Amy Dunn was an exceptional and inspiring woman, daughter, sister, athlete, educator, and friend. Throughout her life, she gained many friends with her upbeat and outgoing personality and so she was loved by many. On March 31, 2012 at the age of 29, Amy passed away from complications of melanoma.
From an early age, Amy liked to be outside. She learned to cross country ski at the age of 3 and was always on the run. It was Amy’s speed and endurance in elementary school that was noticed by her brother’s basketball coach who then convinced her to try out for a competitive soccer team. She played with girls that were 3 years older than her, but it was then that she fell in love with the game of soccer. She played for a local soccer club, the Idaho Olympic Development program, high school, college and then an amateur team that traveled the Western states. Amy was a graduate of Boise State University with degrees in Biology and Physical Education. While attending BSU, she played soccer and earned Scholar-Athlete awards. Upon graduation from college, Amy taught physical education and also coached soccer and tennis at a high school. Her students adored her and she had a tremendous influence on young athletes especially.
Amy’s love of running never waned either. Her collection of ribbons and medals are indicative of her competitive spirit. Amy was always trying to entice friends into signing up for a race knowing very well that they would probably only be together at the beginning and end of the race!
With her year around love of the outdoors, Amy was always an advocate of healthy eating, sunscreen, sunglasses, lip balm, and hats, yet in 2008 Amy was diagnosed with Stage III melanoma. At the time, she had surgery to remove a mole and some lymph nodes. Doctors in Boise, ID and Seattle,WA decided at that time that no further treatments were required nor recommended. In July of 2011, the melanoma returned with a vengeance. When Amy’s doctor in Boise diagnosed her with Stage IV metastatic melanoma, it was at this point that she knew she was in the fight for her life. She then became a patient of the MAYO Clinic in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Amy faced her disease with great courage, strength and optimism. When the doctors wanted to add an extra round of radiation or when she had an allergic reaction to a drug, Amy remained positive. Even when the insurance company caused delays in treatments or denied treatments, she was confident that her team of doctors and friends would find a way to get what she needed. Amy’s optimistic attitude often made her loved ones forget the magnitude of what she was going through. She always seemed to have as much concern for what everyone else had going on in their lives as her own. Amy was truly an inspiration and example to all before and during her fight with melanoma. She truly lifted those around her.
We dedicate our foundation, the Sol Survivors Melanoma Foundation, in honor and memory of Amy Dunn because she inspired a community and touched us with her story. Even though she has passed on, her legacy remains. Amy has inspired us to fight even harder against melanoma—in educating others and providing hope and support to others battling melanoma. We must never give up hope!