Sunday, May 6, 2012

Link to My First Interview

I was fortunate enough to have had the opportunity to tell my story on ABC 12 WJRT Flint, Michigan on May 4,2012, for an episode of Newsmaker.  I sent the reporter, Leslie Toldo, a message and told her briefly my story and gave her links to my blog, but I really wanted to know if they were going to be doing any melanoma awareness shows since it is Melanoma Awareness Month.  She replied back quickly, and said they were going to start airing that very night and then she asked me, "How motivated are you?"  She asked me if I could be at the studio the next morning to tape.  She had someone lined up, that had canceled.  I was so shocked and excited!  Of course I had to do this!  I got the time off work approved and spent the night preparing myself for the next morning.  I wasn't as nervous as I thought I would be.  I was mostly afraid I would not get the important points I needed to get across.  I was afraid of forgetting them.  This was a HUGE opportunity, and I didn't want to blow it! 

The morning of the interview I wasn't nervous at all.  I was ready.  I was excited.  I had my "Let's Do This!"  attitude.  I got to the studio and met the young lady who was from the American Cancer Society who was also being interviewed.  We talked before the taping.  I always love to tell my story and it is always so nice when someone is genuinely listening and interested. 

The interview its self was a breeze.  Leslie Toldo is AMAZING!  She put me right at ease and she gave me time to adjust to being on the set.  She did a really great show and gave me quite a bit of time.  I was thrilled with it and would like to share my interview portion now.  The entire segment will be available later on their website at and is a definite MUST SEE!

It was an amazing experience and I think this could be the start of something for me.  I want to continue spreading awareness.  I would like to say Thank you Leslie for a wonderful opportunity and for such a great, informative show.  It hopefully saved a lot of lives!  XOXO


  1. Thank you for spreading awareness of this horrible disease! You are doing a great job!
    My Dad was dx 6 yrs ago and still remains NED :)

  2. Thank you Stephanie! I am glad to hear about your Dad! :)

  3. Hey Melissa.

    I watched your interview and my take away was that you had the mole cut off and now you are fine. Maybe there needs to be more emphasis on how an everyday mole can dig deeply into the skin layers and get into the lymph and blood systems. From there it invades the organs and sometimes the brain. That most treatments don't work and that the new drugs available since 2011 don't work on everyone and that they are only available after the melanoma has already spread to body organs. That even if the drugs do work, that no one knows for how long. That someone in America dies from melanoma every hour and that more and more young people are dying of melanoma. That if it is caught in the early "curable" stages even then you are ALWAYS looking over your shoulder 10, 15, 20 years later. That so many people who receive the devastating news are aware of the offending mole, but didn't know it would be deadly . That many people put off going to a dermatologist and even their family doctor did not know that any given mole was dangerous. Many people have suspicious moles for years and think nothing of them until they , by chance, get an evaluation and that by the time they finally receive the biopsy , it is often beyond the curable stage , which is very early on in its development and that no one knows how quickly it can grow and advance into the death zone. That dealing with treatment is excruciating and avoidable by being careful in the sun and getting a dermatologist check up. That the new drugs , if they can get them , are in the $ 100's of thousands of dollars per treatment and for many young people who do not have health insurance or are denied coverage, this could lead to a death sentence.

    You did the best you could with the moderator. My impression was that she did not do any research and did not know anything about melanoma. Therefore her direction rendered your story impotent of the crisis of melanoma and that having melanoma does not make a person who has it "look like" they have cancer. Let us all take a look at how interviewers may reduce this melanoma awareness venture into a feel good personal story that does not reflect what we who know to be devastating. Maybe a fact sheet would help moderators steer the interview into the dark and scarey corners that melanoma causes and the horror of trying to survive. Someone(Dr ?) said that "melanoma is the disease that gives cancer a bad name". I find it amazingly sad to follow many bloggers and most have seen their mole on a daily basis , but simply did not know to get it checked out by a DERMATOLOGIST.

    In my case of melanoma, the ONLY reason I am 16 years cancer free is that I worked in the U of Miami Dermatology Department and when my husband pointed out a small "smear" on my back, I took 1 look and ran to the dermatologist. In my case it was "just cut off" , but I would have thought nothing of it had I not known better because of my work awareness. Many of your fellow bloggers knew they had THE mole, but didn't know to be afraid. That ignorance can and has in many cases proven itself to be deadly. Most people only read these blogs after it is too late, so how to get the word out is the big challenge.


  4. I was invited to do this interview and tell my story. I didn't have to go through all of the things you talk about, fortunately. I know all of the things you say are true. The reporter's own grandfather died of melanoma exactly 25 years to the day that we did that interview. I appreciate your feed back. If you watch the interview, you will see that I did state that melanoma is a life sentence, and that I am not free of it. That it was difficult to recover and difficult that people think that they cut it off and I should be fine. It is ALWAYS with me. For me to touch on all the great points you made would have taken much more time than I had. It was a melanoma awareness show, and my job was to just tell my story. If you would like to see the entire show you can at One of the deadliest forms of skin cancer. I thought that the reporter did a great show. The dermatologist gave a lot of great info. I have many projects that I am working on to keep awareness going. Thank you for your comments and I wish you the best in staying NED.