Jerry Trone (JT) 

Nov. 17, 1944 – Aug. 19, 2009

My father, whom I miss every day, will never let me forget his larger than life personality, infectious smile, and passion. I still see people that knew him and they tell me things that he did that influenced them in some way. He would be so proud to know that he made such an impact on this earth. I continue to wonder what I could possibly do to always show the world just how much he meant to me. I always knew how alike we were, but didn't realize how lost I would be without him here. He gave me a wonderful childhood; full of fun memories and, although he only spent a short 6 years with my children, he had such a profound impact on them as well. I will never let them forget him and how amazing he was. There will never be anyone like him in my mind and I love and miss him so.

Dad spent a lot of time in the sun fishing and doing things outdoors. He had some moles that were taken off years prior that were melanoma. The doctor thought that he had removed all the cancer, but somehow it got through. He was told towards the end of 2008 that it had spread. He was very brave and tried to fight it with interferon. It worked for a short period of time, but in 2009 he was given 6 weeks because it had reached his brain. He died at home with my mom holding his hand; and me there with her. That day will never leave my mind. He was 64 years old and had been retired for only 2 ½ years. He was going to have his 40th wedding anniversary with my mom in September but he died in August before they could hit that milestone together. He had so much more living to do and 4 grandchildren that he should have been able to watch grow.

I can’t help but think what might have been if only he had the awareness of what to look for like I know of today. I have been going to have moles removed now since he has been gone and all of them have been pre-cancerous and one of them was a basal cell cancer. I have had my son checked as well and he had one removed that was pre-cancerous. This disease is not something to take lightly and awareness is key to surviving. Early detection will help save lives.

Please help in the awareness and fight against Melanoma.