Melanoma, is the deadliest form of skin cancer and can happen to anyone! Healthcare professionals did not take Jackie Smiths condition seriously. However, her strength, resilience and determination to press on and not take “no” for an answer is a lesson to us all.
melanoma is for fair-skinned, middle-aged, Caucasian women….
Listen to her tell a piece of her own story, and consequently dismantles the myth that this is a “white” person disease.
Skin cancer can affect any race or gender. Did you know that Bob Marley died from Melanoma as well?
As a young African American female, Jackie is NOT your typical skin cancer advocate. She is a role model who teaches each of us that cancer does not discriminate. It happens to young, beautiful humans everyday. For instance according to the American Academy of Dermatology, almost one person dies every hour from melanoma in the US.
For African Americans a Melanoma diagnosis is often a death sentence, because of late stage detection. It does not have to be this way. Take Jackie’s story to heart and pass it on. And most importantly Share Jackies story with your loved ones and remind them that being a nuisance should be the least of your worries.
Above all, her advice is that you are the best advocate for your health. Don’t take “no” for an answer. Find a doctor that will listen and take you seriously. Your life may be at stake.
Therefore, see an oncologist, not a dermatologist if you or someone you know is diagnosed with Melanoma. This one doctor switch can save your life.
Jackie finds ways to give back by volunteering and even going to Capitol Hill to advocate for melanoma research and awareness, read more about her here.