Just Believe: One mother's fight against skin cancer

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MARQUETTE - One mother is continuing her daughter's fight against skin cancer.

In 2011, Jodi Ball was diagnosed with Stage 4 melanoma brain cancer. Eight years earlier, Jodi learned she had skin cancer but what she and the doctors didn't know was that it was melanoma- the most serious type of skin cancer.

"Before she passed, she always wanted to help other people and to support people- that was just her nature," said Delight Hill, Jodi's mother. "She wanted to establish an organization that would help bring about awareness of skin and sun safety issues so that other people may not go through this type of thing."

Today, Jodi's mother is carrying out her daughter's wish through the Just Believe Foundation; traveling from classroom to classroom, speaking to students about sun exposure and the dangers it imposes.

"Despite the fact that most common cancers are decreasing, it is false to believe that with melanoma that is not the case," says Darcy Getzloff, NP, Oncology Department with Green Bay Oncology and OSF St. Francis Hospital. "In 1935, the risk was 25 times less than it is right now. Right now, the chance of developing an invasive melanoma is 1 in 58 people in your lifetime."

One of the foundation's current objectives is installing sunscreen dispensers at various parks and recreational areas across the U.P.

"I applied for a grant for sunscreen dispensers because the Melanoma Foundation of New England was giving them to organizations that were trying to promote being safe in the sun," said Hill.

For this mother, the payoff has been worth the heavy workload.

"I'm busy and it's a good busy," says Hill. "I'm hoping, and I'll never know, that it can prevent one- at least one- child or adult from having skin cancer and that's my objective."


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