RICE LAKE, Wis. (WCCO) — As journalists, we can only hope the stories we tell have far-reaching impact.

Every now and again they do. One Wisconsin man credits a recent story we aired for saving his life.

A Life-Saving Haircut

Although Mike Shomion and John Taylor have never met — and although they live almost 100 miles apart — they both have one hair stylist to thank for saving their lives.

“In this season of Thanksgiving, I wanted to make sure I thank WCCO-TV for their September 6th story on melanoma. I can say it probably saved my life,” Shomion said.

Shomion is referencing Taylor’s story. It was while getting a haircut when his hair stylist, Felicia Reed, noticed a suspicious mole that ended up being melanoma.

“[Taylor] mentioned that it wasn’t something he hadn’t noticed,” Shomion said. “It wasn’t raised or elevated…and all of a sudden, they tell him, he’s got melanoma.”

Shomion said the thing on his head reminded him of a mole he’s had for a while on his upper leg.

The next morning, he made an appointment with his doctor, who decided to err on the side of caution and remove the mole.

“I was ready to go, and the nurse said, ‘Um, you better sit down and wait for the doctor,” Shomion said. “She came in…and said it did come back positive for cancer: melanoma.”

Luckily, Shomion’s doctor says they caught the cancer before it spread to the lymph nodes. She says it may have been a different story had he waited even six more months to get the mole checked.

“I think it was kind of a fate moment where that story was on that night to tell me: ‘You need to do something, Mike,’” Shomion said.

He also said it was no coincidence that it all happened right around Thanksgiving.

“We have many things to be thankful of, and I was more thankful than usual because of everything that’s happened,” Shomion said. “I think it’s a more special holiday season this year because of that.”

Shomion says he doesn’t have any family history of skin cancer. He says this story should serve as a reminder to all: Check your moles, even if they don’t look suspicious.


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