In December 2015, my sister Tanya passed away at the age of 44 from stage 4 melanoma. Her passing came less than three months post her diagnosis. This is our last picture together which was taken on a family cruise. Tanya became unresponsive in the early hours of the following morning and was air-lifted back to the United States. She passed away eight days later.
During Tanya’s last few months, she focused on living and not dying. My family and I celebrated her life each and every day, filling it with all of her favorite things – going to her favorite restaurants, visiting with friends, traveling and spending time with her son De’Andre.
Our mother Joan was Tanya’s full-time caregiver during her illness and fought endlessly to advocate for her, as the disease was already metastasized to her brain.
Brown Skin Too foundation was created in Tanya’s memory to bring awareness to this disease and educate people of color on preventive measures.