Monday, February 18, 2013

Jillian Hayes Wagner~Melanoma Warrior

 I was so blessed to be part of this emotional day.  I am friend's with Susan, Jillian's mom, (a.k.a Mama Bear) and we also live about 3 hours apart.  Jillian had melanoma, and she fought a long, hard battle.  Through it all, she tried to remain Jillian.  Not the girl with melanoma.  She lived life to the absolute fullest she could, and she battled each new obstacle with strength, grace and determination.  I never got to meet Jillian, but I feel like, through Susan, I did know her.

Awareness of melanoma is near and dear to me.  This billboard is just so awesome!  I have seen pictures of it, but standing in front of it and seeing it in person was so amazing. That young, beautiful girl is smiling and shining her light down all over Michigan, and she is spreading awareness.  Her message is, "It's not "JUST" skin cancer...It IS Cancer."  She is putting a face to this horrible cancer.  A cancer without a cure.  I know she is changing the world and is smiling along with all the other melanoma warriors in Heaven. 

Thank you Jillian and Susan for sharing your story and your strength.  One day, we will win this battle against melanoma.  The black beast will go down! 

There is nothing stronger than the love of a mother

Standing and getting LOUD!!

Melanoma Warriors~Andrea Alexander, Jolaina ParentWalling, Susan Visch Hayes, and Melissa Collins


  1. Thanks for taking these beautiful pictures, Melissa! Sorry I couldn't be there.

  2. It was my honor. I am very blessed to know you all!

  3. Oh boy! I guess I just better expect to shed tears every time I see these pictures! SUCH an emotional day. I'm just so blessed that I got to share the experience with you, Melissa. Thank you, I love you!!