That’s the kind of thing someone says that gets your attention.
That’s the life that Mark Rine lives right now.
“I have Stage IV melanoma,” Rine says of his terminal cancer. “I have three active tumors in my body right now. It’s something that I deal with on a daily basis.”
Skin cancer. It’s not something that gets discussed quite like breast cancer, prostate cancer or lung cancer. This is despite the fact that it claims a life every 57 minutes, that it is diagnosed more than those previous three cancers combined.
Those are facts Rine didn’t know before his diagnosis in September 2012. A firefighter by trade with five kids, Rine was taken aback by what he found out about melanoma once he was given a 10 percent chance of living five years almost three years ago.
Now, he does a variety of things to bring attention to the cause, traveling across the state to bring exposure to what is a hidden problem to many.
“I spend my day doing exactly what I don’t want to be doing, but it’s the only way I can help other people,” Rine said. “Nobody talks about it. It’s really an unpopular cancer. We’re hoping that we are bringing exposure to it, not for our benefit but for the world’s benefit.
“Skin cancer doesn’t care,” he added. “It’s not like your other cancers that are environmental or occupational. Skin cancer can affects a whole demographic that doesn’t even know they’re getting it."
His brother, Kevin, has been drawn to the cause, too. Kevin founded the sKeven Foundation, which sells T-shirts to bring awareness to skin cancers and melanoma. A major part of the outreach program is the SKNLUV tour, which travels the area sharing information on skin cancer prevention.
And one of the biggest fundraisers for the cause involves Ohio State football. Numerous OSU football alums including Maurice Clarett, Beanie Wells, Jay Richardson, Kirk Barton, Matt Finkes and more will take part in the All-Star Bowl flag football game June 26 at New Albany High School near Columbus.
The game, which raised $35,000 in its inaugural year for the James Cancer Center at Ohio State, will benefit both SKNLUV as well as the After-School All-Stars program, which provides meals and activities for at-risk youth in the after school hours.
“When you can impact a wide range of people for something as serious as melanoma, skin cancer in general, having the opportunity to reach people using the Ohio State platform to reach people in all different walks of life, it’s great,” said Tyler Everett, one of the former Buckeyes expected to take part.
The game will include pre-game fan festivities, autograph opportunities, halftime entertainment and more. In addition, sponsors who donate at the All-Star level of $500 will have the chance to have a representative take part against some of the best Buckeyes in recent history.
“This event is like nothing else,” Mark Rine said.
And make no mistake, the game is no laughing matter.
“(Clarett) told me walking in, ‘I’m going to be in shape for this one. I’m getting ready,’ ” Everett said. “Last year, we had some people that hadn’t played in a while and you could tell. But it was fun, and at the same time it was serious. Everybody is competitive, and everybody loves for us to come out and do it for charity. We have to give them a good show. Once the lights came on, it took us back to high school and prime-time games.”
Tickets for the game cost $20 with admission free for kids 12 and under. More information can be found at AllStarBowl.org