15-year-old melanoma survivor Toby Rayner will lead Mount Gambier's march against melanoma

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.

Professor Richard Scolyer presents at world's largest annual meeting of pathologists
29 Mar 2018

Professor Richard Scolyer presents at world's largest annual meeting of pathologists

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Congratulations to Kaye Oakley
29 Mar 2018

Congratulations to Kaye Oakley

A round of applause for a well deserved win.

Farewell from Carole Renouf, CEO of Melanoma Institute Australia
26 Mar 2018

Farewell from Carole Renouf, CEO of Melanoma Institute Australia

A message from our CEO, Carole Renouf

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Marching in the twilight

Piction, Brisbane, Bahturst and Port Macquarie march to end melanoma. 

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23 Mar 2018

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21 Mar 2018

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MIA is sharing it's research with the global surgical oncology community this week at the Society of Surgical Oncology Annual Cancer Symposium.

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19 Mar 2018

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It was a massive weekend of Melanoma Marches with six Marches in: Bendigo, Canberra, Manly, Newcastle, Bunbury and Adelaide.

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14 Mar 2018

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Weekend two hit the ground marching with Melanoma Marches in Wollongong, Townsville, Mandurah and Western Sydney.

Melanoma March kicks off for 2018
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Melanoma March kicks off for 2018

Melanoma Institute Australia's annual fundraising initiative is all systems go!

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07 Mar 2018

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The reported proliferation of illegal commercial solariums is costing lives and requires urgent government intervention.

15-year-old melanoma survivor Toby Rayner will lead Mount Gambier's march against melanoma
28 Feb 2018

15-year-old melanoma survivor Toby Rayner will lead Mount Gambier's march against melanoma

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. 

Excision margins for melanoma redefined
21 Feb 2018

Excision margins for melanoma redefined

Updated guidelines defining appropriate excision margins have been published thanks to research from MIA. 

A Pawsome Story of Hope
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A Pawsome Story of Hope

Joanne and her trusty companion Frankie spend their days spreading a message of hope in hospitals, nursing homes, even prisons. It is a long way from her darkest hour facing palliative care. This is her story of hope.

A new generation of melanoma researchers
15 Feb 2018

A new generation of melanoma researchers

Melanoma impacts more Australian teenagers and young adults than any other cancer. Dr James Wilmott, who has a young family of his own, has devoted his career to determining why these young Australians are susceptible to melanoma, and importantly, how to save them.

Melanoma Masterclass celebrates Australian luminaries who have transformed melanoma treatment worldwide
13 Feb 2018

Melanoma Masterclass celebrates Australian luminaries who have transformed melanoma treatment worldwide

The extraordinary contribution of Australia’s most distinguished melanoma clinicians and researchers is being celebrated today.

Prestigious award in pathology for Professor Scolyer
09 Feb 2018

Prestigious award in pathology for Professor Scolyer

Congratulations to Professor Richard Scolyer who was awarded the William O. Russell/Joanne Vandenberge Hill Award of Excellence in Pathology.

A Day in the Life Of... Serigne Lo
09 Feb 2018

A Day in the Life Of... Serigne Lo

A Day in the Life Of... Serigne Lo, Research and BioStatistics Manager at Melanoma Institute Australia

Jay inspires others to help end melanoma and so can you
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Jay inspires others to help end melanoma and so can you

Jay was your typical Aussie bloke – a truck driver, husband, dad and mate to many. Then he got melanoma. His cancer diagnosis turned his life upside down.

A dilemma no mother-to-be should face
31 Jan 2018

A dilemma no mother-to-be should face

Clair faced an impossible choice – risk delivering her baby early, or delay potentially life-saving melanoma treatment