only in her looks, but in spirit and in love. Always tell your family and friends just how much you love them, everyday. My mother taught me that.

Message: Ask your hairstylist to check your scalp on every visit. You never know, a haircut could save your life!

Ann E. Warfield, daughter

Diann C. Lewis

DOB: December 17, 1942
DOD: September 28, 2003

Biography: My mother was first diagnosed with melanoma in 1994. She had the lymph nodes under her left arm removed and went into remission. She was cancer free for almost 10 years, she thought for sure she’d beaten it, then it showed up again in August of 2002. What she thought was just swollen glands turned out to be melanoma. From there she went through surgery, chemo (interferon) and radiation, only for it to reoccur in the same area during treatment. It continued to progress within the next several months to her stomach, lungs, spinal fluid and brain. She continued treatment with more evasive chemo and radiation. All the while never giving up hope or faith that God would heal her again. She died this past September to join my father in heaven, who died 6 years ago. She left behind two daughters and a grandson.

Message: Mom, you were and still are my hero! Your undying strength and faith continues to be such an inspiration to me. I’m so glad and blessed to have been there with you every step of the way. I’m back in nursing school and will graduate next spring! I love you and miss you. You still won the fight mom, your cancer free!

Sarah E. Lewis, daughter

Dennis A. Cory

DOB: August 29, 1960
DOD: September 8, 2003

Biography: Dennis was a very caring individual that loved people and life. He was a hard worker who was always there to help when in need. He will be sadly missed by his wife and his family.

Message: I have one thing to say that my brother said to me in his last days: “Stay out of the sun unless you are using sunscreen!” I miss him a lot and all the fun times that we had together…

Daniel J. Cory, brother

Thomas Siemers

DOB: November 2, 1948
DOD: January 17, 2004

Biography: My father suffered with melanoma for 28 years. He started out with a lesion on his foot and 6 years ago it spread to his lymph nodes, 3 years later it spread to his brain. From the time it spread to his brain until he passed, it went into his lungs, liver, stomach, spine and bones. Through out all the treatments and trials he continued to go to work everyday. Actually he went to work 2 weeks before he passed. He acted as though he weren’t even sick, he didn’t want his family to worry. Two days before he died he even told me he was going back to work on Monday. My father was the strongest person and a great example. He died just a month ago, and left here are my mom, my sister-26 and myself-19.

Message: I just thank the lord we had so many good years with him, I couldn’t ask for a better father. I consider myself lucky for all the time we had with him.

Betsie Siemers, daughter

William Judge Colwell

DOB: December 18, 1924
DOD: December 18, 2003

Biography: My father was a medical corpsman in World War II. He was a wonderful father, teacher, athlete and artist. He always was kind to all people whether he knew them or not. He was very sensitive to his environment and his beautiful stained glass art reflected his love of the universe and of our universal creator. He created wonderful gardens and that skill was passed on to me. He raised roses and so do I now. He never felt sorry for himself even when diagnosed with this disease. He constantly said he would be fine. I believe he found peace through acceptance with this disease (condition). It fully changed my view of life, living and acceptance of things we cannot change. My father had no fear during his hospice time. He passed on his birthday, 79 years to the hour of his birth.

Message: I feel blessed to have spent time with him. I will never forget him or the lessons learned through this experience.

Kenneth W. Colwell, son

Rory Lee Galloway

DOB: May 6, 1960
DOD: May 13, 2003

Biography: My father was always exposed to sunlight. He worked for GTE/Alltel for approximately 20 years as a lineman and he was always on the telephone poles working. He also was an avid golfer; it was his favorite thing in the world before he got sick, and even after. When he was younger he would play every single evening after he got off work and 2 or 3 rounds on his days off. Not only was he at the golf course, when he had kids, we played sports. We played softball, ran track and played soccer. Basically he spent his whole life in the sun. In the summer of 2001 he was mowing the grass and a rock hit a mole on his leg. It became infected and he didn’t think anything of it until it didn’t get any better. He then went to a dermatologist and had a biopsy. Although the biopsy came back positive for melanoma, the doctor waited about 1.5 months or so to take the mole off. He went through 4 surgeries, interferon, radiation, and other “experimental” treatments! He passed away May 13, 2003, exactly one week after his 43rd birthday.
I never realized or thought that my father would die this young. I never thought that it could ever happen to me. Although he was the one dying, he always told us to be strong because he would get through this. He always said that he was going to beat it, but he didn’t.

Message: We all miss him very much and I would do anything to bring him back. It’s amazing how fast something like this can take away someone very dear to you.

Amanda Beth Galloway, daughter

Kelly Rutherford

DOB: January 11, 1961
DOD: August 13, 2003

Biography: Kelly Had melanoma for five years and fought each day through over 30 surgeries as time went on. He never was sick a day in his life until the melanoma started. He refereed hockey for 31 years and was a strong determined individual. He died at the age of 42 at home beside his referee gear. The love of my life, one that never ever complained, just lived moment by moment and left behind beautiful memories.
Love you Kelly, always Tracy.

Message: My advice: to take each day and grasp the moment, never say never and always learn through the experience. Kelly always stated there is a reason for everything. I was anorexic and very ill when I met Kelly and he cared for me and I in turn for him. Always.

Sandra Elliott

DOB: December 8, 1958
DOD: March 18, 2000

Biography: My mother was born an only child to the best grandparents a girl could wish for.
She became a vibrant soul that made jokes and me, her number one priority from the day I was born. My mother ended up getting a divorce that left her a single parent up until the day she died. In 1999 she found out she had melanoma by spotting a mole that she had had for as long as I can remember changing shape and color. All the necessary procedures were taken but did not work because her cancer had spread and therefore she lost her battle in March of 2000.

Message: My mother left behind a daughter who at the time was a senior in high school and a set of parents whom had lost their only child. Her death was long and painful. I witnessed many seizures, called 911 numerous times, and watched the only parent I had ever known slip away before my eyes. All I know is that if this form of cancer was more publicized that it possibly could have been prevented many years ago, especially since it is the most deadliest form of cancer there is. Since my mother’s death I have moved onto college, I have a house and a steady job. I think my mother would be proud of me and all that I have accomplished thus far.

Kelly Elliott, daughter

Noel D. Hamilton

DOB: June 10, 1939
DOD: August 4, 1998

Biography: My father died when he was 59 years old. He was a man full of life and love, now his grandchildren will not be able to know their grandfather like they should have. Because of this dreaded cancer his life was cut short.

Message: My father had 4 children, my 3 brothers and me. I was Daddy’s girl. My Mom takes one day at a time. She was 55 when Dad died. He had a mole removed from his back in August of 1996 and lost his life in August 1998. He leaves behind 7 grandsons, 1 granddaughter, my brothers, Mom and me. He is sorely missed.

Marnita Wood, daughter

Joseph_M_Parker memorial amf.jpg

Joseph M. Parker

DOB: September 25, 1920
DOD: June 4, 2002

Alan C. Lawson
Danville, IL

DOB: February 2, 1961
DOD: March 21, 2003

Biography: Mole removed August 1998. Informed that all cancer was removed and to get chest x-ray every 6 months. November 8, 2002 diagnosed with Stage IV.

Leyla Harrison

DOB: October 27, 1972
DOD: February 4, 2001

Biography: Leyla was only 28 when she died. She was an unbelievable person: full of love for others, a fierce spark for life, a lively intelligence.

Message: She is missed by many, including myself, her father Mitchell and mother Paula.

Frances J. Alcorn

DOB: September 28, 1921
DOD: April 21, 2003

Mario A. Lepore

DOB: January 26, 1939
DOD: July 21, 2002

Message:  I miss your love and company.

Margie, wife

Thomas F. Burns

DOB: August 16, 1944
DOD: April 23, 2003

Biography: Loving father and wonderful grandfather, he will be so missed. Diagnosed and passed 6 weeks later with stage IV melanoma.

Message: My heart is so broken Dad, miss you. 

Mary Sue Burgwin, daughter

Billy Douglas Dominy

DOB: July 28, 1979
DOD: June 22, 2003

Biography: Diagnosed with melanoma August 2001. He went through a divorce, custody battles and surgeries all at one time. I met him in March 2002. He was the strongest man I had ever met.

Message: He fought his cancer with his head held high. He had been on 11 different chemotherapies during this whole time and radiation. He never gave up. Even though he knew the outcome of his disease, he always was the one to say, “Everything is going to be alright!” He gave me strength and I hope one day his son will know his daddy was the strongest man alive. I love my husband more than life itself. I miss him more and more everyday, but he is in a better place now. I do not look at his death as a battle lost, but won. He has given me so much strength in his life and in his death. I love you Billy!!!

Mary Kathryn Dominy, wife

charles pickens jr amf memorial.jpg

Charles S. Pickens Jr.
San Francisco, CA

DOB: December 8, 1942
DOD: August 13, 2003

Biography: Diagnosed with melanoma 8 years ago. He went through several treatments including Interluken, Interferon, Gamma Knife and some chemo. The melanoma started in a mole on his lower back and spread to his lymph system, lungs, brain, liver, intestines and other organs.

Message: My father has shown us how to battle this disease with dignity. He never once said, “Why me?” He and my Mom just celebrated their 37th wedding anniversary in June. I have never known two people who loved each other more than they did. We were both at his side when he peacefully left this world. We miss him very much.

Stephanie Worthington, daughter

Barbara A. Carmickle

DOB: July 18, 1967
DOD: May 11, 1999

Biography: Barbara was diagnosed with stage IV Melanoma in 1995. She was put on Interferon for one year. December 1996, she was able to discontinue treatment just prior to Christmas.
In October of 1998 Barbara found out she was pregnant with her 3rd child. In April 1999, on her 13th wedding anniversary she was told the cancer had returned. She was admitted to the hospital that day and never got to go home. She delivered her son one month early on April 19th, 1999 and died May 11th, 1999 from melanoma. She was 31 years old.

Message: Barbara will never be forgotten. She was a caring, loving and thoughtful sister.
I know that she is in heaven sitting at the throne of God where she is no longer suffering or in pain. I can’t wait to see her again.

Katherine Cloud, sister