A Cure In Sight ™ was the idea of a group of patients who saw others going without medical treatment because they could not afford the costs associated with doctor visits.  Melody Kling, Megan Bekkedahl, Laura Duvall and Tania Herfurth started the organization in 2012 with a few awareness products and our mascot pirate T-shirt.  We further developed other designs, and soon we had a store opened with the first ocular melanoma awareness products and awareness ribbon. With a rare cancer diagnosis, there is all too often a financial crisis.  A Cure In Sight™ was formed to give back to the ocular melanoma community.  To help those who have nowhere else to turn for financial help. To help those who cannot afford to fight their disease.  To help those who cannot afford the drugs to save their life. To help those who cannot afford to get to a clinical trial to receive a hopeful treatment. To give a person hope of living a little longer, and maybe living until there is a cure for ocular melanoma. We hope to allow someone to have “A Cure In Sight™” with the ability to afford to receive that cure.
 
In 2014 Suzanne Lescure and Marla Avery joined the organization, and the first Swing For Sight golf tournament for ocular melanoma was held in Napa, CA. Each year physicians, patients, family members and friends gather there to play golf, take a winery tour, or just visit for dinner to support curing ocular melanoma and the University of California, San Francisco.  We also developed our Cure Companions program to team up a veteran caregiver or patient with someone newly diagnosed.  
 
After the untimely death of Tania, we added three new board members- Susan “Zsa Zsa” Stallings, Marlene Day, and Lori Caperton.  These new additions to the board started new programs to further aid patients.  Zsa Zsa developed the OMG – Ocular Melanoma Getaway vacation program to give patients with metastatic OM a vacation to make memories with their loved ones.  Lori Caperton added Lookin For A Cure 5k’s to our event lineup. 
 
Jack Odell joined the team in 2015 as Vice President and took ACIS to a new level.  Jack’s interest in research added our research arm, and we are now funding ongoing research projects that are stalled, out of money, or need additional funding.  Jack has fulfilled his Vice President role and has now taken on the job of Director of Special Projects.
In 2017 we lost Marla Avery to OM after a five-year battle with metastatic OM.  We gained two new board members to start 2018 when Mike Robillard took over as Vice President and Stephanie Scanlon became our Communications Director.  
 
2018 brings a new chapter to ACIS with our first Survivorship Seminar in Orlando and Disney World.  We hope to change the landscape of OM and offer hope and life skills while living with a cancer that can come back at any time.  Stay tuned for more exciting things to come.

 

2 thoughts on “History

  • October 8, 2015 at 10:43 pm
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    I, too, was diagnosed with a cancerous tumor in my right eye in April 6th of 2010. I also had radiation plague. I had woken up 2 days earlier on Easter and had a brown experience seeing a brown ring around my right eye. My tumor was 15mm, by ??. I was told it was leaning towards a larger size. But I chose to have the radiation plaque. I had the radiation seed(s) for 7 days before removal. I now suffer from radiation retinopathy. I have currently lost much vision in right eye, but now gets shots to stop the aneurysms that occur. I would love to try to raise money for our cause in CHicago. Are there any events coming up in Chicago? Can I help get something going in Chicago? Also, I would love advise on the on-going problem with right eye.
    Thanks,
    Eileen Burke (Mandera)

  • October 16, 2015 at 9:33 am
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    Melody,
    I also am a survivor of Choroidal Melanoma. I live in Syracuse NY, and my doctor sent me to Wills Eye Hospital in Philadelphia to be treated by Dr. Carol Shields. I am now 2 years post plaque radiation therapy, and so far, cancer free. My tumor was 16mmx 18mmx 8.9mm, and now has shrunk to 2.6mm height with an unknown base.
    At the initial time of treatment, I was told I could have genetic testing done to determine my risk factor, but I declined because of cost. I was told that it would be about $1,000, and I was responsible for it if my insurance did not cover it. I am on Medicare and was not sure if they would pay.
    I am now interested in becoming a voice for those in my area about ocular melanoma. I contacted the local chapter of American Cancer Soc. to explain my desire.
    I follow the OMF on Facebook, and have read extensively about the disease.
    Can you offer me any advice on what my next step should be?
    Sincerely,
    Mike Lamb

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