Allison’s story

I was always aware of melanoma growing up being the only ginger, pale kid in the family. My mum always made me cover up and I remember every year getting Avon sunscreen in my Santa sack! 

Even so, my Melanoma journey began in October 2012 (I was 34 with 2 children 12 and 8. It was my worst nightmare).

When I had a 2.45mm thick mole removed from my clavicle (this mole had been continuously checked and even when I insisted it was changing and sensitive to touch and I wanted it removed the doctor at the time told me he was 99% sure it was fine) and a 0.45 invasive melanoma removed from my right ear, no treatments were available to me so a wide resection was done and a PET scan which was clear and I was advised to watch and wait. 

All was well. I had regular skin checks every year and life was good.

Then, in August 2019, a 10cm lump appeared on my left side. I went to a GP and he said it was a fatty lipoma. Fast forward to October 2020 and the lump had slightly increased and my bra was digging into it, so I went back to my regular GP and after multiple scans and a biopsy I was told it was melanoma. In November I was referred to an oncologist who ordered a PET scan and then informed me I had numerous tumours throughout my body. The scariest one for me was around 4cm and in my lung. He informed me I was stage 4 metastatic melanoma and the treatment would either work or it wouldn’t. 

A week and a blood test later I commenced immunotherapy – ipi/Nivo combo. I got through 2 rounds of a possible 4 of this but it made me very ill with high fevers and after going to the ER twice I found I had hepatitis from the treatment, so treatment stopped. Steroids an immune suppressants began to calm my immune system down, but the good news was a scan showed an almost complete metabolic response meaning almost all of the visible cancer was gone. 3 months of steroids fixed the hepatitis and I recommenced immunotherapy Nivo only. 

It’s been nearly 2 years that I have been on Nivo with clear scans and I have 2 more rounds of Nivo to go before my treatment can stop. I know I will be monitored for a long time and I will have to be vigilant for the rest of my life but right now, life is good and I feel very lucky to have been able to work and pretty much carry on with life throughout treatment. I have so much gratitude! 

My advice is get a skin check every year, not just once. If in doubt, cut it out, trust your gut and stay positive.

Patient stories | Allison Howe
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Privacy Policy

Australian Melanoma Research Foundation (AMRF) respects and is committed to protecting the privacy of the people whose personal information it collects. We collect personal information about individuals who are employed by us, our donors, our volunteers, other supporters, allied associations, consultants and service providers.

Information we collect

Whenever we collect personal information, we will identify ourselves as AMRF and ensure people are aware of why we are collecting information and how we plan to use it.

The type of personal information AMRF usually collects and holds includes names, addresses, telephone numbers, email addresses, donation date, reason for donation, merchandise orders and other information such as health related information pertaining to AMRF research and program delivery. This information may be collected in person, via our website on the secure payment gateway, as well as other sources.

When people visit our website, or download information from it, the following information is recorded by Google Analytics:

  • Their network location and IP address
  • The date and time of their visit, pages visited, and time spent on each page
  • Referring site details (ie the site and page they came from to arrive at this site)
  • Type of web browser they used
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This information is only used for statistical and website development purposes. We make limited use of cookies on our website. We use cookies to improve the functionality of our website, and to remember user preferences when people return.

In the event where an individual shares unsolicited personal information that AMRF would not have collected for the purposes outlined above that information will be destroyed or de-identified as soon as is practicable.

How we use and disclose personal information

We collect and use stakeholder’s personal information to carry out the functions and activities of AMRF and to comply with our legal obligations, to maintain and update our records and to help us manage and provide our services.

We may also use information to ask for support and to keep people informed about the ways in which our donors and supporters help us to make a difference to raise funds for research, awareness and early detection programs.  People have the right to opt out of any communications from AMRF.  This will not stop them receiving receipts and other transactional communications as required by law.

We may disclose personal information to third parties who assist us to perform functions on our behalf (such as commercial mail preparation services, this information is permanently deleted by the provider upon completion of the service and confirmed in writing of such).  These external service providers are under a duty to maintain the privacy and security of your information in line with this Privacy Policy and to use your personal information only for the purpose for which it is disclosed.

AMRF does not use any government related identifiers, such as Medicare numbers or tax file numbers, of an individual as our own identifier.

Marketing and communications

We may use people’s information within AMRF only in connection with marketing and fundraising campaigns. We may provide marketing communications to stakeholders on an ongoing basis by telephone, electronic messages (eg. email), online (including websites and mobile apps) and other means, unless they opt out or we are subject to legal restrictions. These may include communications relating to AMRF and our programs, campaign and promotional messages, event invitations, fundraising opportunities and newsletters.

AMRF also sends transactional communications which include but are not limited to: Donation & Tax Receipts, forgotten password e-mails, event sign up confirmation and confirmations from Web forms.

To opt-out of receiving AMRF marketing communications people can:

  • Select the “unsubscribe” option in one of the marketing communications that they receive from us.
  • Send an email to:
  • Call us on 0419 822 969
  • Send a written request to: PO Box 574, Kent Town DC SA 5071

Security of personal information

AMRF regards the security of personal information as a priority and takes a number of precautions to protect people’s personal information from loss, misuse, unauthorised access, modification or disclosure. Specific security precautions are in place for processing online payments through payment gateway providers Stripe and PayPal which include the use of encrypted links, dedicated private connections and Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encryption. However, the Internet is not a secure environment and although all care is taken, we cannot guarantee the security of information people provide to us via electronic means such as email.

If people become aware of any inaccuracy in the personal information, we hold about themselves, they are encouraged to contact AMRF so we can update any personal information we hold.


Where it is lawful and practicable, we will allow individuals to deal with us on an anonymous basis. For example, if we receive a telephone enquiry, we will not require that the enquirer gives us their name, although depending on the nature of the enquiry, we may not be able to answer it unless they do.

We can also accept gifts and other forms of support anonymously. However, provisions contained in taxation legislation require AMRF to collect the name of the donor if the donor requires a tax-deductible receipt.

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AMRF’s reputation and goodwill is extremely important. Permission to use images featured on this website has only been given to AMRF and therefore should not be downloaded or used in any way by a third party without consent.

For information on obtaining permission for an image, please email

Acceptance of terms

If AMRF updates or changes this Privacy Policy, the changes will be made on this page. Your continued use of AMRF’s website following the posting of changes will mean you accept those changes.

Contact us

If you have any questions about privacy-related issues OR you wish to lodge a complaint about a breach of this policy OR other privacy matter OR you do not wish to be contacted by us to ask for your support, please contact us by email at Alternatively our postal address is below:

PO Box 574
Kent Town DC SA 5071

We take your privacy concerns seriously. Where you express any concerns that we have interfered with your privacy, we will respond to let you know who will be handling your matter and when you can expect a further response. We may request additional details from you regarding your concerns and may need to engage or consult with other parties in order to investigate and deal with your issue. We will keep records of your request and any resolution.

For information about privacy generally, or if your concerns are not resolved to your satisfaction, you may contact the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner at and on 1300 363 992.