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T.J. Sharpe    

Stage IV Melanoma Patient & Writer of the #1 Blog on Philly.com

T.J. Sharpe is a Stage IV melanoma patient who shares his journey through cancer in the Patient #1 Blog on http://www.philly.com/patient1/. He was diagnosed in August 2012 with melanoma tumors in multiple organs; since then, he has undergone six surgeries and four immunotherapy treatments over two different clinical trials. The initial failures, and subsequent significant positive response, have been chronicled in his blog posts since January 2013. His is a story about life with a serious illness and the mental and emotional hurdles a patient must clear. He writes how a cancer patient’s challenges mirror those many face, and portrays life through the optimistic prism of a patient who is on the long, winding road towards overcoming melanoma’s long odds and deadly consequences.

He also shares the latest melanoma and oncology research breakthroughs, and advocacy events and initiatives to help others avoid, detect, or educate themselves on cancer. As part of his advocacy, he attends cancer and melanoma conferences, reporting on the latest medical breakthroughs through his blog and to other cancer patients. He also partners with advocacy organizations, clinical trial groups, and the pharmaceutical industry to bring awareness to cancer research and developments. His efforts have been recognized by several organizations, including the Melanoma Research Foundation, Melanoma International Foundation, Patient Power, Forbes, Merck, GlaxoSmithKline, the Drug Information Association, and the Milken Institute's FasterCures. In December 2014, he was able to share his story on Capitol Hill in a special session promoting immunotherapy research to lawmakers.

A South Jersey native, T.J. lives in Fort Lauderdale with his wife Jennifer and two young children, Josie and Tommy. He is active in health and wellness initiatives, including melanoma/cancer awareness runs and bike rides, and an avid yoga participant. He also serves on the Board of Directors of A Prom to Remember, a 501(c)3 charity providing pediatric oncology teens with the ultimate Prom experience.

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