Seaham mum urges people to check their moles after being diagnosed with skin cancer

Mum of two Gill Liiv-Rochester is raising awareness of Melanoma-Me after being diagnosed with skin cancer found in two moles. Credit: NCJ Media

A County Durham mum is urging people to check their moles after being diagnosed with skin cancer.

Gill Liiv-Rochester from Seaham started repeatedly itching a mole on her back when her 13-year-old daughter Emme encouraged her to go to the doctor.

In April 2020 Gill was diagnosed with two malignant melanomas after a second mole was found on her shoulder.

Gill said "Looking back now I didn't realise how exhausted I was and my skin was really dry. I thought it would be nothing or something very minor... It all happened really fast. I saw the GP in the middle of the week and by Monday I was being operated on.

"I was told malignant melanomas are the most severe and aggressive form and by six to eight weeks it would spread to my organs - I never realised it was that serious. Thankfully it was stage one."

After initially dismissing her daughter's concerns, the 36-year-old mum of two is now raising awareness and fundraising for the Charity Melanoma-Me which supports those battling skin cancer, and who have been "amazing."

Gill said "I just thought I need to give something back...they've been so supportive, I can't thank them enough."

Her fundraising efforts will include an event on June 26 at Seaham Park Cricket Club where there is going to be be raffles auctions and food stalls.

Gill Liiv-Rochester's family have been supporting her following her skin cancer diagnosis and is now fundraising for the charity Melanoma-Me

Gill is also keen to debunk myths surrounding skin cancer as she said many people think melanoma is cured once it is removed.

She said: "A lot of people think it's not that serious and you just get it removed and that's it, but it's not that at all. I'm still recovering from another biopsy I had but I'm getting there.

"People ask me whether they should get a mole checked out and I would always say to just get it checked out. It could be nothing but it may be something."