Melanoma Institute Australia (MIA) is supporting ‘The Longest Melanoma March’ being tackled by our very own Community Coordinator Jay Allen and a team of passionate and dedicated volunteers.
Jay Allen was just 32 when he was diagnosed with melanoma. He was your typical Aussie bloke — a husband, dad, son and mate to many. Overnight he went from being a truck driver to a cancer patient. It was a diagnosis that changed his life.
“I just never thought it would happen to me,” Jay said. “I had a mole on my ankle that looked unusual and kept rubbing on my work boots and bleeding. My wife persisted that I get it checked, and luckily I took her advice. It turned out to be a melanoma which was 1.95mm deep and had spread to my lymph nodes.”
Jay underwent immediate surgery and treatment. Eight years on he is fighting fit — and is now fighting for another cause - to help raise awareness and find a cure for melanoma which is the number one cancer killer of Australians aged 20-39.
In his role as Community Coordinator with Melanoma Institute Australia, Jay devotes much of his time talking to school and community groups about sun-safe behaviours and the importance of early detection.
“I had no idea how deadly melanoma could be. My diagnosis was life changing for me and my family. I’m lucky to be alive, so now it’s time to give back,” Jay said.
Jay is preparing to step up his fight against melanoma — literally. In March 2017 he will embark on ‘The Longest Melanoma March’ from Brisbane to Sydney as part of the Melanoma March campaign. His team will walk some 1200 kilometres over 29 days, aiming to raise $250,000.
Every single dollar raised will help Melanoma Institute Australia fund vital research to find a cure for melanoma.
“Please dig deep for this great cause and help change the future for thousands of Australians diagnosed with melanoma each year. If it can happen to me, it can happen to anyone. Let’s work together to end melanoma,” Jay said.