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A Free Screening Saved My Life

Bryan

I was born in sunny Southern California where I grew up surfing and fishing with my Grandpa and cousins. I was a sun worshiper, so nearly every waking hour was spent in outside playing. My parents later decided to move north to Washington state and I went to high school in Gig Harbor, Washington. Even though I made many friends, I felt very much out of my element. I found that going to tanning salons helped my moods and got me through the grey raining days.

Once graduated, it wasn’t long that I went off on my own traveling south. Way south, that is. I ended up at the tip of Baja Mexico, Cabo San Lucas, where again I enjoyed surfing sailing and hiking. I always new I would end up in the tropics growing up, and my dream was realized when I met my wife and had our two children. We moved to Kona in 2004 where we wanted to raise our two boys in the lifestyle I dreamed of growing up. Over the past 10 years, there wasn’t a day that went by we did not spend at the beach, on a hike, swimming, biking or running. In 2012, I competed in the Ironman World Championships and finished.

MelanomaOn May 10, 2016, I attended Dr. Monica Scheel’s Free Skin Cancer screening at the urging of my wife and friends. 13 years in Hawaii…. Lots of fun and sun, but I want to take a few minutes and tell you the importance of getting your skin checked regularly. Hopefully we caught this and another spot on my back soon enough. The doc gave me a priority appointment to have them cut and then it’s the waiting game. Feeling a little anxious, but I know I’m in good hands.

A week later, I got the phone call that I’ve been praying about all week. The six stitches in my chest and back have been a consistent reminder of a phone call that was going to bring potentially life changing news. After chewing on the news given, it’s with a heavy heart that I will join the club of cancer patients…Melanoma. A nasty skin cancer that if not detected early can grow downward and once in your bloodstream can ultimately kill you.

The good news is, with such an early detection, the doc is confident they removed all of the cancer. I will find out more when I have my stitches removed Monday. They have scheduled me for a full body scan a week from today and, God willing, nothing more will come of it.

Cancer…. Heavy… 🙁

Many many thanks to all of you that have been praying and, rest assured, my love for the sun and outdoor playing will not change. It’s just going to be a bit more strict on protection. — Bryan S.