15-year-old melanoma survivor Toby Rayner will lead Mount Gambier's march against melanoma
28 February 2018
15-year-old melanoma survivor Toby Rayner will lead Mount Gambier’s march against melanoma. Julie-Ann Sams knows all too well that melanoma doesn’t discriminate. Life changed for her youngest son, Toby Rayner, when he was diagnosed with a rare from of iris melanoma that sadly required his left eye to be surgically removed.
Toby’s story began at his local optometrist when, in late 2014, his optometrist noticed a small
freckle in his left eye. The optometrist told Julie-Ann to keep an eye on it in case it started to cause problems. It wasn’t until August 2015 that Toby started to complain about pain in his eye and difficulty reading the board at school. It was at that point that Julie-Ann worried it might be something more than just a freckle.
Toby’s optometrist examined his eye and referred him to an ophthalmologist who then referred him to an oncologist in Melbourne for further tests. The oncologist performed a biopsy on the freckle, and unfortunately the results revealed Toby had a rare form of iris melanoma, which would require his eye to be removed.
On November 30, just three days before his thirteenth birthday, Toby had his left eye removed.
It was a life-changing event, yet Toby hasn’t let his melanoma diagnosis get him down, showing incredible bravery throughout his melanoma journey and only taking two weeks off school following his surgery.
Julie-Ann has been blown away by the support of her friends and the community, with Toby’s best friend Josh Telford shaving his head and his family hosting fundraisers to help support the family through Toby’s journey.
“My family and I only moved to Mount Gambier six years ago and we are forever grateful for the
support we’ve received from the community. We can’t thank them enough for getting us through
this difficult time,” says Julie-Ann.
Julie-Ann says she hopes this year’s Melanoma March raises awareness about melanoma and the importance of getting regular checks. This year 14,000 Australians will be told they have melanoma, one of the highest rates in the world.
Toby will be cutting the ribbon and leading out the Mount Gambier Melanoma March on 4 March to raise funds for life-saving research and to try and change that statistic for all Australians. “Melanoma doesn’t discriminate - it can affect anyone at any time. Its not just an older person’s disease; Toby is testament to that,” says Julie-Ann.
“Even if you’re sun smart, melanoma can still affect you.I It’s so important to be aware and act fast on anything you think looks suspicious as it might just save your life,” adds Julie-Ann.
Join Toby in the fight against melanoma by signing up for a Melanoma March event near you.
On Friday, a publication that lays out the steps needed to find out if a systematic screening program for melanoma would benefit all Australians was published in the Australia & New Zealand Journal of Public Health.
Melanoma March events have been cancelled. A Virtual March will be held on Sunday 29th March. Read this statement from MIA CEO Matthew Browne.
Thank you to the thousands of Aussies who bought ‘Game On Mole‘ t-shirts, took selfies, shared t-shirt pics on social media and started lifesaving conversations around sun safety and skin health.
Melanoma patients now have greater access to subsidised immunotherapy thanks to additional treatments today being listed on the PBS.
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Professor Richard Scolyer, Co-Medical Director of Melanoma Institute Australia, will welcome international attendees this weekend to a sold-out, two-day course on ‘Pigmented Lesions and Other Hot Topics in Dermatopathology’.
It is time for a reality check on solariums.
They have no place in anyone’s beauty routine.
Throughout January our community created, hosted and participated in some amazing events, each of them helping us on our quest to reach zero deaths from melanoma.
Australian television presenter, interior designer and mother Kyly Clarke has been announced as the new Ambassador for Melanoma Institute Australia (MIA) and its national awareness and fundraising campaign Melanoma March.
Melanoma Institute Australia has recently partnered with three other organisations to boost support for melanoma patients and their carers across Australia.
Melanoma patients and their families across Western Australia will benefit from strengthened and expanded services with the merging of melanomaWA and Melanoma Institute Australia.
Australian researchers have played a critical role in the discovery of a potential new test to predict which early stage melanoma patients are at high risk of their disease recurring and progressing.
We are extremely grateful for our community fundraisers, who, even in this difficult time, have given up their time and effort to fundraise so we can continue to work towards our goal of zero deaths from melanoma.
Melanoma patients are set to benefit from subsidised access to immunotherapy treatment for high risk early-stage and advanced-stage melanoma patients.
An informative article on how immunotherapy is revolutionising cancer treatment, written by Jill Margo and featured in the Australian Financial Review.
Melanoma patients and their families in the Riverina will benefit from strengthened and sustained melanoma services with the merger of the Amie St Clair Melanoma Trust and Melanoma Institute Australia.
Belmont High School at Lake Macquarie has been announced winner of the 2019 SunSafe Student Ambassador Program video competition.
It’s time again to say thank you to our amazing community fundraisers!
Videos of the sessions at the recent Patient Information Evening co-hosted by Melanoma Institute Australia (MIA) and Melanoma Patients Australia (MPA) are now available for viewing.
MIA is well-represented in the poster sessions at the Society for Melanoma Research 2019 Congress in the USA, with four poster presentations being given by members of our translational research lab.