The first emotion Teri Alger felt after being diagnosed with skin cancer was fear. Fear for her two young daughters. Fear of the future. And fear of the unknown. But soon after, her faith took over. She went to regular check-ups, had hope for the best and used her voice to spread awareness.
In 1979 Teri was on vacation with her family when her sister-in-law, a registered nurse, noticed an abnormal mole on Teri’s thigh. She advised her to get it checked out as soon as possible. A few months later, Teri ran into a friend who shared that he had recently underwent a radical mastectomy due to a malignant mole. Remembering the mole her sister-in-law had pointed out, Teri sought a professional opinion the very next day.
Within two days, she was diagnosed with stage 3 melanoma.
Her treatment moved fast – surgery by the end of the week, placement with a team of cancer and oncology specialists and a round of chemotherapy. In the end, Teri was cancer-free! And she remained cancer-free until 2009, when a stage 2 mole was located on her back. Fortunately, the mole was surgically removed and there was no need for other treatments.
Since her diagnosis, Teri has remained an advocate for skin cancer by sharing her own story and educating others. She has also been a loyal volunteer at the Gran Fondo since 2015!
“This is the type of event I dreamed about being part of since 1979. It is an amazing way to spread awareness for all types of skin cancer,” said Teri. “I feel blessed that I can provide not only a ‘success story’ for the event but also help the day of the ride.”
How can YOU help spread skin cancer awareness? Teri suggests working the MSU Gran Fondo. “It is fun, informational, and a blast to root for cyclists or hand out water to them along the way. It is literally for everyone. Skin cancer is a concern that has no boundaries.”
But she also suggests doing your research to educate yourself about the disease – because you never know when you could end up saving someone’s life by sharing this important information.
Join the fight against skin cancer on June 22! You can sign up to ride, volunteer or donate at msugranfondo.com.