28 February

REGISTRATION OPEN for the Eye Believe in A Cure™ “Swing For Sight” Benefit Golf Tournament & Winery Tour!

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Don’t miss the fun!  Brought to you by A Cure In Sight™ and the Ocular Melanoma Foundation!

REGISTER for the ACIS-OMF Eye Believe in A Cure™ SWING FOR SIGHT Benefit Golf Tournament & Winery Tour on May 3, 2014 in Napa CA.

Eventbrite - ACIS-OMF Eye Believe In A Cure SWING FOR SIGHT Benefit Golf Tournament and Winery Tour for Ocular Melanoma

Register, sponsor, or donate at  www.eyebelieveinacure.net!

“See” you there!

12 January

SAVE THE DATE for the Eye Believe in A Cure™ “Swing For Sight” Benefit Golf Tournament & Winery Tour!

ACIS-OMF-Golf-Tourney-2014-Save-DateFB

Brought to you by A Cure In Sight™ and the Ocular Melanoma Foundation!

SAVE THE DATE for the ACIS-OMF Eye Believe in A Cure™ SWING FOR SIGHT Benefit Golf Tournament & Winery Tour on May 3, 2014 in Napa CA.

Eventbrite - ACIS-OMF Eye Believe In A Cure SWING FOR SIGHT Benefit Golf Tournament and Winery Tour for Ocular Melanoma

Watch for event, sponsorship, and registration details at www.acureinsight.net and at www.eyebelieveinacure.net and www.ocularmelanoma.org!

“See” you there!

7 January

A Cure In Sight 2013: Looking Back At A Very Good Year

NOTE: This 1/7/14 post also appears on the A Cure In Sight™ blog

Last year was very good year for ocular melanoma awareness, patient services, and research… and for us at A Cure In Sight™.  With our first year tucked under our belt we can reflect and call it a winner! Highlights include…rainbow_eye

  • Starting the first line of OM awareness products
  • Forming a Cure Companions™ a buddy system for OM patients
  • Partnering with OMF to provide OM awareness and funding
  • Enjoying lots of rewarding interaction with our OM community
  • Finding our VP of Product Development, fellow OM patient Tania Herfurth of Small White Cat Design, then quickly putting her to work

Not bad for an exclusively volunteer staff!

We began the year knowing that we needed to boost OM awareness substantially (”through the roof” as we say). But, how, was the hard part. We took a shot in the dark (literally, with limited eyesight!) and started by developing our line of awareness products. No one previously had created OM directed clothing or awareness products. We were lucky to have Mike Malcom design our first sterling silver and epoxy charm for our earrings, bracelets and necklaces. pirate_and_friendsThen Tania got us rolling with a cool pirate shirt and hoodies (that crazy pirate even became our official mascot!). Tania also created several other designs for shirts and other pieces that we placed in our ACIS Cafe Press store. Plus we produced the first OM awareness ribbon car magnet. All of these items allow us to share OM awareness and enable others to “represent” too.

In May 2013 we were honored to have the largest team at the MRF/Universal Studios 5k Run/Walk. We were one of two teams to represent ocular melanoma within the larger melanoma community. Our 60-person team raised $2,500 for the MRF/Cure OM initiative to support ocular melanoma research. Our big group participated in person and as virtual partners while walking and running with us at their homes. We were united in spirit and honored to take home the prize for largest team!

In August 2013, in response to the OM community’s request for more support for the newly diagnosed and metastatic sufferers, we initiated our ACIS Cure Companions™ program. The idea occurred after watching a fellow OM warrior fight late stage disease… alone. He really needed a way to get to the doctors, and for someone to go with him, but that option just did not exist. The community voiced a need for a program where we could help each other… a patient-driven service. Cure Companions™ was born out of this need. So we brought together a wonderful group of patients and caregivers who’d volunteer to be there when a patient in need is newly diagnosed or when a patient simply would like support from “someone in their corner.” The companions  offer a variety of resources to their buddies. The best being a kind voice from someone who has been there… someone to make them feel less alone.. .or someone to talk to when nobody else can relate. We hope to grow our program and, ultimately, provide a Cure Companion™ in every city in every state.

Over the course of the year we were again honored to partner with the Ocular Melanoma Foundation to raise awareness and funds for research and patient programs. From July to November we served on the Patient Steering Committee for the OMF’s 2013 Eye Am Not Alone Patient Retreat. The annual retreat is a valuable resource for OM patients and caregivers where they can meet, share information, and learn about the latest advancements in care and management from top OM doctors and researchers. Our founder, Melody Kling, spoke about our work at A Cure In Sight™ and the vision that we share with OMF. Melody also received a very special “service to the OM community” award from OMF. Tania designed OMF’s 10-year anniversary logo and worked with OMF’s Chairman Grant Allen to create the awareness shirts and retreat shirts provided at the retreat.

Basic_EANA_Shirt_1_FINAL2Most importantly, we found the 2013 EANA Patient Retreat especially beneficial because it allowed us to gather valuable information from the OM community. We learned about what patients and caregivers really want and we will use this info to plan our 2014 events. We learned that the OM community desired an additional annual get together focused on fellowship and peer-support. They wanted it to be something fun, at a unique destination, to connect with others fighting the same fight. So a group of us met with the idea of planning a benefit golf tournament, in a beautiful location, with plenty of time to socialize, and the opportunity to raise money for OM research and patient programs. Then we flew the destination idea out for suggestions.

After some great input we chose Napa, CA because the majority indicated interest in a West Coast location. We agreed that the beautiful Napa Valley vineyards, golf courses, and rolling hills provide a naturally peaceful destination where OM patients and caregivers can unwind and spend special time with their extended OM family. We selected May 3, 2014 as the date for our first annual ACIS-OMF Eye Believe In a Cure Benefit Golf Tournament at Eagle Vines Golf Course in Napa, CA. With the location “a go” the only major question left unanswered was what to provide for our non-golfers? Thankfully our Napa contacts had that covered by suggesting that we also offer a winery tour and, possibly, a spa excursion. By offering a local winery tour we will give non-golfers an equally appealing Napa Valley experience. So mark your calendars to attend, what we hope to be a wildly successful event, on May 3, 2014 to benefit OM and to give our immediate OM community a weekend of fun and friendship surrounded by nature’s beauty.

As a fabulous bonus, we are extremely pleased to note that OMF will partner with us on the golf event and in our effort to raise $50,000 for OM research and patient programs. Patient programs are severely under-funded and were non-existent until 2013 when OMF started their TAG program (travel assistance grant) to assist patients with airfare and lodging for treatment and follow-up care. OMF also began a new program for prosthetics where they offer grants to those who cannot afford a prosthetic eye after removal of their OM affected eye. Similarly, at ACIS, we offer a program to assist patients with personal expenses and medical bills.

coming_soon_golfWe look forward to the future when we can expand our patient services. There are just too many people who receive a life-changing diagnosis and, with that, a life-changing financial position, usually for the worst. Together, as a community, we can help. We can help each other afford a cure by promoting awareness, research, and patient services. And we can do it while enjoying patient retreats, educational conferences, and energizing events like our upcoming ACIS-OMF Eye Believe in a Cure Benefit Golf Tournament on May 3, 2014. After all, finding a cure is useless unless we have access to those life-saving treatments and options. As you can see… research and patient program funding is greatly needed so be sure to watch for event details on our website here, our event site at www.eyebelieveinacure.net, and on OMF’s site at www.ocularmelanoma.org!

Already a week into 2014 it is with tons of gratitude that we “look” back on a wonderful 2013. We whole-heartedly thank our OM community for joining us in our efforts and for providing such helpful feedback.  We thank all those who help spread awareness and who provide life-saving treatments and research. Because of you there is “a cure in sight.”

We look forward to a 2014 equally as full of promise and prosperity. Please join us on May 3, 2014 in beautiful Napa, CA, at the ACIS-OMF Eye Believe in a Cure Benefit Golf Tournament to help make it a reality!

Always our best,

Your friends at A Cure In Sight™

15 October

Eye Believe In A Cure In Sight!

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It’s all about awareness.

Ocular melanoma awareness. It’s a cause pretty close to our hearts around here. Or pretty close to our eyes I should say. What is ocular melanoma (OM)? It’s a rare eye cancer. And it’s a killer. Anyone can get it. Anyone. So ocular melanoma awareness is key. 

How can I help boost awareness, you ask?  Easy. Learn a few facts, spread the word, and help save a life!

Did you know?

Ocular melanoma is a rare eye cancer diagnosed in 6 people per 1 million every year. It develops as a tumor in the melanocytes (or pigmanted layer… think freckle gone crazy) of the eye’s choroid, iris or ciliary body. The best way to detect a primary ocular tumor is through a full-dilation medical eye exam. So get those eyes dilated at your next appointment!

While the initial tumor is nearly always treatable, about 50% of patients will develop fatal metastases. Currently, there is no cure for metastatic ocular melanoma. However, promising evidence exists that early detection, genetic analysis, targeted treatment, and integrative therapy may guarantee better results.

Awareness makes everything possible… more research, better treatments, a stronger support community and, ultimately, a cure.

Where can I learn more?

There are a number of top organizations dedicated to ocular melanoma awareness, patient advocacy, and scientific research. Among these are two of our favorites:

  • A Cure In Sight at www.acureinsight.net

     

    A Cure In Sight™ (ACIS) is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to raising ocular melanoma awareness and to helping those with ocular melanoma find and pay for the treatments that they need. acis_logo

    A Cure In Sight™ generates funds through the sale of ocular melanoma awareness products by accepting donations of money, travel vouchers/frequent flyer miles, time share stays, hotel vouchers, gift cards, and gas cards to help patients find and pay for necessary treatments otherwise outside of their medical budget. An OM diagnosis does not have to mean financial crisis… when there is A Cure In Sight™.

  • The Ocular Melanoma Foundation at www.ocularmelanoma.org 

    The Ocular Melanoma Foundation (OMF) is a non-profit organization committed to accelerating scientific research and awareness of ocular/uveal melanoma and to providing education and support to patients, their families and medical professionals.

    OMF’s mission is to accelerate and enhance scientific research, advocacy, and awareness of ocular melanoma and to provide education and support to patients, their families, and healthcare professionals.OMF_logo

    For patient and their loved ones, OMF aspires to be the top destination for up-to-date OM-related educational information, a meeting place, and advocacy resource. For doctors and researchers, OMF strives to be the connective tissue, facilitating interdisciplinary cancer research.

    The goal of OMF is to have there exist accessible and effective treatments for ocular melanoma and, one day, a cure.

As you can “see,” a good supply of information exists. Now it’s up to each of us to learn and share. After all… sharing is caring and eye believe in a cure!