Grandpa John poses with grandsons – then something in the image causes doctor to raise the alarm

When 30-year-old Sarah Frei took a picture of her grandpa 91-year-old John Rzeppa and his two great grand babies over Thanksgiving, she thought the picture was too cute not to share.

But by posting the image, she had no idea that what she was doing would save his life, according to  People.



The family was all together enjoying Thanksgiving at her home in Detroit. Sarah saw the sweet moment when her grandpa John, from Michigan, was holding her two baby boys and just had to take a picture to share the joy.

Sarah posted the picture on Instagram and one of her followers, Dr. Jennifer Mancuso, saw the picture and immediate alarm bells rang.

She noticed that Sarah’s grandfather had a big mark on the forehead. Jennifer, who had gone to high school with Sarah and was now a board-certified dermatologist in Detroit, thought the mark looked suspicious, and looked at some older pictures of Sarah’s grandfather. Then she noticed that the mark had grown over time.

She thought the mark on her grandfather’s forehead was just an age spot – it wasn’t.

Posted by Today Show on Monday, 7 May 2018


She suspected that the mark could be a malignant melanoma.

Posted by Sarah Elizabeth Frei on Monday, 28 March 2016


“I was scrolling through Instagram one morning and I saw this picture of Sarah’s grandpa and I’ve seen pictures of him before, but he had this very obvious melanoma on his forehead. I think anyone would recognize it with any amount of training. I looked back at some older pictures and it was clear it was growing.” Dr Mancuso told TODAY.

She immediately messaged her old school friend. Sarah was concerned when she received the message and immediately alerted her mother, Linda Renema. They knew about the mark, of course, but had been told it wasn’t anything to worry about.

“When we checked and biopsied it a few years ago, they said it was just an age spot, not to worry about it. They did remove it with dry ice and it kind of disappeared and then gradually started to come back,” Sarah told TODAY.

Her friend’s message convinced the family to take Sarah’s grandfather to the doctors and it was confirmed that the mark was skin cancer.


Posted by Sarah Elizabeth Frei on Wednesday, 16 November 2016


Her 91-year-old grandfather was a real fighter who had already survived no less than two heart attacks and prostate cancer.

Because the skin cancer was discovered in time, the doctors removed it. He later returned for a skin graft and was healed in time for his granddaughter’s wedding.

Now the family is grateful for social media – who saved their beloved grandfather.

“My mom and I have talked about this a few times … It’s amazing how social media has created this platform for good things to come from it,” said Sarah.

Please share to show all your Facebook friends that they can save lives just by looking at a picture!

Posted by Sarah Elizabeth Frei on Monday, 28 March 2016