We are a family of eight children who lost our Mom, Patricia Schellhardt Malone, to metastatic melanoma on June 21, 2007, the first day of summer. She was only 65 years old, a mother of eight, and a grandmother of twelve. For over two years, she fought against this cancer, a disease without a cure or even an effective treatment. Her battle was a difficult one, metastatic melanoma shows no mercy. In honor of her life, our family has started OUR M.O.M., INC. (Our Mark On Melanoma). Our Mom's children are now dedicated to help prevent, detect, and cure this deadly form of skin cancer.
Our Mom was so strong and fought so hard. If anyone could beat this disease, it would have been her. We lost our Dad in 1982 at the young age of 41 to a brain aneurism. Our Mom dedicated her life to raising her children. She wanted and provided the very best for us. She made our lunches every day, she made sure our clothes were cleaned and ironed, and she always made sure we ate dinner together every single night. She was the ultimate Mom. She would do anything for her children, no matter when, no matter where. Anyone who met her experienced her consideration. She took care of us and anyone else who needed it. In return, we studied, worked, and tried harder and harder to make her proud. She raised all of us to be the very best family we could be. And she did it on her own for 11 years.
In 1993, our Mom remarried an amazing man, Frank Malone. Frank, a wonderful stepdad, was a great partner for our Mom. Our Mom and Frank shared 17 years together, and they made each other happy. Frank helped us take care of her as she fought her battle against melanoma from January 2005 until June 2007. Frank was a loving stepdad to the Schellhardt kids for more than 20 years. We were devastated when he lost his battle to complications from thyroid cancer on April 29, 2010. Frank was a founding member of Our M.O.M., Inc. and was committed to making a difference in the fight against melanoma. While we will miss his smile and his contribution to the foundation, we will continue our work with the spirit of Frank in all of us, in memory of him.
She dedicated her life to her children, so we are dedicating ours to saving the lives of others. We have founded OUR M.O.M., INC. in her honor. Until this happened to our Mom, we knew nothing about melanoma, and now realize the lack of support and awareness for this disease. It is our goal to educate people of all ages about prevention and early detection. We will also raise funds to hopefully impact research for an effective treatment and cure of this deadly disease.