Tackling the Kokoda Trail for melanoma

Tackling the Kokoda Trail for melanoma

6 April 2018

Fraser Dykes tackled the Kokoda Trail on an eight day trek in memory of his friend Mark “Bod” Boddison.

Fraser’s trek fell in the middle of Melanoma Institute Australia’s major fundraising and awareness campaign Melanoma March which spans across 22 locations around the country, supporting, remembering and fundraising for past and present melanoma patients.

Out of sight, does not mean out of mind for Fraser and Bod. Friends for nearly 40 years, the pair remained very close after Fraser relocated to Australia from Scotland 19 years ago. “We kept in regular contact despite being on the other side of the world. He visited me in Oz on a number of occasions and I took my family to Scotland and we spent our 40th Birthday’s together”.

Bod was diagnosed with melanoma 11 years ago but was given the all clear. Six years later, due to the viciousness of melanoma, Bod had tumours in his brain, abdomen and other parts of his body. But Bod did not lose his sense of humour or positive attitude. Fraser flew to Scotland to spend some time with his lifelong friend. “Those two weeks were priceless for us”, Fraser said.

Devastatingly, Bod lost his battle on March 11th last year. Fraser took on Kokoda just over one year since Bod passed away. Fraser is hoping to fundraise and raise awareness about melanoma. Even though Scotland doesn’t cop the brunt of extreme UV rays like Australia, melanoma doesn’t discriminate.

Bod left behind his wife Ailsa and daughter Zoe who I keep in regular contact with and they are coping as well as can be expected. I also speak regularly to Bod's parents whom I have known since I was a little schoolboy & I find it very difficult speaking to them as I can hear just how terribly sad they are without Mark.

With three young children who spend a lot of time playing outside, Fraser is patently aware of the dangers of too much sun. “I was shocked to read the statistics regarding young Aussies and melanoma so that fortified my decision to raise funds”, Fraser said.

Fraser braved harsh terrain and difficult trekking conditions including extreme humidity and wet conditions. Fraser took on an incredible challenge for Melanoma Institute Australia and you can help him take it one step further by donating to his cause here.

Identifying markers for optimal response
28 Jul 2017

Identifying markers for optimal response

Wouldn’t it be great if your doctor could know if you would respond to treatment before you even had it?

Global Melanoma Research Report - July
20 Jul 2017

Global Melanoma Research Report - July

In our latest research update we showcase research in survival estimates, uncover biomarkers, and reveal practice-changing research in surgery and medical oncology.

A day in the life of... Sarah Lane
14 Jul 2017

A day in the life of... Sarah Lane

Senior Clinical Trial Coordinators, like Sarah Lane, support melanoma patients throughout the clinical trial process. 

Differentiating moles from melanoma
14 Jul 2017

Differentiating moles from melanoma

Melanomas are often hard to differentiate from moles. But new technology is helping to improve accuracy of diagnosis.

Introducing SunSense Sunscreen
11 Jul 2017

Introducing SunSense Sunscreen

We are excited to announce that SunSense will proudly be an official supporter of Melanoma Institute Australia. SunSense is an Australian, family owned business. 

Identifying hidden melanoma
07 Jul 2017

Identifying hidden melanoma

New MIA research revealed dermoscopy features that can help detect desmoplastic melanoma.

60 Minutes' MIA Patient Feature Program
04 Jul 2017

60 Minutes' MIA Patient Feature Program

Five years ago Julie Randall was diagnosed with melanoma and was given months to live. The melanoma had spread throughout her body. The doctors said it was incurable and she’d be lucky if she survived the next nine months. Julie, a patient at Melanoma Institute Australia under Professor Georgina Long was placed on an experimental drug trial. To watch the entire program, visit 9now.com or click here

Training our future melanoma experts
22 Jun 2017

Training our future melanoma experts

Meet our latest Surgical Oncology Fellow, Eva Nagy, to find out more about life as a surgical oncologist, why she came to MIA and what she hopes to achieve.

Update from ASCO 2017
17 Jun 2017

Update from ASCO 2017

Melanoma research at ASCO this year focussed on the more precise use of current treatments to ensure optimal treatment for each patient.

Diagnosing melanoma of the mouth
16 Jun 2017

Diagnosing melanoma of the mouth

MIA recently demonstrated that reflectance confocal microscopy is a useful tool in the clinic to diagnose suspicious-looking lesions in the mouth.

New practice-changing research will reduce the need for major surgery in many melanoma patients
09 Jun 2017

New practice-changing research will reduce the need for major surgery in many melanoma patients

New research is likely to change the way melanoma is managed in many patients by reducing the need for major surgery and its associated morbidity and cost.

MIA researchers to share new findings at world's largest cancer conference
25 May 2017

MIA researchers to share new findings at world's largest cancer conference

Researchers from MIA will present their latest research findings to the world’s largest oncology conference in early June.

Australian researchers pioneer life-extending treatment for advanced melanoma patients with brain tumours
18 May 2017

Australian researchers pioneer life-extending treatment for advanced melanoma patients with brain tumours

Australian researchers are the first to demonstrate that patients with advanced melanoma which has spread to the brain can have increased life expectancy and possibly even beat the disease.

Melanoma March 2017 wraps up!
12 May 2017

Melanoma March 2017 wraps up!

Melanoma March 2017 - that's a wrap! Thank you to everyone that helped make it happen. 

Melanoma March 2017 helping kick start the Big Data for Melanoma national Research Project!
11 May 2017

Melanoma March 2017 helping kick start the Big Data for Melanoma national Research Project!

Thank you so much to all those who contributed in a variety of ways to Melanoma March 2017 in 17 different locations and more around the country! You have contributed to getting the Big Data for Melanoma national Research Project happening!

Whole genome sequencing finds unexpected genomic landscape in melanoma
10 May 2017

Whole genome sequencing finds unexpected genomic landscape in melanoma

By looking at the ‘dark matter’ of the genome, new research has found that genetic changes in acral and mucosal melanoma are completely different to mutations found in skin melanoma.

Shining a light on melanomas that aren't caused by the sun
04 May 2017

Shining a light on melanomas that aren't caused by the sun

‘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.

New research which more accurately predicts survival for melanoma patients
19 Apr 2017

New research which more accurately predicts survival for melanoma patients

Using MIA's patient database, researchers have developed conditional survival estimates for Stage III melanoma patients to more accurately predict survival outcomes.

Celebrating 60 years of melanoma research to save lives
19 Apr 2017

Celebrating 60 Years of melanoma research to save lives

MIA is proud to be celebrating an important milestone – the 60th anniversary of melanoma research and Australian-led global efforts to find a cure.

Celebrating our research achievements
07 Apr 2017

Celebrating our research achievements

Research achievements by MIA were celebrated at the annual Sydney Medical School recently.