History

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My name is Melody Burchett Kling and I was diagnosed with ocular melanoma in December 21, 2010.  I went in for a routine eye exam and mentioned a shadow I had in the upper corner of my left eye. The eye Doctor dilated my eyes and found a mass that turned out to be ocular melanoma. I had a medium sized tumor that was 11mm x 14mm x 5mm in size.  I was treated at University of North Carolina with Plaque Radiation to kill my tumor.  I am one of the lucky ones and currently metastasis free.

At the time of my diagnosis I did not have health insurance. It was not because I didn’t want health insurance or that I was too cheap to pay for it.  I was uninsured because of the insurance system. I had a previous cancer diagnosis and lost my insurance.  I was unable to get insurance with a premium less than $1200 a month and a cancer rider attached. I was 4 years out from my previous cancer diagnosis and I was hopeful that I would soon be eligible for reasonable health insurance. That didn’t happen and I was faced with over $50,000 in medical bills and no way to pay them. I was fortunate that there was a program for catastrophic illnesses at UNC. With their help I was able to get the treatment that I need and not have to file bankruptcy.  I was lucky.  So many people are not so lucky.

With a cancer diagnosis there is all to often a financial crisis. I started A Cure In Sight™ to give back.  To help those who have nowhere else to turn to. To help those who can not afford to fight their disease.  To help those who can not afford the drugs to save their life. To help those who can not 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. I hope to allow someone to have “A Cure In Sight™” and to be able to afford to receive that cure.

 

2 thoughts on “History

  1. 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)

  2. 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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