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.
‘Slip, slop, slap’ is synonymous with being Australian and playing it safe in the sun. These sun smart rules reduce our chances of getting melanoma of the skin. However, new research tells a different story for those affected by rarer forms of melanoma.
Using MIA's patient database, researchers have developed conditional survival estimates for Stage III melanoma patients to more accurately predict survival outcomes.
MIA is proud to be celebrating an important milestone – the 60th anniversary of melanoma research and Australian-led global efforts to find a cure.
Research achievements by MIA were celebrated at the annual Sydney Medical School recently.
In this Global Research Report we showcase advances in medical oncology, reveal unexpected pathology in acral and skin melanoma, and uncover biomarkers and new gene targets for melanoma.
Professor’s Long and Scolyer are well known in the academic community and beloved by their patients. But we wanted to get to know our new Conjoint Medical Directors a little more and hear their plans on making an impact on melanoma.
Wyong Rugby League Club Group has joined forces with Melanoma Institute Australia to help end melanoma for future generations.
Melanoma research has reached a milestone with the 10,000th patient giving their permission for their blood and tissue samples to be used in the world’s largest melanoma biospecimen bank.
MIA's researchers and clinicians are in Seattle, USA, today sharing their research findings at the prestigious Society of Surgical Oncology’s Annual Cancer Symposium.
Two of the world’s best minds in melanoma have taken over the academic and clinical leadership of Melanoma Institute Australia (MIA). Professor Georgina Long and Professor Richard Scolyer are the new Conjoint Medical Directors of MIA, and are shaping the future direction of melanoma research, treatment and education.
Meet Georgia, our Clinica Nurse Consultant who provides vital care and education for patients throughout their treatment.
Australia, we need to talk. This week’s dramatic episodes of Married At First Sight have highlighted a tragedy which is ripping Australian families apart. Yet no one is talking about it.
To celebrate International Women's Day 2017, MIA shares how some of the women who inspire the way we work every day, are showing their commitment to accelerate gender parity.
We welcome Mr Grant King to the position of Chairman of the Board of Melanoma Institute Australia, following the retirement of Mr Reg Richardson AM who led the organisation for 10 years.
Congratulations to PhD Student, Tuba Nur Gide who was awarded a NSW National Council of Women Australia Day Award for her PhD research work.
Melanoma Institute Australia, is joining forces with the Wollongong Wolves Football Club in the battle to reduce Australia’s melanoma rates.
A new research project will evaluate the benefits and economic implications of CT and PET/CT imaging in patients with asymptomatic Stage III melanoma.
Sunscreen tips for a skin smart summer with the help of Professor Pascale Guitera, Dermatologist Associate for Melanoma Institute Australia.
Although survival rates for people with skin melanoma are increasing, these promises of hope are not being seen in uveal melanoma. Researchers are desperately trying to uncover new ways to treat this disease.
Lucinda Ryan and Carole Renouf talking about melanoma preventation and awareness on 720 ABC Perth.