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.
We know what Melanoma March means to our community, so when we had to cancel our physical events, we created Melanoma March Virtual so that everyone across Australia could still connect to honour loved ones and support each other.
A must-read personal account by Garry Maddox in The Sydney Morning Herald of how immunotherapy is revolutionising melanoma treatment.
On Friday, a publication that lays out the steps needed to find out if a systematic screening program for melanoma would benefit all Australians was published in the Australia & New Zealand Journal of Public Health.
Melanoma March events have been cancelled. A Virtual March will be held on Sunday 29th March. Read this statement from MIA CEO Matthew Browne.
Thank you to the thousands of Aussies who bought ‘Game On Mole‘ t-shirts, took selfies, shared t-shirt pics on social media and started lifesaving conversations around sun safety and skin health.
Melanoma patients now have greater access to subsidised immunotherapy thanks to additional treatments today being listed on the PBS.
Brisbane couple Leon and Tamra Betts were, like thousands of others around Australia, on the couch watching MAFS when newlywed Natasha ran through her weekly beauty routine. When they heard the 26-year-old mention solarium use, they were shocked, and then saddened, prompting this open letter to all young Australians.
Professor Richard Scolyer, Co-Medical Director of Melanoma Institute Australia, will welcome international attendees this weekend to a sold-out, two-day course on ‘Pigmented Lesions and Other Hot Topics in Dermatopathology’.
It is time for a reality check on solariums.
They have no place in anyone’s beauty routine.
Throughout January our community created, hosted and participated in some amazing events, each of them helping us on our quest to reach zero deaths from melanoma.
Australian television presenter, interior designer and mother Kyly Clarke has been announced as the new Ambassador for Melanoma Institute Australia (MIA) and its national awareness and fundraising campaign Melanoma March.
Melanoma Institute Australia has recently partnered with three other organisations to boost support for melanoma patients and their carers across Australia.
Melanoma patients and their families across Western Australia will benefit from strengthened and expanded services with the merging of melanomaWA and Melanoma Institute Australia.
Australian researchers have played a critical role in the discovery of a potential new test to predict which early stage melanoma patients are at high risk of their disease recurring and progressing.
We are extremely grateful for our community fundraisers, who, even in this difficult time, have given up their time and effort to fundraise so we can continue to work towards our goal of zero deaths from melanoma.
Melanoma patients are set to benefit from subsidised access to immunotherapy treatment for high risk early-stage and advanced-stage melanoma patients.
An informative article on how immunotherapy is revolutionising cancer treatment, written by Jill Margo and featured in the Australian Financial Review.
Melanoma patients and their families in the Riverina will benefit from strengthened and sustained melanoma services with the merger of the Amie St Clair Melanoma Trust and Melanoma Institute Australia.
Belmont High School at Lake Macquarie has been announced winner of the 2019 SunSafe Student Ambassador Program video competition.
It’s time again to say thank you to our amazing community fundraisers!