Ten years ago our family lost an amazing man to stage 4 melanoma. He was on a trip of a lifetime in Scotland when he started developing lower back pain that became so painful that he had to start using a walking stick.
David Clarridge was a loving husband, son, brother, father, grandfather, and friend. He spent a lifetime trying new things and was always up for an adventure. He became an avid windsurfer, scuba diver and even ended up enjoying playing the bells in the bell choir at Seattle First Baptist (who knew😃). But his lifetime passion was always photography. From taking photos while deployed to Vietnam, to his last trip to Scotland he was always happiest with a camera in his hands.
Once returning to Seattle, an MRI showed lesions on his spine that we eventually were told were stage 4 melanoma. After meeting with a few different physicians he insisted on being seen at Fred Hutch. Sadly because his case went undetected it metastasized to his spine and at that time there wasn't a treatment available that would result in a cure.
He passed away 5 months after being diagnosed and took full advantage of that time to make sure we all knew how much he cared and loved us. From stories we all share together to precious one-on-one moments he made sure we all had with him.
Since my father passed away there have been huge advances in the treatment of melanoma and that has been made possible because of two things. One, being researchers working tirelessly to come up with new treatment. And the other, people raising money that will fund their research. Our goal is to raise $10,000.00 that will go directly to help fund research that is taking place at Fred Hutch so that one day parents won't have to tell their children that their grandpa has an incurable melanoma.