Meet Corbin and Lisa
Mother & Caregiver
Before Corbin had cancer, he had baseball. It was his favorite sport. He loved to pitch, hit home runs and help his team win games.
But when he was diagnosed with melanoma, Corbin’s idea of “team” expanded in ways he couldn’t imagine. Within two days of arriving at Moffitt Cancer Center, he was meeting his skin cancer team—Dr. Cruse and Dr. Sondak—and undergoing his first procedure.
What happened before his surgery would be a real game-changer.
As Dr. Cruse began drawing on Corbin’s face with a blue marker to identify the surgical site, he sensed the boy’s anxiety. “At that moment,” his mother explains, “Dr. Cruse went from being a surgeon down to a child. And he said, ‘You want me to draw you a blue mustache?’” Corbin said yes and went into surgery feeling better.
The blue mustache became a symbol of Corbin’s fight—and took on momentum of its own. With his next surgery, Dr. Cruse’s partner, Dr. Harrington took over, and Corbin’s entire surgical team showed up with blue mustaches. Soon the blue mustache began showing up in photos and featured on TV stations, becoming the spark for pediatric melanoma awareness in Tampa.
The “Blue Mustache Foundation” has led to fundraising events, directing money back into Moffitt for research. Corbin and his family had created a new team dedicated to “paying it forward.” As his mother explains, “If it can prevent the melanoma and the journey that Corbin’s been on, even for just one, then it’s worth that journey to help other people.”
Corbin is back to doing what he loves—rejoining his own team to play baseball again. He explains his new attitude: “Knowing that I can think back saying, ‘I’ve done this,’ that I could tell other people my story, makes me believe in myself.”