First and foremost, thank you all for visiting our fundraising site! Ocular Melanoma (OM) is a very close and personal disease to team "Eye Believe in a Cure". Please read a little below about OM (which comes from the Ocular Melanoma Foundation's website www.ocularmelanoma.org/index.htm, and the Melanoma Research Foundation's website www.melanoma.org or www.cureom.org).
Ocular melanoma is a lethal and very rare disease. Many people die from it, especially when it spreads to the liver, a common complication. There are other types of eye cancers, but melanoma is the most common.
Around 2,500 people are diagnosed every year in the United States. In both the U.S. and Europe, this equates to about 5 - 7.5 per million people per year; for people over 50 years old the incidence rate is increased to around 21 per million per year.
Metastatic melanoma (also known as stage IV) is a general term for the spreading of cancer beyond its original site. The liver is the most common site of metastasis in ocular melanoma. Among those who develop metstatic disease, 90% of patients develop liver disease. However, ocular melanoma can spread to any organ in the body. After the liver, common sites include the lung, bones and brain. Even though the cancer cells have spread to other parts of the body, since the cells remain melanoma cells, this cancer is called metastatic melanoma.
Approximately 50% of ocular melanoma patients will develop metastatic disease within 15 years of the original diagnosis, and once the liver is involved, the cancer is currently incurable. However, if metastatic disease is found early there are a few localized and systemic treatment options that may extend life expectancy and help improve quality of life for patients.
Current research is also showing that ocular melanoma is very different from normal skin melanoma. Both your skin and your eyes should be checked regularly by a doctor.
Though this may seem a little bleak there are current brave warriors, Doctors and Patients alike, who are making it their mission to help find a cure for Ocular Melanoma and to bring better awareness to those who have been diagnosed with it --- IT IS NOT A DEATH SENTENCE!
Organizations like the MRF help make this possible by providing much needed information and support for OM families, patients, and even health care professionals.
Our team will be participating in the Zooma Annapolis 10k and Half Marathon on Saturday, June 2, 2012 and will be running to support patients, families, friends, and healthcare professionals who have been affected by Ocular Melanoma.
On a more personal note, one of our team's members, Tanya Cabral (28 y/o) is a young woman who has been diagnosed with Ocular Melanoma and subsequently lost her eye to the disease and continues to fight this battle day in and day out with courage and tenacity!
Your donations will help her, and others like her, hopefully someday reach a point where OM can be seen as something to be easily beaten and treated. But only through perservance, exploration, and experimentation will this end be possible!
Please help us and be a part of this long but hopefully rewarding journey towards a better informed and able community of OM researchers, Doctors, and patients.
Donating through this website is simple, fast and totally secure. It is also the most efficient way to support our fundraising efforts.
Many thanks for your support -- and don't forget to forward this to anyone who you think might want to donate too!
**If you would like to know more about resources for OM or about the organization we are supporting please contact Tanya Cabral at email@example.com. **