Joey from the block knows Melanoma

The week before last I had the pleasure of seeing one of my favorite people in the world, Susan Visch-Hayes. Susan lost her daughter, Jillian, to melanoma when Jillian was just 23 years old, but she hasn’t stopped trying to educate people about melanoma and how to prevent it. Susan had a new billboard designed and put up for Melanoma Awareness Month 2015. My chubby mug was on it, and I just had to see it in person. My sisters and I were in Saugatuck for a couple of days, and thankfully they agreed to a detour to go find this billboard and have dinner with Susan and her friend (our new friend) Staci!

I have to tell you, seeing that billboard in person is overwhelming. It kind of takes your breath away. I hope it has that effect on the people driving on the highway too. I really hope they’re paying attention, and that they don’t turn out to be those folks who “don’t get it till they get it.” Here’s the billboard. I think it’s perfect. I only wish it didn’t have to exist.

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We went to Vitale’s, a local pizza place, for dinner after we all pulled ourselves together. They have great pizza if you’re ever in the area. We didn’t want to wait for a table, so we sat at the bar, where we met Joey…bartender and server extraordinaire! As we were getting ready to leave, he asked us what brought us there. Of course we told him. You didn’t think 5 women were going to remain silent? This is a picture of Joey.

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As it turns out, Joey’s uncle had melanoma. In no time, he was spouting information and stats that people don’t know if they haven’t had to deal with the black beast. He was so kind and it was great to talk with him.  I asked him if he minded if I wrote about him, and was grateful when he said yes. Here’s to you, Joey! Keep talking to people!

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