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.

Possible PBS listing for dabrafenib and trametinib
18 Dec 2018

Possible PBS listing for dabrafenib and trametinib

Clinicians, patients and other stakeholders in the cancer community are invited to make submissions in support of the PBS listing for dabrafenib and trametinib.

Arden Anglican School wins SunSafe Ambassador competition
13 Dec 2018

Arden Anglican School wins SunSafe Ambassador competition

Three students from Arden Anglican School in Epping have won Melanoma Institute Australia’s (MIA) inaugural SunSafe Student Ambassador Award.

DON'T CLOUD THE SUN-SAFE MESSAGE
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DON'T CLOUD THE SUN-SAFE MESSAGE

Mark Whittaker’s ‘Here comes the sun; Defending our summer rays’ (GW 24 Nov) clouds the sun-safe message – which could have disastrous consequences.

Professor Georgina Long named as one of world's most highly cited researchers
04 Dec 2018

Professor Georgina Long named as one of world's most highly cited researchers

Professor Georgina Long is among only 12 researchers from the University of Sydney to be named in the 2018 Highly Cited Researchers List.

Aussies need to protect themselves from 'everyday' sun damage
01 Dec 2018

Aussies need to protect themselves from 'everyday' sun damage

‘Wearing sunscreen should be as automatic as wearing a seatbelt. Both are potential life savers.

The Poche Centre to host 3D total-body imaging system as part of world-first initiative to save lives from melanoma
29 Nov 2018

The Poche Centre to host 3D total-body imaging system as part of world-first initiative to save lives from melanoma

A prestigious $10 million Australian Cancer Research Foundation grant has been awarded to ACEMID, an initiative that aims to use 3D total-body imaging and a remote medicine network to improve the detection and diagnosis of early-stage melanoma.

Major award for world-leaders in melanoma research
09 Nov 2018

Major award for world-leaders in melanoma research

Professor Georgina Long and Professor Richard Scolyer have been recognised as world leaders in melanoma research for their ground-breaking work that has changed the diagnosis and treatment landscape of melanoma world-wide, and tripled the life-expectancy of advanced melanoma patients. 

Melanoma Institute Australia shines at prestigious Cancer Research Awards
03 Nov 2018

Melanoma Institute Australia shines at prestigious Cancer Research Awards

Leading researchers from Melanoma Institute Australia have taken out the top accolades at the NSW Premier’s Awards for Outstanding Cancer Research.

Women of MIA lead the way in melanoma research at SMR
31 Oct 2018

Women of MIA lead the way in melanoma research at SMR

An impressive contingent of female delegates from Melanoma Institute Australia have presented findings across the whole spectrum of melanoma research at the Society for Melanoma Research 2018 Congress in Manchester, England.

Women of MIA lead the way in melanoma research at SMR
31 Oct 2018

Women of MIA lead the way in melanoma research at SMR - Copy

An impressive contingent of female delegates from Melanoma Institute Australia have presented findings across the whole spectrum of melanoma research at the Society for Melanoma Research 2018 Congress in Manchester, England.

Women of MIA lead the way in melanoma research at SMR
31 Oct 2018

Women of MIA lead the way in melanoma research at SMR - Copy

An impressive contingent of female delegates from Melanoma Institute Australia have presented findings across the whole spectrum of melanoma research at the Society for Melanoma Research 2018 Congress in Manchester, England.

Immune cell research presented at SMR
30 Oct 2018

Immune cell research presented at SMR

Over 800 researchers and clinicians from around the world were welcomed to Manchester for the 15th International Congress of the Society for Melanoma Research (SMR). Melanoma Institute Australia (MIA) has again sent an impressive number of delegates to present both oral presentations and posters with the latest in translational research.

Professor Georgina Long makes history as the first woman and first Australian to lead the Society for Melanoma Research
26 Oct 2018

Professor Georgina Long makes history as the first woman and first Australian to lead the Society for Melanoma Research

Professor Georgina Long makes history as the first woman and first Australian to lead the world’s most prestigious international melanoma research association.

Patients to benefit from updated skin tumour publications
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Patients to benefit from updated skin tumour publications

Two publications co-edited by MIA Co-Medical Director Professor Richard Scolyer are now available to healthcare professionals. They aim to provide assistance in the care and management of patients with skin cancer, including melanoma.

SunSafe Student Ambassador Program
25 Oct 2018

SunSafe Student Ambassador Program

Melanoma Institute Australia has introduced a new educational program to teach teenagers about the dangers of melanoma and the importance of sun safety. 

International collaboration the key to increasing survival
24 Oct 2018

International collaboration the key to increasing survival

"International collaboration remains the key to ensuring this pioneering research continues so we can increase survival rates for advanced melanoma patients and move us closer to achieving our goal of zero deaths from melanoma," says Professor Georgina Long, of the clinical trial results presented at ESMO 2018.

High-risk Stage III melanoma patients to benefit from Australia/Netherlands collaboration
23 Oct 2018

High-risk Stage III melanoma patients to benefit from Australia/Netherlands collaboration

Research that could change clinical practice for high-risk Stage III melanoma patients has been presented at the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) Congress in Munich.

Monthly dose of immunotherapy allows flexibility for patients undergoing treatment
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Monthly dose of immunotherapy allows flexibility for patients undergoing treatment

A larger, monthly dose of immunotherapy can give melanoma patients more freedom without sacrificing effectiveness.

Australia's best minds in melanoma research converge on Melbourne
08 Oct 2018

Australia's best minds in melanoma research converge on Melbourne

The Australasian Melanoma Conference, hosted by the Australasian Melanoma Conference Committee, was held in Melbourne on the weekend, with many of MIA's clinicians in attendance.

Nobel Prize for novel cancer therapies
04 Oct 2018

Nobel Prize for novel cancer therapies

The two men who discovered checkpoint inhibitors, the brakes of the immune system, were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine on Monday, October 1.