A Transitional Kindergarten teacher at Carmel Presbyterian Weekday School, Kathleen Keane is passionate about educating her students and encouraging learning through play and curiosity. But in August 2022, Kathleen’s life changed in an instant. No stranger to melanoma, which she had already battled three times, Kathleen was suddenly faced with her most grave diagnosis yet: stage-3B metastatic melanoma. 

When seeking treatment for her latest bout with melanoma at Atrium Health Levine Cancer, Kathleen met Dr. Asim Amin, who encouraged her to enroll in a recent blind clinical trial that combined immunotherapy with a new drug regimen. The availability of such clinical trials is only made possible with philanthropic support of donors and community events like the Save Your Skin Melanoma Awareness Golf Classic. Wary, but hopeful, Kathleen recalled, “Only 1,000 [patients] qualified for the trial, and I was nervous about side effects, but I was reassured to know I’d be followed and monitored for 10 years after the trial.” The knowledge that Levine Cancer Institute would be by her side, both during and following the clinical trial, heavily influenced Kathleen’s decision to participate.   

Recognizing the significance of having access to the trial, particularly when traditional therapies have proven to be less effective at treating melanoma, Kathleen said, “I’m hopeful that participating in this trial is helping others, and I am so grateful I’m benefiting from the efforts of Save Your Skin. Events like this raise awareness that anyone is at risk of getting melanoma. It’s important to be your own advocate and get regular skin checks.” 

Since its inception, Save Your Skin has raised over $1 million to advance melanoma research, awareness, and treatment at Atrium Health Levine Cancer. On November 13, the Save Your Skin Melanoma Awareness Golf Classic, co-presented by the Gee Family Foundation (administered by JHG Financial) and Kreshon Family, LLC, will take place at Ballantyne Country Club. Click here to learn more.

Photos by Joanna DeHart