Our sweet, loving and caring, Danielle Dick (Gorges) is 31 years old, pregnant with twins, and battling Metastatic Melanoma.
Danielle currently lives in Goddard, KS with her husband, Tyler and their two year old daughter, Taylor.
It all started seven years ago when Tyler noticed a strange mole on Danielle's back. She went to a dermatologist who took a biopsy of the mole and said it was benign. Within a year, the mole had grown back and still looked odd. They decided to get a second opinion at a different dermatology clinic where a biopsy was found to be melanoma. Surgery was performed in the fall of 2011 to remove the melanoma and pathology results deemed that no further treatment was required. Danielle underwent several scans that failed to find any other areas of cancer. She has kept appointments at the dermatologist every six months since, which have found no new sites of melanoma on her skin. After 5 years being clear of melanoma, Danielle was considered cured of the disease.
Danielle and Tyler welcomed a healthy baby girl, Taylor, in June 2015. This past December, Danielle became pregnant with twins. She was having a more symptomatic pregnancy this time; feeling more fatigued and having a hard time finding her words. When Tyler arrived home from work on April 29th, he found her unable to speak a single phrase. They immediately went to the hospital where they found that Danielle had three brain masses and two masses in her abdominal wall. On May 1st, Danielle underwent brain surgery to remove the masses. Two days later, the abdominal masses were also removed. All were found to be melanoma, likely spread from the original mole. Danielle came home on May 5th and has recovered well from surgery. The twins were monitored frequently in the hospital and are also doing well.
They have had appointments with several doctors who are trying to develop the best plan for Danielle and the babies. Danielle and Tyler went to MD Anderson in Houston to meet with a melanoma specialist who will continue to communicate with Danielle's oncologist in Wichita so she can receive treatment here.
In the first few weeks of June, Danielle received radiation on the sites of the removed brain masses. She had full body MRI scans that unfortunately showed more growth in her body. Danielle was positive for a specific medication and is able to receive limited treatment while pregnant. Finally good news!
The twins will be delivered early in the beginning of July so Danielle can start full treatment. The twins will be born at 29 weeks and will spend a few months in the NICU. Each placenta will be tested for melanoma, which, in rare cases, may spread to babies.
Please share Danielle's story so others will become more aware of this disease and take necessary action to prevent it. It seems that skin cancer is often seen as easily treatable and not a serious issue, which is obviously not the case.
Danielle, Tyler, Taylor and the twins are very humbled by your generosity and are thankful to everyone who has helped!
Please be careful while in the sun and wear sunscreen!