Move for Melanoma Fundraising Tips

The Countdown is On!


Easy Fundraising Tools


To all of you who have already registered, a big thank you! With 25 days to go, we’ve already reached 45% of our fundraising goal. But we can’t stop here!

Soliciting donations doesn’t come naturally to everyone. That’s why we’ve created some fundraising templates that you can use.

These are pre-written messages you can customize and post to your social media or send by email to your friends and family. We wrote five different messages, so you can use the one you prefer, or use a different one every week.

To check out the templates and other resources, click here.

And don’t forget, if you don’t ask, the answer is always no! Most people who know you and your journey would probably love to support you, they just need a tangible way to do it. By asking for help, you’re gifting them with an excellent opportunity to show you they care.


Register if you haven’t already


It’s not too late to register, but don’t wait much longer. We’ll be sending our beautiful branded Lululemon shirts and other goodies to all Team Captains next week.

If you have any questions about how to register or what it involves, check out our Q&A page here, or email


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The Importance of Exercising for Maintaining Good Mental Health

How often do you take a moment to check in with your mental health? For many, this aspect of life can be overshadowed or it can conjure up feelings ranging from confusion to contentment. As a result, it is important to acknowledge that even good mental health can include feelings of sadness, anxiety, and anger. The key is knowing how to manage these feelings in a healthy way and how to find a balance in which you can still enjoy life. That being said, in the midst of a global health crisis it is understandable for an individual’s mental health to be significantly impacted. It is common to feel nervous for the future, to feel isolated, and to feel higher levels of stress than usual. Fortunately, the most commonly made New Year’s resolution is also known to be a major remedy in improvement of mental health. The benefits of exercising regularly impact a wide array of areas in the human body so it comes as no surprise that it also results in stronger emotional well being.

How Exercise Impacts Mental Health

Exercise has been proven to minimize daily stress, improve quality and duration of sleep, increase feelings of confidence and improve performance in the classroom at all age levels.* These benefits have a strong correlation with mental health and only make up a fraction of the overall advantages associated with consistent physical activity. You may be wondering what exact mechanisms relate exercise to improved mental health. The answer can be divided into what occurs neurologically, physically and socially from physical activity. For example, neurotransmitters like dopamine, serotonin and noradrenaline are released during exercise and play a vital role in increasing mood. These chemicals can also stimulate the brain to improve attention span and memory which is useful in conducting daily activities.** On the other hand, regular exercise can result in physical changes to the body like weight loss and muscular gain. These changes along with a stronger mood can result in greater confidence and a desire to recreate the feeling from exercising. In addition, the amount of social interactions we have can increase through participating in physical activity. This can happen from joining sports, group fitness classes, or simply working out with friends. An increase in social interactions generally results in individuals feeling happier and well supported. With this underlying knowledge of mental health and exercise you can start to make changes and incorporate physical activity into your daily life.

How to Reap the Benefits of Exercise

For individuals starting their fitness journey the big question is typically: how much exercise is needed to produce effective results? The answers vary depending on the professional asked, the article read, or the study conducted. Taking this into account, the generally accepted response is to do what feels best for you and your body. This could mean going for runs every morning, going to the gym or following along with YouTube workouts. The current state of the virus may make it difficult to visit the gym but with outdoor and at home workouts becoming more prevalent, coaching guides are more accessible than ever. The summer weather can make outdoor workouts increasingly appealing, however extra precautions must be taken to protect our skin from the sun.

With that in mind, check out our list of Sun Safety Apparel Suppliers and our Prevention page. Our website also contains other Mental Health Resources and recordings of Mental Health Webinars. In conclusion, take the time to check in with yourself and utilize the benefits of exercise but always make sure you’re protecting yourself from harmful UV rays as you do so.


* For further detail regarding mental health and exercise see “Psychology Works Fact Sheet: Physical Activity, Mental Health and Motivation” by the Canadian Psychological Association,

** For more information on the brain effects of exercise watch “The brain-changing benefits of exercise | Wendy Suzuki,”

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ASCO 2020 Event Report

In 2020, the American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting was held online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The meeting took place from May 29th-31st, with the last two days being devoted to online presentations.

This report will be dedicated to the presentations that representatives from Save Your Skin Foundation remotely attended, with a focus on melanoma, innovative treatments, and survivorship. The information in this report is sourced directly, occasionally verbatim, from ASCO presentations and abstracts. If you require more information on an abstract, the clinical trial numbers (where available) are included for your reference.

Please CLICK HERE to read or download the report.


Feedback or questions?  Contact us –

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SYSF Webinar – Melanoma Treatment FAQs: Do’s, Don’ts, and How to Manage Side Effects


Recording available! 

Join us to hear the latest updates on current immunotherapy and targeted therapy treatments for melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers in Canada. 

Dr. Smylie and Dr. Iafolla will hold a panel discussion on recommended dietary and lifestyle habits while on treatment, as well as managing toxicities from fever and pneumonitis to dermatologic complications from immune checkpoint inhibitors.


  • Dr. Michael Smylie, Medical Oncologist, Cross Cancer Institute, Professor, Department of Oncology, University of Alberta, Edmonton
  • Dr. Marco Iafolla, MD, MSc, FRCPC, Assistant Professor, University of Toronto, Medical Oncologist, Genitourinary and Cutaneous Site Lead, William Osler HS

Click HERE to view the recording!


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Move for Melanoma is Back

This September, join us from your living room, your yard, your neighbourhood park, or your favorite trail to move your body and fundraise for a great cause!

Being physically apart won’t stop us from coming together!



On September 26-27th, Save Your Skin Foundation will be hosting its 2nd annual Move for Melanoma activity challenge across Canada to raise funds for melanoma, non-melanoma skin cancer, and ocular melanoma patients.

Since physical distancing protocols will likely still be in effect at the time of the event, we have reimagined it to allow you to attend virtually. As the saying goes, “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade”! It’s in this spirit that we’ve decided to make the best of this situation by ramping up our game this year with a virtual opening ceremony, games and prizes for your whole family and physical challenges you can take part in from the comfort of your own home!


We’ve made it super easy for you to participate!

Simply follow these steps:





Why: Save Your Skin Foundation is the only organization in Canada that supports skin cancer patients financially when they need it most. All the money raised through your donations goes directly to patients in the form of cab fares, treatment costs, flights, accommodation and other necessary but costly expenses incurred while receiving treatment. In the past year, we have received more requests for support than we could afford to fulfill. Having to say no to a patient in need is something we dread doing. With your support, we won’t have to do it this year!

Charities across Canada are suffering from the COVID-19 pandemic. Donations are down across the board. SYSF is no exception. We had to cancel our Gala this spring and regular donations have been in slow decline. And yet, skin cancer continues to be diagnosed at an alarming rate.

Furthermore, a recent survey we conducted has confirmed our fears: melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancer patients are encountering additional difficulties due to the pandemic, from treatments being postponed, to difficulty getting in contact with their care team. Needless to say, financial worries should be the last thing on the mind of cancer patients as they navigate these stressful times. Help us make sure we have the resources needed to allow everyone the same chance of survival.


Larry & Kara Perehudoff showing off their SYS jerseys during last year’s event.


Choose an activity from the list below or come up with your own!

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Whether you’re a survivor who wants to bring hope to newly diagnosed patients, a family member or friend of a patient who wants to send a powerful message of solidarity to patients across Canada, or a patient who wants to help change the face of cancer forever, we invite you to take a stance against melanoma and to move with us this September!

Hand in hand, we fight melanoma together!


For more info on supporting Save Your Skin Foundation, check out our Volunteer page.

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New Sun Safety T-shirts

During the month of May, SYSF ran a drawing contest titled “This is What Sun Safety Looks Like” in order to find a new design to adorn our sun safety t-shirts. The contest was aimed at youth under the age of 16. Once the contest submission period was over, we invited the general public to vote for their favourite drawing. The winning drawing, submitted to us by Miley from Scotchlake, NS, won by a landslide. Her drawing, depicting an umbrella, a tube of sunscreen and a water bottle on a road trip to Sun Safety Way in a vintage Volkswagon van, won us over with its fun interpretation of sun safety.

Our new t-shirts and other merchandise, which bear the awesome design, are now on sale in our brand new online merchandise store. We also have some awesome tote bags with the design!

All proceeds made from the sale of our merchandise goes directly to assisting patients meet their everyday needs during treatment in the form of transportation, accommodation, child care, lost wages and more.

Get your very own sun safety t-shirts and tote bags by visiting our brand new store!

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Recording available!


Hear a panel discussion from the Surgical and Medical Oncology perspective on how melanoma treatment has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.


Treatment side effects
Common side effects of targeted therapy and immunotherapies in melanoma
How side effects may overlap with COVID-19 symptoms
What to watch for
How to effectively manage key common side effects of targeted therapy and immunotherapies

Nicole Look Hong, MD, M.Sc., Surgeon, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
Marcus Butler, MD, Medical Oncology, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre
Massey Nematollahi, RN, CNS, OCN, CON, Immuno-Oncology Clinical Nurse Specialist, William Osler Health System

Kathy Barnard, melanoma survivor, and Founder, Save Your Skin Foundation

Click HERE to listen to the recording  

To view the educational video developed by the team at William Osler Health System please Click HERE

To learn more about the COVID-19 Cancer Patient Support Hub and resources mentioned by Kathy, please visit this website:



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Survey on the Affects of COVID-19

From April 9th, 2020— April 27th, 2020, Save Your Skin Foundation ran a patient survey titled “Impact of COVID-19 pandemic on Canadian melanoma, ocular melanoma, and non-melanoma skin cancer patients.” The survey consisted of 21 questions, which ranged between multiple choice, multi-selection, and write-in, and participants had the option to skip any question. The goal of the survey was to assess the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the medical, social, and financial security of melanoma, non-melanoma skin cancer, and ocular melanoma patients.

To read the full report of the survey, click here. 


Here are some of the key findings of the survey: 



→ A third of respondents (32%) reported having difficulty accessing ‘other’ care  during the COVID-19 pandemic.

→ Similarly, a third of respondents (34%) reported having no issue with their continuity of oncology care during the COVID-19 pandemic.

→ Just over a third of respondents (36%) said they have had no issues in receiving their scheduled drug therapy or treatment during the COVID-19 pandemic.

→ Two thirds (67%) or respondents reported having, or being offered, telephone or videoconference appointments with a health professional since February 2020.  Just over half (52%) or respondents stated they found these types of appointments to be a suitable substitution for their regular appointments, while 17% felt they were not an appropriate substitution.

→ One in five respondents (20%) reported having some issues receiving drug therapy or treatment prescribed by their oncologist during the COVID-19 pandemic, with a further 4% reporting they have had ‘a lot’ of issues receiving this care. The types of care being affected ranged from routine appointments, prescription drugs, drug trials and scheduled treatments or procedures.

→ Only 4% of respondents reported having no trust in their healthcare team to provide appropriate care and treatment to them during the COVID-19 pandemic.

→ Nine out of ten respondents (87%) reported an increase in their anxiety levels, ranging from “somewhat” (53%) to “a lot” (33%).

→ More than half or respondents (56%) expressed fear that they or others they know are more at risk for COVID-19 due to being immunocompromised.

→ Half (49%) are experiencing anxiety, fear, stress or overwhelm for themselves or others.

→ A third (31%) are experiencing loneliness or isolation.

→ Nearly a third (29%) are experiencing frustration or anger.

→ Nearly half of respondents (45%) reported experiencing difficulty accessing information related to COVID-19.

→ Nearly half (43%) reported experiencing difficulty attending appointments or seeking necessary healthcare because of fear of exposure to COVID-19.

→ Half of respondents (47%) reported having some level of difficulty accessing food and/or food delivery during COVID-19.

→ The majority of respondents (76%) reported having no trouble accessing transportation during COVID-19.

→ Eight out of ten respondents (80%) reported having difficulty keeping in touch with their friends and family during the pandemic, of which, 16% reporting having “a lot” of difficulty.

→ French-speaking respondents reported a much higher percentage of postponed surgeries relative to English-speaking respondents.

→ French-speaking respondents reported very little current difficulties reaching their healthcare professionals when taking the survey, but reported an extremely high feeling that there would be future disruptions in their care.


In Conclusion

The results of this survey suggests that cancer patients across Canada are experiencing the same COVID-related social and financial anxiety as others. However, they also have the added stress of navigating an already complex medical system in this time, having treatments rescheduled and appointments online, and being higher risk. It is imperative that we keep in mind segments of the population who are having particular difficulty at this time, and support them however we can.

That is why Save Your Skin Foundation created the COVID-19 Information Hub and partnered with several other organizations to launch a COVID-19 Oncology task force and to offer webinars to support melanoma patients during this crisis. As the support needed by melanoma and skin cancer patients continues to evolve in these fast changing times, we are committed to adapt our services and initiatives accordingly. We continue to work closely with melanoma patients and their families to ensure they have the support and resources they need to access the best specialists and treatments. The affects of COVID-19 have only confirmed our dedication to developing innovative national strategies and advocating for better access to new therapies and the prioritization of cancer funding.

For the COVID-19 pandemic, we recognized the need for research and development into vaccine and treatments, and the need for easy timely effective testing and contact tracing and have supported research into these and quick approval for access to them.

From that experience, it has become clear 1. That the already poor times to diagnosis and treatment for cancer patients have been exasperated by the pandemic, and 2. That the supposedly rigid rules about how clinical trials are done and getting drugs to people only after phase 3 trials are complete, are only discretionary for COVID-19 related treatments and vaccines, but both of these need to be addressed for cancer post-COVID.

Future pandemic planning MUST include cancer patient groups and must draw on what the actual implementation taught us. In the near future, we have a meeting with multi PAGs to have a preliminary discussion on these issues and how to move forward together to organize these issues.

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Save Your Skin Partners with the Quebec Cancer Foundation

It is with great pride that the Quebec Cancer Foundation and Save Your Skin Foundation announce that they have joined forces in order to optimize the support offered to people living with cancer and their loved ones.

This partnership agreement will allow French-speaking people in Canada who are affected by skin cancer and ocular melanoma to be better served and to have better access to telephone support in French.

Save Your Skin Foundation will now be able to offer telephone support to its French-speaking clientele—in Quebec but also in the rest of the country—by redirecting them to the documentalists and experienced oncology nurses of the Quebec Cancer Foundation’s Info-cancer Services.

For the Quebec Cancer Foundation, the goal is to get closer to the people by going wherever they were not present before and to give support to those who need it, regardless of their type of cancer.

Save Your Skin Foundation will thus be able to offer its clientele all the benefits of the three components of the Quebec Cancer Foundation’s Info-cancer Services.

First of all, they will have access to the Info-cancer hotline, which allows them to talk to experienced oncology nurses who, in total confidentiality, can give answers and reassurance on all aspects of cancer. If necessary, they can also be referred to a free consultation service with a nutritionist or psychologist.

Info-cancer Services also includes the Info-cancer Library—the largest specialized French-language library of its type in North America. It contains a vast collection of books on every aspect of cancer and on ways of living better with the disease. Loans are free and sent by mail, anywhere in Quebec.

Finally, they will be able to benefit from the telephone peer matching service, which allows people affected by cancer or loved ones to be paired with specially trained sympathetic volunteers who have had a similar cancer experience. These volunteers are there to provide moral support and practical information to anyone affected by cancer—from the time of diagnosis, throughout the treatments, and even afterwards.

Through this partnership, Save Your Skin Foundation and the Quebec Cancer Foundation are consolidating their goals of supporting the community with sensitivity and humanism, of improving their ways of doing things, of defending the interests of people affected by the disease, and of mobilizing their forces to address important issues.

“Getting a cancer diagnosis is never easy. Having more information can help you feel more in control. Save Your Skin Foundation wants to bring hope and support to all those who are newly diagnosed, undergoing treatment, or in remission. We invite all skin cancer and ocular melanoma patients to contact us at any time.” says Kathy Barnard, President of the Save Your Skin Foundation and melanoma survivor.

For the Quebec Cancer Foundation, this agreement is essential, as is the development of new partnerships. “Joining forces with new partners such as the Save Your Skin Foundation will allow us to help more people affected by cancer. By working hand in hand with other organizations, we are no longer duplicating our services but, on the contrary, working to develop complementary services for the benefit of the thousands undergoing this ordeal.” says Marco Décelles, Director General of the Quebec Cancer Foundation.

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Drawing Contest Winner

We are pleased to announce that the winner of our 2020 Melanoma Awareness Month Drawing Contest is:

Miley of Scotchlake, Nova Scotia!


Her beautiful drawing will adorn the next edition of the SYSF t-shirt. Get your sun safety T-shirts and Tote Bags HERE!

Miley will be receiving a $100 Amazon gift card to thank her for her amazing effort. Thank you to everyone who participated in our very first drawing contest by submitting a drawing, sharing our posts and/or voting. We couldn’t have done it without you!



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