Auburn University Funding Part of the Ocular Melanoma Research


Those fighting to find a cure for Ocular Melanoma have been working tirelessly to raise money for research.

“We believe it’s going to happen. We believe this can change lives and save lives,” said Ashley McCrary, who was diagnosed with Ocular Melanoma in 2012.

On their own, they’ve raised $22,000 and just received a donation Thursday of $30,000 from an Auburn graduate who also had Ocular Melanoma.

But, the research looks like it’s going to cost up  to $200,000.

So, Auburn University has committed to fund what’s called the geospatial analysis part of the project.

“Where did you live, what classes did you take, what church did you go to, did you use a tanning bed, what kind of medicine did you take, water you drank, he’ll map it out see if, yes there’s things in common or no there’s no commonality in things we did,” said McCrary.

“Instead of going through the multiple hoops we had to go through with other agencies, etc., we felt like it this was the right thing to do,” said Dr. Fred Kam, Medical Director at Auburn University.

The research project analyzing three area in all; Geospatial, genetics and environmental.

And if they can find a cause, it will lead them one step closer to finding a cure.

“Auburn cares about this in reality. We care about it, we want to participate and Auburn felt like it was the right time and right period to jump-start and keep the process moving forward,” said Dr. Kam.

Auburn University will bring in an independent geospatial consultant to do the research.

Then they will decide how much money is needed to fund that portion. Right now, they are looking at $35-$50,000.

Statement from Auburn University:

“Since we first became aware that several members of the Auburn family were diagnosed with ocular melanoma, we have had collaborative communications with experts on melanoma from around the nation, and we have worked closely with state public health officials. These communications are ongoing as the experts assist in determining what next steps should be taken in the best interests of the patients who are battling this cancer.

We have also provided informational resources and updates to the campus community and beyond so those concerned have the latest information that is available.

In addition, we are engaging geospatial research experts to gather and analyze data that, among other things, will explore potential links to ocular melanoma in this area, none of which have been definitively found in any previous studies for this very rare cancer. This could help indicate the right and additional paths for future research in finding causes and treatments in the hope of developing a cure.”

Categories: Alabama News