Three grizzly bears in Alaska
By Anne Houseal
Greetings! I am Anne Houseal, the new Board Chair for Nevus Outreach. For 26 years, I served in the United States Air Force, primarily in the field of Logistics. I retired in 2009 and moved with my family to Alaska, The Last Frontier. My military career allowed me to serve a diverse population worldwide. I am forever grateful to those with whom I served...fellow military members, civilians, and family members. I now have an opportunity to serve you through Nevus Outreach.
While stationed in Virginia, our youngest daughter, Angela, was born with a Bathing Trunk Nevus and our lives changed forever--in the best possible way. We found a whole new family.
Within a few hours of Angela’s birth, I had all the contact information for Nevus Outreach and soon realized we had just missed the annual conference. During our military reassignment in 2004, we attended our first Nevus Outreach Conference in Columbus, Ohio. So many encouraging and uplifting people supported us and answered our questions. To this day we are still strengthened by people who attended that first conference with us and we cherish those with whom we’ve met since.
Angela has grown and blossomed into a healthy, compassionate, and humorous young person, with an engaging personality and a twinkle in her eye. She is confident and poised. She is an avid clogger and beekeeper, who loves to kayak and hike. She embraces who she is and owns it. A few years back, during our annual trip dip netting for salmon on the Kenai peninsula, we saw a young adult with CMN. Angela ran down the aisle, slid to a stop in front of him lifted her shirt to bare her tummy and exclaimed “I have one too!!!” She also began a talk at school one day something like this: “Today I am going to talk to you about nevus. You probably noticed the spots all over my face and arms. Some people call nevus a mole and some people call them beauty marks--I must look fabulous!”
Nevus Outreach has grown tremendously in the 12 years we have been associated with it. We applaud the families who started this important organization. This grass roots effort has eclipsed anyone’s wildest dreams and now boasts international constituents, the creation of a global registry, social media groups that continue to widen our circle around the globe, and breakthroughs in research in the past 10 years.
As the new Board Chair, with a vibrant and engaged Board of Directors, we envision a bright future for Nevus Outreach. AWARENESS so that in any city, no matter how remote, a nevus owner and their family can have access and support to reliable and accurate medical information and treatment, if necessary; RESEARCH to build upon what we know so far; SUPPORT so no one has to live with a stigma or psychological trauma; and FUNDRAISING to make it all happen.
You are fabulous and so are your children. Let’s do this!
I am honored to serve.
From the Last Frontier,