Dean Rogers likes to study a subject until he understands it fully. Case in point: his knowledge of aircraft engines. Rogers began at American more than 21 years ago as a line mechanic, progressed to a systems mechanic, then transferred to the engine shop, where he is a Crew Chief in charge of mechanics who overhaul engines for Boeing 757s and 777s.
Rogers is equally passionate about his work with Nevus Outreach, a nonprofit organization he learned about when his 13-year-old son, Matthew, was born with a large nevus. Small nevi, lesions like birthmarks and moles, are the most common abnormality of the skin.
"When Matthew was born the doctor was alarmed about a very large spot on his back," Rogers says. "She wouldn’t release us until we made an appointment with a specialist." The specialist diagnosed the spot as a large, noncancerous congenital nevus.
A family friend read about Nevus Outreach, an organization started by a handful of volunteers dedicated to educating people about nevi. Rogers says, "We learned about the first nevus conference in Orlando." He and his family have been to every conference. "We have friends all over the country who attend. Matthew looks forward to seeing his friends at the conferences." Rogers served on the Board of Directors for six years. "We now have the largest patient medical database in the world, used by doctors and researchers who specialize in melanomas and cancer research."
Says Nevus Outreach executive director Mark Beckwith, "Dean has served Nevus Outreach tirelessly, helping us be what we are today: a nonprofit corporation giving more than $100,000 annually to research in hopes of finding a cure or treatment for nevi." Go to www.nevus.org to learn more.
(Reproduced with permission of American Way, American Airlines in-flight magazine.)