In the summer of 2003, I met the love of my life, my wonderful wife, Tina.  Not much more than a year later, we were engaged, and a year after that we were on the shores of French Polynesia, on our honeymoon, celebrating what still remains the best decision of our lives.

Unfortunately, 6 months later, there was a lot less to celebrate – she had just been diagnosed with Stage 4 melanoma, and we were scrambling around trying to figure out how to get her the best resources to fight it.

I wish it were as easy as: walk into the doctors office, listen to him tell you what treatment would work, and do it.  With melanoma, its much more difficult as there really isn’t any one treatment that works for everyone, and once melanoma gets to stage 4, the chances of any of them working are not good.

As she prepared herself for the fight of her life… the fight for her life, I embarked on a parallel mission to search every corner of the world, every website, every research article, every medical study, and every melanoma specialist I could find to figure out any option that could help her.

Over the course of a year, I must have spoken with 200+ people in 10 countries and spent at least 4-5 hours a day doing research.   What I found was incredible: there were many, many things, both “western medical” and not, that could help fight melanoma.  They spanned the gamut from chemotherapies, to herbs, to diet and supplements, to mind-body exercises and more.   Some had lots of research to back them, while others were simply backed by hundreds of people who had tried them, and said they felt it worked.

After a very difficult battle with melanoma for a year, it is with great happiness that I can report that Tina beat it and was pronounced “clear” and free of any sign of melanoma – a state she still enjoys today.

While I could not have been more elated about Tina’s health, I was also somewhat frustrated:  why did I have to dig so hard to find all of those great things to help her in her battle?  Why wasn’t there one place where people could come together to share the things that helped them beat their health challenges?  Thus was born the start of the idea for FoundHealth.

I’m proud to say that there are now thousands of people each month who visit the melanoma section of FoundHealth, and find hope, inspiration, and treatment options that they can consider.  Some of them reach out to me directly, and I am always incredibly excited when that happens because I always want to do everything I can to help.  One woman, Jackie Sorkin reached out eight months ago and I recently learned that her own journey to help her father beat melanoma was also a success (http://jackiesorkin.blogspot.com/2011/08/cancer-story-you-should-read-kicking.html).  I love her blog entry, and particularly how she describes getting over the fear of asking people for help:

“most people worry about being a pest and pain in the ass but when things matter to you being a pain in the ass is totally acceptable!”

She epitomizes everything FoundHealth represents – turning over every rock until you find solutions, and sharing your experience with others so they can learn from you.

 

Additional resources to check out:

My 10 point strategy on beating melanoma

A “home page” for the treatments that people have currently shared on FoundHealth

Doctors and Researchers than can help you

 

 

 

 

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