One year later so much has changed. We have five billboards up again this year. I have been receiving texts and emails from individuals who have passed them on the highway. I , myself, was driving home last night and there she was. All lit up, once again sharing her light and her story in the hopes that another young person, another family, doesn’t have to travel the same road our family is currently on.
I’m happy with these efforts, and the progress we’ve made this past year. I promised Jillian that I would continue to try and educate others about the dangers of tanning beds and the sun. And we really are making steps in that direction.
When I’m alone and I see all the posts and photos on face book showing her face, I am slapped with the reality that Jillian isn’t here. Each photo pierces my heart, and the wound begins leaking all over again. It has been 4 months since she took her last breath here on earth. Seems like yesterday. It isn’t easy being out there. Perhaps it would be easier if we weren’t sharing our story . We wouldn’t be dealing with the constant reminder that our beloved Jillian is not here with us today. As if we needed that reminder.
But we aren’t alone. There are hundreds of people who are currently engaged in their own battle with melanoma, in a battle for their life. There are just as many caregivers who are standing by their side. And those who have lost their loved one to this disease. They are all out there sharing their story, sharing their scars, all in the hopes that someone else will learn that melanoma is way more than a word. So much more than "just" skin cancer.
So we unite. As tough as it is, despite the hurt when the reality of melanoma slaps us square in the face, we are an army with a mission. We Stand.
Please Stand with us against melanoma by joining the event, Melanoma Black Monday, May 6.