Jessica Hunter GuerreroJessica Hunter Guerrero

Melanoma Survivor

"I thought I was invincible," says Jessica Hunter Guerrero, a former sun worshipper and frequent tanning bed user.

At 24, Jessica was not overly concerned to discover an odd mole on her arm, but she was shocked by the diagnosis. Melanoma, the most dangerous type of skin cancer, had spread to Jessica’s lymph nodes. Several surgical procedures, lymphedema treatment and a year of rigorous chemotherapy followed.

Among those easing Jessica’s journey were surgical oncologist George Dittrick, MD; oncologist-hematologist Stefano Tarantolo, MD; and occupational and lymphedema therapist Lauren Robins. Oncology social worker Peggy Jarrell tackled financial issues, enabling Jessica to focus on getting better, not on billing. "I have a happy ending because I’ve had great care and support to give me the longest, healthiest life possible," Jessica said.

A registered nurse who stays active in melanoma support, advocacy and fundraising, Jessica is passionate about educating others, especially her pediatric patients, to stay healthy and make sunscreen a lifelong habit. She tells everyone: "Pale is the new tan!"