A Pawsome Story of Hope
21 February 2018
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.
Joanne’s melanoma journey began six years ago when she had a mole removed from her thigh. Four years later the cancer returned in her groin, and she was told she had Stage III melanoma. Despite a second round of surgery, it quickly progressed to Stage IV.
“I have to confess I’m of that generation that did not put any cream on at all, it just didn’t happen,” Joanne recalls. “The only cream I put on was coconut oil, or baby oil. Now that’s probably where that melanoma started a long time ago.”
Joanne vividly remembers the discussion with her oncologist who suggested she get in touch with the palliative care unit. It is a memory she will never shake.
“Palliative care means you’re dying,” Joanne says. “It is a dreadful, dreadful disease.”
Joanne was thrown a lifeline when her oncologist at Melanoma Institute Australia suggested she try what was at the time a new treatment for melanoma. After an extended period of being very unwell, she turned the corner, and now, none of her tumours are measurable.
“Thank goodness I went to the right place at the right time, because otherwise I wouldn’t be here,” Joanne says. “If I had presented five years ago with what I had, then there is no way I would have survived. It is only through the research done at Melanoma Institute Australia that I am sitting here today.”
Joanne and Frankie, her therapy dog, now devote their time spreading a message of hope to others.
“We’ll go anywhere won’t we Frankie, to say there is life, there is hope. The Melanoma Institute has been there for me 24/7 and I have depended on them and I will be eternally grateful for the rest of my life.
Joanne’s is the latest in a series of emotive videos launched by Melanoma Institute Australia, showing the impact of melanoma on everyday Australians. Watch her story here and join her in the fight against melanoma by signing up for a Melanoma March event near you.
A landmark study led by MIA's Dr Willmott is making a difference to melanoma treatment around the globe.
The highly anticipated annual list is the “who’s who” of the scientific elite from across the globe.
The uniquely Aussie awareness campaign ‘Game On Mole’ is back for its second year – with a new look but same important message.
Professor Richard Scolyer receives The Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia Distinguished Fellow Award.
Professor Long cites as a highlight of her 2-year Presidency, the phenomenal research output by SMR members who have continued to lead the cancer field despite the impact of COVID-19.
Join in the fun of the virtual event, and together we can run over melanoma!
Melanoma Institute Australia features prominently in the latest ‘Expertise in Melanoma’ world rankings, released by Expertscape.
Participate in our online survey and help us understand the support needs of melanoma patients and carers.
Clinicians and their patients now have access to three online risk calculators developed by researchers at Melanoma Institute Australia.
MIA's Co-Medical Director Professor Richard Scolyer has received The University of Sydney Alumni Award for International Achievement.
More than 120 MIA clinicians, researchers and staff came together online to share research highlights.
For the 2nd consecutive year, MIA's Co-Medical Director Professor Richard Scolyer has been selected in the top 100 best, brightest, and most powerful advocates of pathology by The Pathologist.
As of Monday 27th July all patients and carers/family members coming into The Poche Centre will be required to bring their own mask.
In a recent issue of Cancer Cell journal, Prof Georgina Long AO and Prof Richard Scolyer discuss the challenge of bringing together clinical work and scientific research to underpin successful cancer research.
Clinicians around the world now have access to a new online calculator that predicts the risk that a patient’s primary melanoma has spread to nearby lymph nodes.
Professor Long has been appointed as an Officer (AO) of the Order of Australia (General Division) for distinguished service to medicine, particularly, to melanoma clinical and translational research, and to professional medical societies.
“I had a complete response within about six months. All of my tumours disappeared."
‘We are extremely proud of our ongoing contribution to the global effort to save lives from melanoma, with Dr Silva’s prestigious award proof that we continue to lead the way,'
MIA's Co-Medical Director, Professor Richard Scolyer, has achieved a Google Scholar h-index of 100.