Jay Allen works at Melanoma Institute Australia as Community Engagement Manager.
A former truck driver, he was just 32 years old when he was diagnosed with melanoma in 2008.
“I just never thought it would happen to me,” Jay says. “I had a mole on my ankle that looked unusual and kept rubbing on my work boots and bleeding. 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 and 12 years on he is fighting fit.
He now works at Melanoma Institute Australia to raise awareness and funds for research to save lives from melanoma, which is the most common cancer affecting 15 to 39-year-olds.
Jay and a team of volunteer walkers have traversed the country in several MIA fundraising treks, including the epic 2000km Jay’s Longest Melanoma March from Adelaide to Sydney in 2019. This marathon walk followed similar fundraising treks from Brisbane to Sydney in 2017 and Sydney to Melbourne in 2014.
“I had no idea how deadly melanoma could be,” Jay says. “I’m lucky to be alive so now it’s time to give back.”