Take Charge

Jacqueline's Story

March 28, 2016

Jackie-Smith.jpg

Jacqueline, melanoma survivor

During my senior year in college, I noticed a lump in my bikini line and I went to the doctor. I was told that it was an inflamed lymph node and the doctor said to me, “if it doesn’t bother you, don’t bother it.”

This lump was not going away, so I went to the doctor again and I was referred to a surgical oncologist.  At age 21, I was diagnosed with stage 3 melanoma.

I’m not a tanner. I’m not a fair-skinned middle-aged Caucasian woman. I was just in complete shock. I was told it would be a miracle if I survived five years.

I contacted a plastic surgeon and he said to me, if you were my daughter I would send you to Moffitt and that’s what made me say, this is the place. Everyone just always talked to me and encouraged me. I just knew that I would be able to make it through somehow.

They gave me hope here and that was something I didn’t find anywhere else.