The long-legged ladies of North Texas like Olivia Kearney, Nancy Carlson, Karla McKinley, Kathleen Hutchinson, Amy Turner, Dallas Snadon, Lynn McBee, Michelle Hartmann, Yvette Ostolaza, Tanya Foster, Nelda Pickens, Muffin Lemak, Ginger Reeder, DeeDee Lee, Piper Wyatt, Claire Emanuelson, Nancy Halbreich, Joan Schnitzer Levy and Lisa Ogle were MIA from the local cafes at noon on Friday, September 25. They were at Christie’s over on Oak Lawn but not to bid on any exquisite items. Rather, they were there for a lunch-and-learn session on a killer — melanoma.
What’s melanoma? Yup, some may call it a skin cancer disease. So, what’s the big deal? The big deal is this member of the cancer family has been pretty stealthy, until recently. It has just recently gotten headline coverage thanks to one of its latest victims — President Jimmy Carter, who was diagnosed with Stage IV melanoma.
But the day’s gathering hosted by New Yorker Debra Black, Nancy Rogers, Capera Ryan and Christie Americas President Brook Hazelton proved the disease had hit those at the table. Nancy’s father had died from melanoma and her husband Richard Rogers has successfully battled it.
New York Broadway producer Debra had firsthand knowledge of the steps in recognizing and battling the disease. She told the longer-than-long table of guests how after her dermatologist had failed to cure a “Plantar wart” on the bottom of her foot, she decided to seek another opinion. It turned out that the problem wart was melanoma.
And if Debra hadn’t been more persistent in finding the real source of the problem…well, Debra might not have been among the living, let alone at the lunch.
Instead of knocking her for a loop, it only created a mighty opponent. Using her experience, her contacts and her energy, she created the Melanoma Research Alliance to fund research and to spread the word. Thanks to underwriting by Debra and her husband Leon Black, “100% of every donation to MRA goes directly to melanoma research. MRA is ranked among the top five grant-giving disease foundation by Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News.”
With Dr. Jennifer Wargo from Houston and Lauren Leiman of MRA among the seated guests, tales of skin cancer abounded. Her sources and the scary numbers resulting in this deadly skin cancer brought the importance of the day’s lunch to fruition.
Even Jennifer admitted that she, like most of those at the table, had swathed themselves in Baby Oil for those perfect teen tans. It became apparent that “the tan should be banned and the fair (skin) should be fine.”