Get ready for an exciting announcement for the melanoma community

  • Days
  • Hours
  • Minutes

News & Press

#EyeGetDilated Month – Nicolette’s Story

For our #EyeGetDilated Month, we share Nicolette’s story who was diagnosed with ocular melanoma in 2020:

NicoletteHave you ever looked at a rainbow in the sky and wondered if it was sent from an angel above? In September 2020, I saw a beautiful rainbow and it was as much a sign as it was a life saver. That was the day I realized I had lost vision in my left eye. At the age of 22, newly graduated from Kutztown University and ready to take that next step into the world, life was about to change. The world had different plans for me. Even though the world was already different because of this crazy pandemic, my life changed completely on September 28th, 2020, when I was diagnosed with ocular melanoma. After seeing multiple eye doctors, I was finally treated at Wills Eye Hospital by Shields and Shields Oncology where I did plaque radiation.

As of today, the plaque has been successful, but resulting in the complete loss of vision in my left eye. This experience has taught me so much about myself and how life can change in an instant. It has been hard. Physically I feel amazing, yet mentally I have to deal with vision loss, being nervous about having to drive in the rain or at night and the look on people’s faces when I say that I can only see out of one eye. It truly is a mind game, but I can say I am playing it and forever will.

Two years after this diagnosis, my life has transformed into something beautiful. I would be lying if I said I did not worry every single day; worry about cancer spreading, worry about my six month scans, worry about something happening to my good eye… worry, worry, worry. But I have to say, what has gotten me through is the people with whom I surround myself. The people who allow me to see the beauty: my mom, dad and sister Brianna are my rocks. They lift me up every day and are my “why.” My husband Nik keeps me going daily and never lets go of my hand. My friends, family, doctors and nurses who take care of me and everyone in between are the reasons I keep on keeping on.

At the beginning of this journey, so many people asked me what they could do for me, and the answer is still the same. What can you do? Please get your eyes examined and dilated! Do it for me; it could save your life just like that beautiful rainbow did for me. I wake up every day and can see the beauty in this world (even with one eye, I still see how great it is). Ocular melanoma would never take over my life, it only gives me more of reason to keep living. “Eye” am blessed, “Eye” am strong, and “Eye” believe. With nearly 2,000 people diagnosed with ocular melanoma in the US each year, it’s so important to take part in the MRF’s #EyeGetDilated campaign and schedule your dilated eye exam today! The MRF’s CURE OM initiative was a helpful resource for me and so many ocular melanoma patients.

Life-saving advances in melanoma research are made possible by the generosity of supporters like YOU. Please consider a tax-deductible donation today: