When her father, David, lost his battle with melanoma in summer 2009, Emma Fields decided she wanted to somehow contribute to finding a cure for the disease. Of all skin cancer types, melanoma is the deadliest.
Mayo Clinic oncologist and melanoma researcher Svetomir N. Markovic, M.D., Ph.D., treated David at Mayo Clinic.
"Dr. Markovic was so good to my dad," Emma says. "My mom said that he treated him like his brother. This experience has made me realize that I like to help other people. And even though I'm sad that I don't have my dad anymore, this makes me feel happy."
After her father's diagnosis, Emma and her family got involved in their local chapter of the American Cancer Society (ACS).
As they were preparing to participate in last year's ACS Relay for Life event in their hometown of Langdon, N.D., it was Emma's job to design T-shirts for the 25 members of their team, dubbed "Team Scrappy" after a nickname Emma's father had earned during his high school wrestling days.
As she was designing the T-shirts, Emma decided that she was going to try to sell them to raise money for melanoma research at Mayo Clinic — to, in her words, "help find some answers for people with melanoma."
She succeeded. To a surprised Dr. Markovic, she handed a check for $1,000 — money she'd raised from T-shirt sales.
Read more about cancer research at Mayo Clinic.
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