‘Protect the skin you’re in!’
Renee’s melanoma journey began when her daughter was just 10 weeks old. She noticed that a mole on the back of her thigh had changed during her pregnancy. It was a Stage III malignant melanoma and she was given a 40-60% chance of survival.
Renee was 24 years old. She was a new mum, and now a cancer patient too. Her life, and that of her family, was turned upside down. Renee underwent surgery during which a cluster of tumours was found and all the lymph nodes were removed from her left groin.
Her story was part of a 60 Minutes episode entitled ‘Dying for a Tan’ which aired in February 2005. Four patients shared their story. Renee is now the only survivor from that story.
As a Stage III melanoma survivor, Renee is dedicated to raising awareness about Australia's national cancer and supporting the work of Melanoma Institute Australia.
In January 2019 she challenged herself to swim for 12 hours in her 6to6swim event. The timing of the event, 6pm to 6am, was based on swimming under moonlight to ensure sun protection.
Today, you can find Renee being an active member of the Macleay Valley community, working at Crescent Head Public School as their School Administration Manager, and being a passionate advocate for skin protection.
Renee is dedicated to helping Melanoma Institute Australia achieve their goal of zero deaths from melanoma. She wants to continue raising further awareness, and one way she can do this is by being part of The Speakers’ Hub.
Renee’s message is simple - prevention and early detection are key to reaching zero deaths from melanoma. Protect the skin you're in by being sun smart. Monitor your skin and get a skin check with a professional.