Another Sister's Story - Robin Spears Bartone
Recently Robin Bartone’s sisters, Jodie Goldberg and Sona Nast, conducted a Facebook fundraiser to raise awareness of Robin’s melanoma journey and honor her memory. Their fundraiser raised over $4,000 and designated Meredith’s Mission for Melanoma as the recipient.
Robin was born June 1, 1960, the fourth of five children. She was raised in Austin, attended public schools, and graduated from the University of Texas in May, 1982, with a degree in fashion technology. After college, Robin moved to Dallas and worked as a designer for a women's casual clothing line. In the mid-1980's, she moved to the Washington, D.C. area. She worked in a variety of jobs eventually opening her own event planning company, which she ran until her death. She married Dave Bartone on July 4th 1997.
At age 30, Robin was first diagnosed with melanoma. They removed the area, and she was in remission for eight years. In July, 1998, she discovered that her melanoma had metastasized, and she had stage 4 cancer. She sought cutting edge treatment at the National Institute of Health (NIH) and early vaccine therapy, but sadly, she died on July 15, 2000 - just two years after her diagnosis.
Robin’s sisters recall that she “was a beautiful, smart, warm, talented, generous and loyal person. She had the ability to walk in a room and instantly feel comfortable and make new friends. She was an artist and fashion designer and brought beauty to the world around her. She was our sophisticated, world-traveling sister, loving daughter, wife, aunt, cousin and trusted friend. She loved to wear anything with animal prints and knew how to make an entrance. We always trusted her fashion sense and life advice”.
Jodie added, “We are grateful to Meredith’s Mission for Melanoma for the work they are doing to educate the public and support melanoma research, and proudly chose them as the recipient of our fundraiser to honor our sister's memory on her 60th birthday and 20th anniversary of her passing”.
Meredith's Mission's family and Board of Directors wish to thank Jodie and Sona for their kind generosity which will help Meredith’s Mission (and Robin's) move forward. Working together, we can continue the fight against melanoma cancer by helping to raise funds for donations to M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, as well as Dell Medical School - The University of Texas at Austin, in support of their research in melanoma medical oncology.
2019 - 4th Annual Meredith's Mission Gala Results!
Our 4th Annual Gala was held at the Austin Hilton on April 27, 2019. As a result of all the generous donation and proceeds, we had our best year yet. We raised over $165,000! Our thanks to the Cowboy Auctioneers, who encouraged your giving and helped make the event even more exciting.
Our heartfelt thanks to our wonderful Sponsors, especially - Freytag’s Florist, ServPro, Reid, Collins and Tsai LLP, Lone Star Paving, and Carlson Law Firm, who have supported us the last four years! And, thanks to our many other sponsors, who have contributed so much.
Board Member News
It is with a heavy heart - but also with much love, appreciation, and understanding - that we announce our Meredith’s Mission Board President, Christopher Kluck, has decided to step down. Christopher will continue to be an instrumental member of our Meredith’s Mission team. Without his dedication to Meredith and her mission over the last four years, we could not have built this successful organization. Additionally, Miranda Ippolito, our Events Coordinator, has decided that with all her other commitments, it is time for her to step down as well. We wish them both much success and happiness in their future endeavors.
For now, Vice President and Treasurer, Stephanie Morton Whitten, will be assuming the President’s position on the Board. If you have a passion for our Meredith’s Mission work and a personal interest in helping to continue this important mission, as a member of the Board, please reach out to us!
We appreciate your continued support for Meredith’s Mission, as we transition through these changes.
2019 Year-end Accomplishments for Meredith's Mission
We are blessed with all the accomplishments that we've made this past year. With your help, we will continue to grow our fundraising efforts to support melanoma research and raise awareness of this deadly disease. Our accomplishments are as follows:
- Gala proceeds - $165,000
- Thrivent Grant - $2,500
- MD Anderson - $35,000
Dr. Michael Tetzlaff stated: "Your efforts ARE absolutely making a difference! I am not sure if you saw this in the news, but a recent report (attached) showed a decline in the cancer death rates. Among these, melanoma was one subtype to show the greatest reductions. Dr. Mike Davies was quoted in the Houston Chronicle recently in regards to this.
You can read the Houston Chronicle report by clicking HERE.
- Dell Medical School at UT Austin – Livestrong Cancer Institute - $30,000
Because of our combined $50,000 donation from 2017 and 2018, The Dell Medical School procured a FotoFinder*, which allows patients to have their entire body mapped to analzye and more efficiently track any changes to moles and other skin issues using high resolution photography and artificial intelligence.
Dr. Ade Adamson had this to say about the FotoFinder: "We are putting the FotoFinder to good use; I have already found melanoma with the device! I am so appreciative of Meredith's Mission helping us get the Fotofinder so that the clinic can be state of the art and improve the lives of patients."
With our 2019 donation of $30,000, Dr. Adamson said: "In the next phase of building out the clinic, I am going to get a few dermatoscopes for the clinic to help residents and other trainees learn how to better detect skin cancer. Funds will also be used to support new research, collaborative tumor boards, care coordination, and patient navigation at Dell Medical school, including at UT Health Austin's high risk pigmented lesion clinic and new multidisciplinary melanoma clinic."
* Find out more about the device here.