One of 25-year old Gabe Hancock's favorite things to do is to blow bubbles outside with his two-year old son, Isaiah. But before playtime, the Hancock family has a specific routine they stick to no matter what.
It includes putting on shoes, a hat, sunglasses, even if they don't stay on and sunscreen, for everyone.
“If we're in the sun we are always thinking about how to protect our skin,”
So thorough because Gabe is a skin cancer survivor.
“I was 22 when I was diagnosed with Malignant Melanoma, level 4 on my lower back,” said Gabe.
Level four which meant the cancer could have killed Gabe within a matter of a few years. His wife, Sarah was five months pregnant with Isaiah when Gabe was diagnosed.
“It was scary and shocking. I immediately thought about the ‘what if’s,’” said Sarah.
Doctors removed the spot on Gabe's back. He's now cancer free but has a five inch scar reminding him and his wife of how serious Melanoma is.
“I would have never taken it serious if I wouldn't have got it,” Gabe said.
The Hancocks credit early detection for the reason Gabe is still around to play outside with his family.
“We’re so glad we caught it when we did,” said Gabe.
The American Cancer Society is holding their 24th annual Skin Cancer Screening on Saturday May 5 from 8-11am at GraceMed Health Clinic at 1122 North Topeka.
Appointments are not necessary and the screening is open to all community members regardless of insurance status. For more information call (800) 227-2345 or visit cancer.org/holymoley.