In March 2016, Adam’s family noticed an unusual mole on Adam’s back. It was a perfect circle but it was a dark blue/black color and hard. They took him to his pediatrician who referred him to a dermatologist. The dermatologist thought it was some kind of blood vessel and did not want to remove it because he said they typically dry out and fall off on their own in about 6 months. Over the next several months we watched the area. At one point it hurt him and briefly bled. At the end of July he saw his pediatrician again for his 11 year old shots; the mole had doubled in size so he was referred to the surgical clinic at Sacred Heart. On September 12, 2016 Adam had surgery to have the mole removed. On September 14, 2016, they received a phone call from the surgeon and he informed us the pathology report came back and the area was melanoma. Two days later we met a pediatric oncologist who said based on the size, ulceration, and other things it was stage 3. Adam had a PET scan done the following week that showed a spot in his right thigh. On October 3 he had another surgery to have that area removed; that pathology report came back as a granuloma (not cancer). Two weeks later he had another surgery to have a wide excision done on his back where the primary tumor was and a sentinel lymph node biopsy. The sentinel lymph node came back as having melanoma as well. At this point we had 4 more pathology reports on the primary tumor. The second through fifth pathology reports came back as being pigmented epithelioid melanocytoma, still melanoma just a sub-category of melanoma. The oncologist said with this type of cancer they would just do observation. They said immunotherapy is not effective against this type of melanoma and that they have never seen it spread beyond the lymph nodes. Now Adam will be having test done every three months to be sure the cancer isn’t spreading.

Every child who has been diagnosed with childhood cancer inspires us to Rally On to find better treatments with fewer long-term side effects and, ultimately, cures. Please join us in the fight against childhood cancer by making a donation or setting up your own Rally fundraiser today.

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