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Eleven years later, in 2012, another woman with connections to Auburn and the same dorm joined their circle.

While these three women bonded and helped one another through the ups and downs of the disease, across town and unbeknownst to them, another Auburn alum was fighting his own OM battle.

Most eye melanomas develop in a part of the eye you can’t see.

The early stages of the cancer rarely cause any signs or symptoms.

That statistic is exactly why two small towns — Huntersville, North Carolina, and Auburn, Alabama — are such anomalies.

“They go to an eye doctor, they get referred to a retinal specialist, and then ultimately to an ocular oncologist who makes the diagnosis.” In 2001, Allyson Allred, an Auburn University graduate living in Hoover, Alabama, received an OM diagnosis.Symptoms of OM include blurry or distorted vision, a blind spot in your vision, seeing “flashing” lights, or a dark spot in your field of vision.As the cancer progresses, you may notice that the shape of your pupil changes. “Sometimes it will get picked up on a routine eye exam.That’s why you might not be able to spot this type of melanoma the way you might a freckle or unusual mole on your skin.However, people may spot warning signs of the cancer as it grows.

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