Community Advocates

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 leading patient advocates and professional medical experts.

Allison Petok

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.

Anna Keyes

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.

April Pulliam

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.

Bill Bartlett

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.

Skin cancer entered the picture in 2012. After Bill’s dermatologist removed what was thought to be a benign mole, the doctor called Bill on a Sunday evening and had him come in on Monday for further tests. It was melanoma. Read more.

Danielle Dahm

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.

Deanna Templeton

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. Even though the excision was successful, she continues to keep up with regular scans and has had numerous biopsies on other questionable freckles and sunspots. She is currently cancer free and grateful for the experience and the opportunity to share her story, spread awareness and help support others facing the same diagnosis. Read more.

Erin Mathis

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.

Erin Youngerberg

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.

Imogen Cheese

My name is Imogen Cheese & I am a Melanoma patient. I was diagnosed Stage 2c back in June 2013. I 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.

Judy Cloud

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.

Kim Hill

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.

Liz Lebowitz

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.

Rachel Tapley

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.

Renee Feldman

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

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.

Sarah Bladen

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.

Scott Matheny

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.

Shauna Reid

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.

T.J. Sharpe

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.

With the exception of medical doctors, contributors and moderators at SkinCancer.net are compensated for their contributions to the SkinCancer.net community. If you are interested in joining our team, please contact us at contact@skincancer.net.