TAMPA, Fla. - Corbin Newman has spent most of his young life outside playing baseball. But his time on the field came to a halt following a skin cancer diagnosis when he was just 11 years old.
"I had this mole. It was a big one," he recalled. "I thought it was a blood blister and I kept cutting it just trying to get it off and it just bugged me to the point of me telling my mom I need to get it off. And they cut it off and it took about a few days and they called back. They were like, ‘This is serious’ and at first when I saw my parents' faces I was like, ‘Oh shoot, this has to be serious because they looked devastated.’"
"If we had probably waited any further we probably wouldn't be sitting here having the same story as we do today because at that point it had metastasized into his lymph nodes," explained Corbin's mother, Lisa Newman.
Corbin said he was told that his future in baseball was uncertain.
"There's a 50-50 chance you won't be able to play because of because of the range of motion on your neck," shared Corbin.
Dr. Vernon Sondak of Moffitt Cancer Center said Corbin's story is a reminder that children are not immune.
"It's still quite rare for children to get skin cancer, but what's not rare is for children to get way too much sun that, later in life, leads them to get skin cancer. I think there's still a big need to get the message out that kids can get skin cancers. Kids can get melanoma. Even pediatricians need education and awareness of this," added Dr. Sondak.
Corbin's family was able to raise awareness during his battle through social media. They posted pictures of Corbin and his doctor sporting mustaches drawn in with a blue marker.
"They use that marker to line out where they're going to cut and circle the cancer and stuff. He was joking around. I said hey let me see the blue marker and I grabbed it and I drew it like a little mustache on him and I was like ‘give me one’ and he did it to me and that's just how it came about. It was just so funny and I was laughing," said Corbin.
"By the end of the day on Facebook we had over a thousand people posting and that's when we started Corbin's Blue Mustache page."
Corbin is now 17 years old and back on the field playing baseball for Armwood High School.
"I'm five years on remission. I haven't had anything pop up since after that," shared Corbin.
And he wants other kids to learn from this.
"Always check yourself. Go check your body. See if you have anything on your body. Get it checked out because anything could happen," added Corbin.
The Moffitt Cancer Center Mole Patrol will be hosting free skin, head, neck and oral cancer screenings on Saturday, July 31st from 9 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. at the Pier 60 Pavilion on Clearwater Beach.
LINK: For more information about pediatric melanoma from Moffitt Cancer Center visit moffitt.org.
LINK: For more information about the Blue Mustache Foundation www.bluemustachefoundation.com