Jewelry in Memory of My Mother
By Melissa Lovy
I lost my mother, Sarah Klein, 10 years ago, and I shouldn’t have. She was the most selfless person I’ve ever known. She spent her entire adult life catering to five children and our father. She really tried to make the world as we knew it “perfect.”
Our world was shattered in 2004, when she was diagnosed with stage IV metastatic melanoma. The doctors said it was melanoma from an unknown primary, meaning there was no identifiable initial tumor. At this point the tumors had spread and were largely in her lungs and liver as well as her spleen, abdomen and bones. Over the next year and a half, she went through a grueling process of treatments, always doing what she could to survive. She and my father left no stone unturned but by 2005 there was nothing more that could be done.
Her doctors speculated that her melanoma could have been caused by the weekly ultraviolet A treatments for psoriasis her doctor prescribed when she was a teen. We now know that indoor tanning at a young age dramatically increases the risk of melanoma, but back then, no one knew.*
The 10th anniversary of my mother’s death this year has been painful. There are no words to describe the loss, the daily angst or the heartache. Life goes on, of course, and you learn to function in the new reality. But the loss does not get easier. The only way to move forward is to do what I believe my mother would want: raise awareness about melanoma and help educate the public. Skin cancer is a very important cause to our family.
Now it’s my turn.
I have created a capsule collection of jewelry in her loving memory. Each piece from this collection serves as a reminder about the importance of daily sun protection and avoiding indoor tanning. Ten percent of net profits will be donated to The Skin Cancer Foundation.
Even if only one person is touched by my mother’s story, I know she would be proud.
* In 1997 The Skin Cancer Foundation first published two articles about the increased risk of melanoma from indoor UVA tanning used to treat psoriasis, and has been a vocal opponent of all forms of indoor tanning and its dangers ever since.
Published on June 28, 2016