Community Health Leaders
In order to stay up to date on the latest treatments, drug discovery, clinical studies, and how to cope with skin cancer every day, SkinCancer.net brings you frequent articles, blogs, opinions, and advice from health leaders and professional medical experts.
Current health leaders
Ken Billett grew up on the Gulf Coast of Florida in the late 1960s and 1970s. A time when sun protection consisted of a floppy hat, a white t-shirt, and suntan lotion. With light brown hair, blue eyes, and endless moles and freckles, Ken burned easily in the Florida sun. Read more.
Alisha has dealt with psoriasis since 7 years old after a bad case of chicken pox triggered her disease to spread on over 90% of her body. For years she hid in shame afraid of what people would think of such a visible disease. Read more
Judy Cloud was first diagnosed with skin cancer in 1995 and has since had multiple surgeries to treat areas of basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. In 2015, after an extensive surgery to remove 23 cancerous spots, Judy made a Facebook post detailing her surgery and recovery in hopes of preventing others from having to go through a similar experience. The Facebook post was shared globally and was then published by numerous media outlets. Read more.
Hailey is a Stage IV Melanoma survivor, who was diagnosed when she was just 29 years old. Born and raised in sunny Phoenix, Arizona, Hailey is no stranger to sun exposure! Read more.
Sarah DiMuro is an actor and writer living in Toronto, Ontario. When her son was nine and a half months old she was diagnosed with breast cancer. A year later, the fair-skinned, former sun lover was hit with basal cell carcinoma. Read more.
Renee Feldman was diagnosed with a basal cell carcinoma for the first time in June, 2016 and had Mohs surgery to remove the tumor. Almost one year later, in May of 2017, a biopsy revealed a second basal cell carcinoma. She is scheduled to have surgery later this month. Renee has a Ph.D. in Psychology with a specialty in health psychology and has conducted research among patients and healthcare professionals for many years. Her dissertation was on stress and coping and she feels that the findings of that research are relevant to coping with a skin cancer diagnosis. Read more.
Ronni Gordon comes to skin cancer via too much time in the sun, a fair complexion, the after effects of multiple stem cell transplants, and long-term prednisone use. She is a Western Massachusetts-based freelance writer and former newspaper reporter. She wrote for the Arts and Living sections, covering theater, writing about health and fitness, and doing general features ranging from personality profiles to trending topics in the news. A slower than usual time in a 10-K road race led to her discovery in March, 2003, when she was 48, that she had acute myeloid leukemia, an aggressive blood cancer. Read more.
Kim is an advocate for skin cancer education after spending too many years in the sun – where having a tan was just part of growing up in Florida – even for someone with fair skin and red hair. She was diagnosed with Basal Cell Carcinoma in her early 30s and has since had two facial surgeries (including Mohs Surgery) – one of which that left a very deep scar. Read more.
Marci Kallick is a patient advocate who believes we all, as patients, must stand up and protect our health through education. After her own personal experience not getting the answers she was seeking, she turned to resources online such as Health Union and its’ community sites for support. Through community and informational websites, patients are able to take control of their own health journey, lessening the grip illness has on their daily lives. Read more.
Amber Kromah is a wife, mom, Certified Physician Assistant, and DFSP Unicorn Warrior. She was diagnosed with Dermatofibrosarcoma Protuberans at 30 years old, and it changed her perspective on life forever. Read more
Veronica is a 33-year-old mother of three living in Northwest Indiana. While pregnant with her second child, she discovered a tiny brown spot on her stomach where there hadn’t been a spot before. Read more
Elizabeth R. Lebowitz is a Registered Nurse for over forty years. She has worked in busy metropolitan Medical Centers in a variety of Nursing and Administrative positions. Liz began her professional career as a staff nurse, went on to be a Nurse Recruiter and Employment Manager of a large city hospital, to currently employed as the Lead School Nurse for a Long Island School District. Read more.
Ashley is an attorney for the Federal Government, where she has worked for nineteen years. She is the proud mother of two fur babies: Sadie and Pippa. Ashley is especially committed to living a health lifestyle. Read more
Courtney Mangan is an Australian 33 year old, living with Stage 3B Melanoma. After finding her first suspicious-looking mole at 30, Courtney decided to go to a specialist for testing. Turns out it was a level 4 Melanoma and 2 weeks later Courtney underwent surgery to remove the mole and a lymph node. Read more
Jessica Mangiaracina PA-C
Jessica Mangiaracina is a Dermatology Physician Associate practicing in Westchester New York. She diagnoses and treats general dermatologic disorders, conducts full body cancer screenings, performs skin biopsies, melanoma imaging, suturing, and wound care. Read more
Scott Matheny is a contributor and moderator for SkinCancer.net. He was diagnosed with Malignant Melanoma in 1988 and has been an advocate for healthy living practices ever since. Having grown up in the sun of Southern California, he understands the challenges people face in dealing with their diagnoses and desires to help others limit their risk factors and enjoy healthy, happy lives. Read more.
Rebecca Palpant Shimkets is a two-time thyroid cancer survivor and the daughter of two cancer survivors. Fourteen of her immediate family members have experienced cancer. She was 29 years old at the time of her first diagnosis and experienced a recurrence just four years later. Rebecca has a 20-year career in mental health focusing initially on the assessment and treatment of mental illnesses. Read more.
Alison Petok is an oncology social worker; she received her Master in Social Work and Master in Public Health from the University of Pennsylvania. She has worked in oncology research and currently serves as a clinical social worker in the Department of Medical Oncology at Thomas Jefferson University. In her current role she serves as the palliative medicine social worker, provides clinical services to patients and families, mentors current MPH students, and manages biopsychosocial screening programs. Read more.
April Pulliam was first diagnosed with skin cancer with the removal of a suspicious mole in 2007. That mole was melanoma. In the years since, she has had three basal cell carcinomas removed via Mohs surgeries and countless precancerous spots burned off using cryotherapy (liquid nitrogen). In 2014, April began using Efudex, a topical chemotherapy, on her chest annually to remove multiple and recurring precancerous spots. In June 2017, she used Efudex on her face to treat similar spots. Read more.
Rach the RTT
Rach the RTT is a Radiation Therapist specialized in Superficial Radiation Therapy for non-melanoma skin cancers. She works in a dermatology office in Long Beach, California and has treated over 600 skin cancers and counting! Read more
Devin Regan is the founder of Rayward Apparel, an apparel company exclusively selling UV protective products to promote skin cancer prevention. Devin started Rayward Apparel in 2019 shortly after he was diagnosed with melanoma, hoping that his apparel line can prevent others from a similar diagnosis. Read more
Deb Wesloh lives in Bulverde Texas. She is married and they have three boys. She retired as an Army Officer in 2005. She now works as an Army government civilian. Read more.
Former health leaders
Bill is a native Marylander but has lived on California’s Central Coast since 2007. Having a passion for motorcycles, boats, and cars, Bill married his English degree and mechanical skills into a career as an automotive driving event planner/designer. He got paid to play with cars. Read more.
Sarah Bladen has dealt with skin cancer since the winter of 2014. At the start of her skin cancer diagnosis, she stayed in her bedroom due to depression from 4 back to back procedures which included Mohs surgery on her forehead. In fall 2017, she was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma on her right arm. The doctor performed Mohs surgery on Sarah’s right arm to remove the spot. After this procedure, Sarah was inspired to create her own Facebook group called Skin Cancer Warriors. Read more.
Imogen Cheese is a Melanoma patient. Imogen was diagnosed Stage 2c back in June 2013. Imogen created & write a website blog www.melanomarollercoaster.co.uk which now has a readership of over 2,000 people – many of whom are Melanoma patients in the UK. Read more.
Danielle Dahm was diagnosed with Stage III Malignant Melanoma in March of 2000. Since her diagnosis, she has become a passionate advocate of not only skin cancer awareness, but on the dangers of tanning bed use as well (the cause of her Melanoma). She started a private Facebook support group several years ago that has grown to over 4,700 members from all over the world. What started out as therapy for her has helped thousands of other cancer warriors navigate their own journey. Read more.
I am a 55 year old working Mom from New Jersey. I come from a very large family, double digits! However, I on the other hand have only one child, my beautiful daughter, Summer. Yes Summer, as in my favorite time of the year! At least it used to be until I was diagnosed with a malignant melanoma in May 2018. Read more.
Anna Keyes was diagnosed with Melanoma while attending her sophomore year at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Though her battled delayed her track to graduate, it inspired a passion for cancer and helping those fight their battles. She is pursuing a master degree in nursing to do exactly that. Although this is her first-time blogging, she has spread her story and passion as a co-speaker at a National Cancer Society dinner and on her local news and radio stations. She is very excited to continue her education through school as well as readers’ stories. Read more.
Erin is dedicated to spreading knowledge about skin cancer prevention. Coming from a very Irish background, she has unfortunately witnessed the damaging effects that the sun can have on unprotected skin. Both her parents have undergone skin cancer removal procedures, and as a result she wants to use her writing and speaking talents to educate as many people as she can about the importance of proper skin protection. She is grateful to SkinCancer.net for providing her with a new platform for her creative energy, and hopes to put out content that is as entertaining as it is informative. Read more.
Shauna Reid is a freelance writer who lives in Scotland, which suits her very pale skin much better than her native Australia ever did! She had a rogue mole on her forearm nicknamed Wally that began to grow rapidly. It ended up being a malignant melanoma and was successfully treated in 2014. Shauna's hobbies include travel, baking, yoga, nagging Scottish friends to wear sunscreen, and searching for the perfect SPF50 that works well under makeup. Read more.
TK Sellman, RPSGT CCSH is a career journalist (Columbia Chicago, ’90). She was diagnosed with idiopathic hypersomnia in 2010, which inspired her to go back to school to become a sleep technologist in 2012 and a professional sleep educator in 2014. Read more.
T.J. Sharpe is a Stage IV melanoma survivor, writer, advocate, and patient expert who began sharing his journey through cancer in the Patient #1 Blog on http://www.philly.com/patient1/. He was diagnosed in August 2012 with melanoma tumors in multiple organs; since then, he has undergone six surgeries and four immunotherapy treatments over two different clinical trials. He remains on his second trial, for the anti-PD-1 drug pembrolizumab, with no detectable active cancer. The initial failures, and subsequent response, have been chronicled in his blog posts since December 2012. Read more.
Rachel Tapley is a 38 year-old Air Force veteran who lives in Florida with her husband and their five year-old daughter. She lived in Germany for 21 years as both a military kid and as an Alarms Systems Specialist while in the military. Her hobbies include spending time with family, staying active, and traveling. Rachel was diagnosed with Stage 2 advanced nodular melanoma at the age of 36 and has been clear of the disease since August 2016. Her melanoma was discovered on her scalp and required extensive surgeries to her head, neck, and thigh, as well as requiring six months of immunotherapy. Since her diagnosis, Rachel uses her position as a youth cheerleading and gymnastics coach to spread awareness to kids and families for the importance of skin protection and spot detection. Read more.
Deanna Templeton is a Stage IV melanoma survivor and passionate skin cancer awareness supporter and advocate. She was first diagnosed in 2009, after visiting a dermatologist at the insistence of a friend. Within 72 hours of the first doctor visit, she got the heart stopping call that the biopsy results had come back as Stage IV melanoma. Twenty-four hours later she was back in the dermatologists office for an emergency excision. Read more.
Dr. Ben Wiese
Growing up, Dr. Ben Wiese always took interest in the human body. Trying to conceptualize how the amazing “machine” worked, was beyond fascinating for him. That interest, coupled with the opportunity a doctor has to change someone’s life was what ultimately lead Dr. Wiese to a career as a healthcare professional. Read more
Erin Youngerberg grew up in the Midwest and was never much of a sun tanner. In 2010, while on vacation, she had a mole that started growing quickly and bleeding. It would come back as Nodular Melanoma. In 2011, she started her blog Melanoma and the City to help keep her family up to date on dealing with Stage 4 Melanoma. She also shares some of her favorite travel adventures (in the NYC area and internationally), healthy living tips, and Melanoma news. Erin lives in Jersey City with her two old dogs, and works in Lower Manhattan. Read more.
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