09 Jun Ray Phillips
I just wanted to send a story about my father who passed away from melanoma in 2007. My family has actually participated in this race every year since it started here in St. Louis. We love what you are doing to fight this cancer!
My father, Ray Phillips, grew up water skiing up and down the Mississippi River, not wearing sunscreen. Back then they just didnt know the damages the sun could do to your skin. So, he got burnt alot.
As he got older he noticed moles that appeared on his body. In 1989 a Cancerous mole was found on his back that he had surgically removed. That really changed my dad’s view of sun damage because I remember growing up to my dad wearing long pants, long shirts, and big hats, even in the summer time. He would also constantly remind my siblings and I to put on our sunscreen before we left the house.
Once the mole was removed my dad would visit the doctor every six months for check ups. Almost always he came home with some bandage because he had another mole removed. This continued until 2003 when the doctors found the cancer had spread to lymph nodes in his arm pits. Doctors immediately performed surgery to remove the infected nodes plus surrounding ones as well.
It seemed to work because no cancer was found afterward. Life went on….
In 2005, they found cancer in my dads spleen and liver. I have never seen a man so devoted to finding the perfect treatment plan. He researched and researched to find the best course of action. He wasn’t ready to let this cancer take him!
He first went to Bethesda Maryland to try an experimental drug but the cancer spread to his lungs and brain.
In 2006 he came back to missouri and tried treatment at mizzou. There the tumors began to shrink. He was so happy but sick from all the chemo.
Doctors stopped treatment when there was no sign but kept a watchful eye until 2007. In July of 2007 the cancer was found in his liver and spleen again. Doctors went in for surgery in August but the liver was 75% overtaken by that horrible parasite of cancer. My father was tired of fighting, went on hospice and two weeks later left us. He passed away September 18, 2007 at the age of 56.
He was such a strong fighter and would of been so proud to see all the support at finding a cure. We know that every time we do this race he is smiling down at us, rooting us on.