Morgan Forshner, Karen Wells and their family photo provided by his mother Karen Wells

A Lake Country mother pushes for Melanoma awareness, after the death of her son

Morgan Forshner dies at 33, after a doctor said his mole was benign

It was just nine months after discovering a mole, which doctors said was benign, that Morgan Forshner died.

“After I got my 33-year-old son Morgan Forshner to go to the doctors at the beginning of October (2015) for a mole on his back, which was oozing and growing in size, the doctors told him it wasn’t anything to worry about,” Forshner’s mother, Karen Wells said.

Wells said the doctor froze the mole off with liquid nitrogen, but with cancer running in her family, she was still concerned for her son.

“We didn’t even know about melanoma, both my parents died of bowel cancer and my oldest brother to lymphoma, melanoma had never really come into our lives,” Wells said.

READ MORE: Kelowna doctor warns against tanning as skin cancer rates rise

Nine months after Forshner discovered the mole, the cancer spread and a biopsy revealed Forshner had stage four melanoma.

Now, Wells wants to spread more awareness on the danger of moles and she hopes people will check suspicious moles regularly.

“Melanoma is something that isn’t well recognized by general practitioners and I encourage people to get a second opinion if they don’t feel comfortable with the diagnosis a doctor gives,” Wells said.

Wells set up “Morgan’s Mole Patrol,” — a social media page to help people recognize the signs of melanoma and how to accurately detect a potentially dangerous mole.

“I myself had melanoma from a mole on the back of my leg and had it removed. I am now cancer free, the doctors said, but If I didn’t get it checked right away, as I do with all my moles at least every two years, who knows what would have happened?” Wells said.

READ MORE: Ban on youths using tanning beds now in effect

She said her future goals include fundraising to get sunscreen dispensaries at beaches across the Okanagan Valley.

Forshner had an 11-year-old and six-month-old son with his wife when he died.

Melanoma is a type of cancer which develops from the pigment-containing cells known as melanocytes.

Melanomas typically occur in the skin. For women, melanomas most commonly occur on the legs, while in men, they are most common on the back.


@LarynGilmour
laryn.gilmour@blackpress.ca

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Morgan Forshner, wife and children, photo provided by his mother Karen Wells

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