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In Memory of Nicholas

My story begins in 1993. My husband was diagnosed with melanoma. He has actually had 3 melanoma surgeries in his life so far and has been fortunate so far. Not so for our son Nicholas.

Diagnosed at 20

Nicholas was first diagnosed with melanoma at the age of 20, he was a college sophomore. Prior to being diagnosed, he was your typical athletic young man. He was all about sports. Since the age of 5 beginning with T-ball. On up until his sophomore year of college as an offensive lineman. He played most sports, T-ball, baseball, soccer, basketball, shot put discuss, and football. Most days he spent outside in the sun. He had at least 2-3 bad sunburns in his life. We always preached sunscreen use, but there were times he didn’t reapply.

Diagnosed with metastatic melanoma

When Nick was 23, we found out that his melanoma had spread, to his liver, lungs, ribcage, pelvis, and right femur. He began immunotherapy drugs and had some intense side effects. The drugs were working though because his tumor count went done dramatically. Our happiness was short lived, because weeks after we got that news, his headaches began. He started seeing colored spots and having seizures.

They discovered 4 inoperable brain tumors. Along with that he had evidence of the disease spreading to the spinal fluid surrounding the brain. Leptomeningeal metastasis. After undergoing 20 rounds of whole brain radiation along with Opdivo Yervoy, it was too much. He collapsed in our bedroom. Emergency brain surgery was done to relieve the pressure on his brain, he asked to come home. He passed away on home hospice 12 weeks later on November 29, 2016 at the age of 24.

Honoring his memory

I am now a Chairperson of melanoma awareness and education of a local non-profit organization. I share my son’s memory to local high school students because I made a promise to my son to reach out to save others.

Interested in sharing a story of melanoma? Submit one here.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • momof3 author
    2 years ago

    Thank you so much for sharing the comments!

  • Nina M moderator
    2 years ago

    Hi @momof3, I wanted to share some of our Facebook comments from posting this story. You can see the link here:

    This particular comment struck me, but there are many more!

    “Thank you for sharing. I hv had melanoma, my brother just diagnosed for the 2nd time. All early stage, thank God. I have preached to my children, my family and my friends. It breaks my to see/hear people just ignoring the warnings. My heart breaks for you, I am sure your son is so proud. Keep on doing what you are doing! You WILL change someone’s life for the better.”

    Wishing you well! – Nina, Team

  • momof3 author
    2 years ago

    Thank you.

    I need to keep his memory alive. He couldn’t donate his organs and had no children.

    This way I can keep his memory with me and help raise awareness and hopefully save lives in the process.

  • Nina M moderator
    2 years ago

    Absolutely, @momof3 ❤️ – Nina

  • Nina M moderator
    2 years ago


  • Nina M moderator
    2 years ago

    @momof3, I can hear your love for Nicholas. It sounds like you did what you could for him in the face of a very aggressive cancer. How difficult it must have been to watch him battle. Especially when he had been an active young man just a few years before.

    I’m blown away by your ability to tell his story so powerfully. Your action for awareness is needed and appreciated! While there’s no way to know if Nicholas’s melanoma could have been prevented, certainly some lives can be saved by making other young people aware of the warning signs and risks.

    Thank you so so much for sharing his story here and in your community. We are lucky to have you as a member. Sending strength, encouragement and love your way!

    – Nina, Team

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