Thursday, July 31, 2008

Melissa Meeker

For those that have not read Melissa Meeker's Journal today, she passed away shortly after 3:00 with her family and friends by her side. If you ever read her journal, you know that she is in heaven right now and cancer is the last thing on her mind. The days of pain are gone.

I did not personally know Melissa, but I grew to know her through her writing. I think highly of her father, Terry, who was the Chief here at KAIT for many years. I sympathized with her and her family because our family had been struggling with the same challenges a few months back. I was really cheering for her as she battled Melanoma.

I'm going to be really, really blunt right now. I hope nobody misunderstands what I'm about to say... and I hope that nobody is offended. We've got to do something to combat cancer. Not just breast cancer, not just colon cancer, or lung cancer.... all cancer. To be honest, I don't think Melanoma Cancer Research gets enough publicity or financial support. Heck, I know it doesn't. Numbers back up my claim. People are misinformed and oblivious to it's dangers.

Did you know that Melanoma is being diagnosed 2 times more than it was in 1986? Did you know that it is increasing faster than ANY other major cancer? Click here to read more.

People just are not informed about the risks. In fact, when my step mom was diagnosed last year with Stage 4 Melanoma, I actually had a few people say... "Well, at least it is "just" skin cancer". For those that do not know, I lost my step mom 6 months after diagnosis.

Folks... take precautions. Get out of the sun, wear a hat, and GET OUT OF THE TANNING BED. I'm not going to pretend that I never get a little sun on my face, but I'm not rubbing oil over my skin either.

You are likely to receive about 80% of your lifetime sun exposure during the first 18 years of life. So parents, put some protection on your kids! Parents, ban your teenagers from the tanning beds. A golden tan is not worth the risks.

I'm done preaching for now.

Please pray for the Woods and Meekers this week as they travel home to Paragould from Nashville. While this was not a surprising death to them, it is still a very difficult time.

Have a good night,
Ryan

PS- I had full intentions on writing about my anniversary tonight, but that would not be appropriate.

5 comments:

Diane@Diane's Place said...

My thoughts and prayers are with Terry and the rest of Melissa's family.

For what my opinion's worth, I heartily agree with you about battling cancers of all types. We need to put our money where the need is. We pay millions more on research to grow hair than we do on cancer research, and that's just one example of where we can make changes.

Weather Sarah said...

Ryan,

You are 100% correct. As a woman who had 11 moles removed before turning 21, some of which were pre-cancerous, this needs to be taken seriously. I think there is a mentality among young women-and even young men--that skin cancer won't happen to them. Melanoma is a huge threat and more awareness should be given to this cause.

The Wade's said...

I actually subscribed to Melissa's caringbridge page for updates just yesterday morning, and I couldn't believe it when the first update I received was the one informing everyone about her death.

Thanks for spreading the word about skin cancer. Just about everyone knows someone who has been touched by skin cancer, and yet, people talk about it so casually.

Advice: Stay out of the sun, use 45SPF, and get a yearly full body skin check. You never know how many years you could be adding to your life...

I am praying for her family and friends.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing this with us. I read some of Melissa's journal. She sounded like a wonderful person and I'm sure will be missed by many.

Cookeville Weather Guy said...

Excellent, excellent, excellent post Ryan...I 100% agree with you...we have to be careful with our kids and these 'fake bakes', as I call them, aren't worth the damage they do....my mother has had several recent pre-cancerous spots removed....

Melissa's gone home and is dancing with Jesus....