New eye cancer drug approved in Canada, but not offered in every province

Global News Toronto, June 12, 2022

Ocumel Canada and Save Your Skin Foundation applaud Health Canada’s approval of Kimmtrak® (tebentafusp) for the treatment of unresectable or metastatic uveal melanoma in HLA-A*02:01-positive adult patients, and we now hope that every province and territory will take swift steps to list this drug on their public formularies in order to make this therapy available to patients across Canada.

To view the full interview, please click HERE

Melanoma Diagnosis: Being Proactive Can Be Life-Changing

ELLE Canada, June 3, 2022

Having informed conversations with your health-care providers, knowing your genetic status & building a support network can make a difference.  Brianna and Genevieve—both recently diagnosed with melanoma—can attest to this first-hand.

To read the full article, please click HERE

Opinion: Canada’s poor health data infrastructure killed my brother, June 1, 2022

This powerful OpEd by Teri Price of Greg’s Wings highlights the lack of patient safety in the health care system and the life-threatening gaps in access to patient information, while drawing attention to the Pan-Canadian Health Data Strategy as a way forward.  SYSF is one of 20 patient groups who have endorsed the Declaration of Personal Health Data Rights in Canada, aimed at advocating for the personal health data rights of Canadians.

To read the full article, please click HERE

Health data should follow the patient

Winnipeg Free Press, May 30, 2022

This OpEd by Linda Wilhelm, President of the Canadian Arthritis Patient Alliance, on the need for better health data sharing.
SYSF is one of 20 patient groups who have endorsed the Declaration of Personal Health Data Rights in Canada, aimed at advocating for the personal health data rights of Canadians.

To read the full article, please click HERE

Council Hears About Melanoma And Skin Cancers

Mayor Clive Tolley has declared the month of May as Melanoma and Skin Cancer Awareness Month. With the sunny summer weather seemingly back for another year Moose Jaw Council heard through how not properly protecting yourself from too much sun could lead to skin cancer.

Speaking virtually to Council, skin cancer survivor Kathy Barnard, spoke about about her personal cancer journey and the need for people to take precautions when out in the sun.

To read the full articles, please click here:

Moose Jaw Independent, May 26, 2022
Moose Jaw Today, May 28, 2022

Are you protecting yourself from one of the most common cancers?

NewmarketToday, May 14, 2022

Barnard urges Canadians to take preventive measures, such as wearing at least 30 SPF sunscreen and UV protective clothing, limiting exposure to sunlight between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., and seeking medical care for any skin abnormalities.

“Melanoma is now the seventh most common cancer in Canada and the fourth most common among people ages 18 to 29,” she said. “It is one of the few cancers with incident rates on the rise among Canadians.”

To read the full article, please click HERE

May is Melanoma Awaress Month in New Westminster

New Westminster Record, May 12, 2022

Kathy Barnard is the founder of the Save Your Skin Foundation, a non-profit organization that she and her family founded in 2006, in an effort to ensure that anyone diagnosed with melanoma would not have to travel the journey alone.  “In 2003 I was diagnosed with the deadliest form of skin cancer, melanoma, and by 2005 it had spread to my liver, lungs, adrenal glands and kidneys, and I was given six months,” she said.  According to Barnard, skin cancer is the most common of all cancers – with one in six Canadians born in the 1990s expected to get skin cancer in their lifetimes. She said there are more new cases of skin cancer each year than the number of breast, prostate, lung and colon cancers combined.

To read the full article, please click HERE

As temperatures soar, sun shines, a reminder to protect your skin

Orillia Matters, May 11, 2022

Save Your Skin Foundation founder Kathy Barnard gave a deputation to Orillia, Ontario, city council recently to discuss the services offered by her organization and preventative steps that Canadians can take to avoid skin cancers. ‘Melanoma is now the seventh most common cancer in Canada and the fourth most common among people ages 18 to 29,’ Save Your Skin Foundation founder tells council.

To read the full article, please click HERE

Mayor Katchur promotes skin cancer awareness and prevention

Fort Saskatchewan Record, May 5, 2022

The City of Fort Saskatchewan is encouraging residents to take care of their skin this summer. Mayor Katchur made the proclamation in partnership with the Save Your Skin Foundation (SYSF)– a national patient-led non-profit, dedicated to skin cancer awareness and prevention.

To read the full article, please click HERE

It Takes a Village to Stand Up to Cancer

MACLEAN’S, April 25, 2022

Through Dr. Bernstein, Helen connected with Save Your Skin Foundation, which has been instrumental in providing her with both practical and moral support. “They’ve been absolutely fabulous,” says Helen. “They’re very grassroots. They’ve provided information, positivity, and strong advocacy. They’ve encouraged me to keep asking questions, whether I like the answers or not.”

To read the full article, please click HERE

Media across the United States on the Sty-Lives Program

March 2022

Check out all the additional coverage here:

Good Morning America
ABC News

Hairdressers Are Being Encouraged To Join This Program Which Will Help Them Spot Skin Cancer On Their Clients

CHIPCHICK March 5, 2022

There are some parts of our body that we can not thoroughly inspect, believe it or not. This is why one of the best people for the job is your local hairdresser! Skin cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in Canada, which is why the Save Your Skin Foundation has partnered with two medical students to develop a program called Sty-Lives, Styling Hair, and Saving Lives.

To read the full article, please click HERE

Media coverage for “A Viking’s Challenge” 3rd Edition – March 2022

Abbotsford man battling cancer holds virtual fundraiser for Save Your Skin Foundation
Chris Isfeld and friend Shawn Bjornsson of Winnipeg hold third annual A Viking’s Challenge

Click these links to read the full articles:

Learn how to spot potential skin cancer on your clients

BeautyCouncil –  Feb. 18, 2022

We have teamed up with the Save your Skin Foundation to help you spots signs of possible skin cancer on clients through their Sty-Lives program.

To read more, and see the interview below with Marianne Gagnon, Program and Event Director, Save Your Skin Foundation, please click HERE.

Styling hair, spotting cancer ~ Penticton woman hopes to train hairstylists to watch for cancer

Castanet, Feb. 11, 2022

When a Penticton man’s hairstylist wife gave him his usual trim, he had no idea it was going to change his life and feed into a new national project aimed at tackling skin cancer.  Dunn and his wife reached out to Kathy Barnard, founder of the Save Your Skin Foundation dedicated to fighting skin cancer, who is also their neighbour in Penticton. She got him hooked up with a specialist, and sure enough, the dark spot was melanoma, and he was scheduled for surgery.

To read the full article, please click HERE.

Hairdressers learning to identify signs of skin cancer with new training program

CBC, Feb. 10, 2022

Your hairdresser could save your life — in further proof that not all heroes wear capes.

Salons across the province are training their stylists to detect early signs of skin cancer in customers through a program called Sty-Lives — short for Styling Hair and Saving Lives.

To read the full article, please click HERE.

On World Cancer Day, Patients Call on Canada’s Premiers to Fight the Echo Pandemic of Cancer

National Newswatch, Feb. 4, 2022

The pandemic has exacerbated cancer problems. While before the pandemic it was estimated that more than 225,000 Canadians would be diagnosed with cancer in 2020, in that year cancer diagnoses fell by approximately 40 per cent as they were unable or afraid to access care. More than half of patients (54%) had cancer appointments cancelled, postponed, or rescheduled.
To read the full article, please click HERE.

Salons across Canada join skin cancer detection training

The Kelly Cutrara Show – Global News Radio 640 Toronto, Jan. 18, 2022

Kelly chats with Natalie Richardson, a melanoma survivor who works for the Save Your Skin Foundation, and helped launch the Sty-Lives initiative.  To listen to the interview, please click HERE.
Check out additional coverage here too:
NY Post
Squamish Chief
The U.S. Sun

Salons across Canada join skin cancer detection training

CTV News – Northern Ontario, Jan. 17, 2022

Hairstylists from a dozen salons across Canada are being taught to detect suspicious skin lesions on clients in a program led by two northern Ontario medical students.

To read the article, please click HERE, and to watch the interview click HERE


Two northern Ont. med students leading national skin cancer detection program

CTV Northern Ontario, Dec 8, 2021

Two medical students from Northern Ontario School of Medicine (NOSM) are leading an innovative new program to train hairstylists and barbers across Canada to spot suspected skin cancer on their clients.

To view the article, please click HERE.

non-melanoma skin cancers

Differentiating between Non-Melanoma Skin Cancers 

Health Insight, Dec 1, 2021

Early detection is also important for protecting yourself from skin cancerWhen caught early, skin cancer is usually very treatable. Examine your skin regularly to look for new moles and changes in existing moles. To view the article, please click HERE.

In the same campaign, SYSF Board Member Lyall Woz was interviewed for this article: After Beating Skin Cancer, the Holiday Season Takes On New Meaning

Cancer survivor readying for second marathon fundraiser

CHEK News, Sept 23, 2021

Ocular melanoma survivor Nigel Deacon completed his first marathon fundraiser for the annual Move for Melanoma event last year. Deacon’s run also introduced him to other ocular melanoma patients and survivors on the Island such as Alison Schwartz.

To view the article, please click HERE.

Family team to throw axes for six hours to support member and other patients battling cancer

Campbell River Mirror, Sept 17, 2021

The small but mighty Laurence B. ‘For Life’ Team is participating in the third annual Move for Melanoma 2021 event to raise funds to support Laurence Butler and all the others living with melanoma, non-melanoma skin cancer and ocular melanoma across Canada.

To view the article, please click HERE.

The Summer Sun is back

Elle Canada, July 13, 2021

“Today, even patients with advanced cancers have good cause for hope,” says Medical Oncologist Dr. Michael Smylie. “A decade ago, if you had stage 4 melanoma, you had only about a 15 to 20% chance of surviving five years. Today we are seeing up to half of these patients, in the right circumstances, surviving five years or longer.”

To view the article, please click HERE.

CSA Member Profile: Louise Binder, Save Your Skin Foundation & Chair of the BioCanRx – Cancer Stakeholder Alliance Working Group

BioCanRX, July 5, 2021

Save Your Skin Foundation was founded and is led by a cancer survivor, Kathleen Barnard, who, like myself, had originally been given no chance of survival due to her disease.

To view the article, please click HERE.

Record-breaking temperatures expected until at least Tuesday

Times Colonist, June 25, 2021

The Save your Skin Foundation recommends seeking shade whenever possible and limiting your exposure between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. when the sun is strongest.

To view the article, please click HERE.

UBC dermatologist sheds light on sunscreen misconceptions

CityNews, June 23, 2021

In her youth, Richardson says she would spend a lot of time in the sun. And ever since she could remember, she had a mole on her hip.

But over the course of about six to eight months, it started to change colour, shape and size.

To view the article, please click HERE.

Melanoma awareness month: why you should wear sunscreen every day

Fleurish with Fleur, May 18, 2021

May is Melanoma and Skin Cancer Awareness Month and I feel compelled to, obviously, speak on this matter. Skin cancer is one of the most preventable forms of cancer. Sun is the number one cause of skin cancer and, currently, Canada has one of the highest skin cancer rates in the world.

To view the article, please click HERE.

New West residents urged to play it safe in the sun

New Westminster Record, May 14, 2021

As folks head outdoors to enjoy the warmer weather, they’re being reminded of the need to be sun safe.

Kathleen Barnard, founder of Save Your Skin Foundation, is urging community members to take steps to prevent skin cancer.

To view the article, please click HERE.

Vancouver Canucks player helps raise awareness about skin cancer

CTV News, May 13, 2021

Vancouver Canucks forward JT Miller and his wife Natalie are raising awareness after her mother died of melanoma.

To view the article, please click HERE.

Real Patients Speak: Metastatic Melanoma

Canadian Health and Family on CTV, May 10, 2021

In this segment, we hear from Dr. Marcus Butler from Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, Kathy Barnard from Save Your Skin, and Shannon, who has been living with metastatic melanoma since 2005.

To view the video, please click HERE.

Canucks’ JT Miller Partners with Charity to Promote Skin Cancer Awareness

C-FAX 1070, April 28, 2021

Vancouver Canucks forward JT Miller is partnering with the Save Your Skin Foundation to promote melanoma and skin cancer awareness.

To view the article, please click HERE.

More outdoor activity increasing risk of skin cancer

Radio Canada International, April 28, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many Canadians to stay home but health authorities across the country have encouraged people to spend more time outdoors where transmission of the virus is less likely than it is indoors. Canadians have embraced the advice and parks, trails and streets are much more crowded than they were pre-pandemic.

To view the article, please click HERE.

Buttons made with love – Local girl’s creations support two organizations

Winnipeg Free Press, March 16, 2021

Drea Macduff-Thiessen loves helping people. She also loves creating things. So, it shouldn’t have been too much of a surprise when the Southdale resident decided to combine these two passions to create Designs by Drea last summer.

With the help of her grandmother, Suzanne Macduff-Brennan, the 11-year-old started making and selling buttons that attach to a pair of glasses when one needs to wear a mask. These buttons were purchased across Canada, and the proceeds were equally donated to the Save Your Skin Foundation and the Melanoma Network of Canada.

To view the article, please click HERE.

Prevent and Protect Your Skin From Cancer

Health Insight, March 11, 2021

Prevention and early detection are the best defence against skin cancer, which is very treatable if caught early, and the risk factors are well-known. This article is part of a Cancer Care & Support campaign featured in Macleans Magazine.

To view the article, please click HERE.
To view the whole campaign, please click HERE.

Patient groups want funding to ease deadly cancer backlog, March 10, 2021

Advocates push government to increase funding to handle delays in cancer diagnoses and treatment.

Cancer patients and their advocates called upon the federal government on Wednesday to pick up a larger portion of the country’s healthcare costs, echoing a plea by the country’s premiers earlier this week.

Canada’s healthcare system, financially strained at the best of times, has been pushed to the limit by the pandemic that patient groups say threatens the quality of care Canadians deserve.

To view the article, please click HERE.

Abbotsford cancer survivor holds virtual fundraiser for Save Your Skin Foundation

Abbotsford News, March 5, 2021

An Abbotsford cancer survivor is inviting people across Canada to run a distance of their choice in their hometown to raise money for the Save Your Skin Foundation.

Chris Isfeld, a late-stage melanoma survivor, is holding A Viking’s Challenge on March 6 and 7.

To view the interview, please click HERE.

Meet the Patients: Shannon Gaudette

Innovative Medicines Canada, March 3, 2021

In 2005, Shannon Gaudette, 48, was diagnosed with melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer. Since then, Shannon endured numerous surgeries, as well as radiation therapy, before receiving a new immunotherapy treatment she first heard about through Save Your Skin Foundation.

To view the interview, please click HERE.

Skin cancer non-profit invites Canadians to take part in A Viking’s Challenge

North Shore News, Feb 24, 2021

After a melanoma survivor completed a massive – and frigid – running challenge last year, a North Vancouver-based national skin cancer prevention and awareness organization wants to virtually recreate the event for participants across the country.

To view the interview, please click HERE.

Empowering Cancer Patients to Self Advocate

Zoomer Radio February 11 2021

Libby Znaimer is joined by cancer survivor, Kathleen Barnard. In 2003, she was diagnosed with stage IV malignant melanoma. She is the founder of the Save Your Skin Foundation which empowers patients to take an active role in their care.

To listen to the interview, please click HERE.

Hal’s Headlines

Winnipeg Sun, Feb 13, 2021

It’s happening again this year but this time, you can take part. Last March, Chris Isfeld ran 30 kilometres across frozen Lake Winnipeg and raised almost $20,000 for melanoma patients. This year, Chris hopes you’ll participate virtually in the second Viking’s Challenge next month by paying a $50 registration fee and running any distance you can.

To view the article, please click HERE.

theZoomer on Immunotherapy

The Zoomer, Jan 26, 2021

Libby Znaimer hosts a discussion with oncologists, a researcher and a cancer survivor (Kathleen Barnard) about the latest immunotherapy and its growing role in treating the most serious cancers.

To watch the video, please click HERE.

Beautiful Skin Is Healthy Skin: Love Your Natural Skin Tone

True North Living, Dec 31, 2020

It’s no secret that for a long time Western culture has had an obsession with tanning, whether on the beach or at a tanning salon. We need to change the conversation around “beautiful skin” to remove tanning from the picture. Beautiful skin is healthy skin.

To view the article, please click HERE.

The Need For Safe and Affordable Transportation for Cancer Patients

Breakfast Television, Dec 29, 2020

Breakfast Television Toronto speaks with Save Your Skin Foundation Project Coordinator Chantele Burroughs about the COVID-19 Cancer Patient Support Hub taxi program and how cancer patients can take a taxi using the taxi subsidy program.

To watch the interview, please click HERE.

No Patient Left Behind: A call to action on cancer during COVID

National Newswatch, Nov 23, 2020

In the midst of COVID-19’s myriad of impacts, one stands out: in the systemic effort to combat this virus, other life-threatening illnesses have taken a back seat, including cancer.

We must fix this situation now. If we don’t, the result may well be another public health crisis.

To view the article, please click HERE.

Immunotherapy – The New ‘Fourth Pillar’ of Cancer Treatment 

Zoomer, Nov 20, 2020

Among the first Canadians to benefit from modern cancer immunotherapy treatment was Kathy Barnard of North Vancouver. Just as she was running out of treatment options, she was enrolled in 2007 in an early immunotherapy study in Alberta.

To read the article, please click HERE.

Abbotsford family participates in fundraiser for melanoma patients

The Abbotsford News, Sept 25, 2020

An Abbotsford woman who survived Stage 4 cancer is participating on Saturday, Sept. 26 in an event that raises money for the Save Your Skin Foundation.

Shannon Gaudette and her family are hiking the 14-kilometre Norvan Falls Trail in North Vancouver as part of the virtual Move for Melanoma event.

To view the article, please click HERE.

Paddling for Melanoma

Global News Edmonton, Sept 24, 2020

Local eye cancer survivor Leanne Reeb will paddle for 7 hours to raise funds and awareness for melanoma. Su-Ling Goh reports.

Victoria man who beat cancer set to run marathon  

CHEK News, Sept 22, 2020

Nigel Deacon was diagnosed with ocular melanoma in 2010. On Saturday, he will run an entire marathon to raise funds for others fighting the rare form of cancer.

Kathy Barnard interviewed by Allan Gee  

EZ Rock Penticton, Sept 22, 2020

Kathy Barnard joins Allan Gee from EZ Rock Penticton to discuss the upcoming Move for Melanoma 2020 event, her journey with melanoma and founding Save Your Skin Foundation.

Rare cancer survivor paddling down North Saskatchewan River for melanoma research  

Sept 20, 2020

Edmonton Journal
Edmonton Sun
The Chronicle Herald
SaltWire Network

A local rare cancer survivor is taking a challenge to ride a paddleboard from Fort Edmonton to Fort Saskatchewan to raise money for people with ocular melanoma and skin cancer.

The Save Your Skin Foundation is holding it’s second annual Move for Melanoma activity challenge Sept. 26-27.

Victoria man to run marathon after overcoming rare cancer

Sept 20, 2020

Peninsula News Review
BC Local News
Goldstream News Gazette

A Victoria man diagnosed with a rare form of eye cancer five years ago will run the distance of a marathon to raise funds for others who are dealing with the same diagnosis.

Nigel Deacon was diagnosed with ocular melanoma in 2010. Two years later the cancer spread and Deacon “thought it was game over,” and registered for hospice care.

A terminal cancer survivor and advocate from Penticton is raising funds for Melanoma

Castanet, Sept 15, 2020

The Save Your Skin Foundation will be hosting its second annual Move for Melanoma activity Challenge, organized by a Penticton local who’s a terminal cancer survivor.

Kathy Barnard was diagnosed with melanoma in 2003 and given just six months to live. She and her family gathered up their savings and went to the US for experimental treatments, where they were able to ship the drug to Canada and receive treatment in Alberta.

To view the article, please click HERE.

Told THREE MONTHS to Live… But Winning: Kathy Barnard and Natalie Richardson

 Grappling with Grief, Sept 10, 2020

Kathy and Natalie were both diagnosed with late-stage skin cancer. In Kathy’s case, she was given a prognosis of three-to-six months. Hear their stories of battling and overcoming physical and mental adversity, plus learn about warning signs of skin cancer and the simple things we can all do to be preventative.

To watch the video, please click HERE.

5 Organizations and Clinics Fighting Skin Cancer, July 12, 2020

When dealing with skin cancer, early detection is key. That’s why the organizations listed here are committed to spreading the word about how to protect yourself against skin cancer and encouraging everyone to get checked early and often, along with providing support for those with melanoma and other cancers.

To watch the video, please click HERE.

Louise Binder: We’re expediting COVID-19 treatments. Why can’t we do the same for cancer?

Ottawa Citizen, June 22, 2020

The question I continue to struggle with is why we can fast-track trial design and approvals, and get lifesaving treatments into people’s hands at breakneck speed (from a research standpoint) in cases like COVID -19, but not for cancer patients and other serious conditions.

To view the article, please click HERE.

Columns and Letters: Save your skin!

Bonny H.J. MacIsaac, Inverness Oran, June 9, 2020

Back in the ’90s, I lost a very dear friend to melanoma. I still think back to our last visit and how heart breaking it was. I made a promise to myself and his mother that I would write a column each year on this deadly form of skin cancer. The numbers are still alarmingly high despite all the information available to us.  The Save Your Skin Foundation is dedicated to informing and educating Canadians about melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, that has been steadily on the rise since the 1990s in both men and women. The latest estimates show that this year alone, 8,000 Canadians will be diagnosed with melanoma and 1,300 will die from it. A recent survey shows there are serious knowledge and information gaps among Canadians about this cancer.

To view the article, please click HERE.

Sometimes a mole isn’t just a mole – The importance of knowing everything about your melanoma

National Post, June 13, 2020
Hello! Canada, June 22, 2020

Marcel Vonah and his family were shocked when a mole he had removed as a child came back, and turned into melanoma that later spread to his brain, lungs, liver, and spleen. Hayley Wickenheiser, a former Canadian Olympian and Hockey Hall of Famer understands the importance of skin protection. As an elite athlete she spent hours in the sun while training and playing sports. Currently in her final year of medical school, Wickenheiser knows the damage melanoma can do to a body. “The time you take to protect your skin is worth it because a cancer diagnosis could have a much worse outcome. Melanoma is not simply about cutting something out and moving on; it’s complicated and can be deadly.”

Tanning is Tempting – But It’s Just Not Smart

Toronto Star and Innovating Canada, June 13, 2020

Save Your Skin Foundation’s Managing Director, Natalie Richardson, shares the risk of sun exposure and the importance of embracing the skin you’re in. This article is part of a Youth & Wellness Empowerment campaign featured in the Toronto Star.

To view the article, please click HERE.
To view the whole campaign, please click HERE.

Cancer Patient Hub

Global News Radio, Calgary, May 20, 2020

Dr. Michael Smylie, Medical Oncologist at the Cross Cancer Institute in Edmonton, Alberta discusses the new set of challenges cancer patients are facing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the launch of the new COVID-19 Cancer Patient Support Hub to help address these challenges.

To listen to the interview, please click HERE.

COVID-19 health response shows we can do better for cancer patients

National Newswatch, May 9, 2020

Louise Binder, Health Policy Consultant with Save Your Skin Foundation discusses her views of the COVID-19 response and how Canada can do better for cancer patients. “Cancer is one of the very serious and broad ranging health problems for Canadians and around the world. We should take the lessons of how research, prevention, treatments, vaccines and all other aspects of this pandemic are being handled and insist that the best practices we learn are implemented in oncology and beyond.”

New Westminster Taking a Stand Against Skin Cancer

 May , 2020

The City of New Westminster is one of 13 B.C. municipalities that have agreed to proclaim May as Melanoma Awareness Month. New West Mayor Jonathan Cote was the first to commit to proclaiming May as Melanoma Awareness month and challenged other B.C. municipalities to follow his example, said a press release from the Save Your Skin Foundation. “Skin cancer is largely preventable, and yet there are more cases now than ever,” Cote said in a press release. “This is why as mayor of New Westminster, I’m happy to support this important initiative and challenge all B.C. municipalities to do the same.”

To view the full article, please click HERE.

May Proclaimed Melanoma Awareness Month in Prince George

 April , 2020

If you’re getting outside to enjoy the spring weather during the COVID-19 pandemic, there is another important health risk you need to be aware of: skin cancer.  The City of Prince George is bringing attention to a type of skin cancer next month in proclaiming May as “Melanoma Awareness Month.”

B.C.’s northern capital is one of 11 municipalities set to take part across the province.

Read the articles here:

Prince George Matters, April 14, 2020

Prince George Citizen, April 27, 2020

The latest advancements in skin cancer treatment and care, Advancements in Cancer Care feature, March 12, 2020

Immuno-oncology and targeted therapies have changed the landscape of cancer treatment. Not only are patients living longer, they also have improved quality of life while in treatment. Innovative treatments are continuing to become more personalized and customized to rare sub-types of melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers.

To view the full article, please click HERE.

To view the full Advancements in Cancer Care feature, please click HERE.

Cancer temporarily paralyzed him, now he’s running across Lake Winnipeg

Information Radio – MB with Marcy Markusa, CBC Listen, March 4, 2020

49-year-old Chris Isfeld hopes to be the first person with stage four melanoma to make the 30 kilometer run across Lake Winnipeg. He spoke with Marcy Markusa about the life-altering battle with cancer that set him on the path to run from Grand Beach to Gimli in the dead of winter.

To listen to the interview, please click HERE.

Gimli man diagnosed with cancer to run 30 km across Lake Winnipeg

CTV News, March 5, 2020

Just over two years ago, Chris Isfeld was diagnosed with skin cancer that spread to almost all his organs and a lot of his bones, including his hips, spine, and pelvis. At one point, the tumours even caused him to become partially paralyzed from the waist down. Along with the radiation treatment, Isfeld was put on immunotherapy treatment that “miraculously reversed the cancer.”

The 49-year-old had his last treatment a few weeks ago. Just over a year ago, Chris made the decision to get back into running, but he didn’t imagine where it would lead.
To view the full article, please click HERE.

He was planning his funeral from a hospital bed, now he’s running across Lake Winnipeg

CBC News, March 4, 2020

Two years after Chris Isfeld’s melanoma spread through his body, he’s fundraising for a cancer non-profit; the 30-kilometre run is to raise money for Save Your Skin Foundation, a national patient-led not-for-profit group dedicated to education, advocacy and awareness initiatives about skin cancers.  Isfeld was an avid runner before his cancer diagnosis, and wanted to train for another half-marathon to give him something to focus on. He jokingly challenged a friend of his who runs in winter to race him across the lake. But once he was feeling better, it became a reality.

To view the full article, please click HERE.

Abbotsford woman to participate in Miss Canada pageant

The Abbotsford News News, February 25, 2020

An Abbotsford woman will represent the Lower Mainland at the Miss Canada pageant in Laval, Quebec on March 7.

Aman Merdha was named Miss Lower Mainland last year at the 2019 Miss BC competition in Fort Langley, where she created a partnership with the Save Your Skin Foundation (SYSF) to raise awareness of skin disorders and skin cancer.

She is continuing to spread that message through her participation in Miss Canada.

To view the full article, please click HERE.

Manitoba man with melanoma to run across Lake Winnipeg for cancer fundraiser

Global News, January 14, 2020

A Manitoba man with melanoma is fundraising for cancer research by running across Lake Winnipeg. Chris Isfeld, originally from Gimli and now living in British Columbia, told 680 CJOB he was diagnosed with the disease two years ago. Isfeld has endured a rough road, including partial paralysis of his legs, to get to where he is today – preparing to run 30 kilometres across Canada’s sixth-largest lake.

The event, which he’s calling A Viking’s Challenge, has the goal of raising $30,000 for the Save Your Skin Foundation and covers the distance from Grand Beach to Gimli.

To view the article and to listen to the full interview, please click HERE.

Move For Melanoma Campaign Kicks Off

Northshore News, September 12, 2019

In the hopes of raising $50,000 to support skin cancer patients, teams are set to run, walk, dance, launch CrossFit workouts and even throw axes as part of Move for Melanoma.

“We asked people to get very creative,” said Kathy Barnard, founder and president of the not-for-profit North Vancouver-based Save Your Skin Foundation. For her part, Barnard is set to fly to Montreal and bicycle 55 kilometres.

To view the full article, please click HERE.

View a SYSF Move for Melanoma Sun Safety Awareness interview clip here: Global News, Edmonton AB

And to see how the 2019 Move for Melanoma event turned out, click here to watch our recap in photos video of Thanks!

Milton skin cancer survivor back on the bike to fight, August 20, 2019

It’s a more than skin-deep problem.  Milton, Ontario’s Karen Formosa survived Stage 3 melanoma in a process that required two surgeries and the removal of 20 lymph nodes. Now on the other side of the illness, Formosa is fighting back with a 60-kilometre cycle, as part of the nationwide Move for Melanoma fundraiser.  The experience has given her a unique perspective.

To view the full article, please click HERE.

New West launches free sunscreen pilot project at Pier Park

New Westminster Record, August 14, 2019

New Westminster Parks and Recreation has partnered with Save Your Skin Foundation and the BC Cancer Agency to offer free sunscreen to the public at Westminster Pier Park from Aug. 14 to Sept. 30. The pilot will feature an automatic and touchless dispenser with Health Canada approved SPF 30 sunscreen, which will be available to all park users.

“Studies show that young people still aren’t taking sun safety seriously despite incidence rates rising every year,” Kathy Barnard, a stage 4 melanoma survivor and founder of Save Your Skin Foundation, said in a press release. “Skin cancer can be deadly, but it is also highly preventable which makes it so important for people to take precautions.”
To view the full article, please click HERE.

Pilot project launches free sunscreen dispensers in Kelowna

CBC News Kelowna, August 10, 2019

In the same week temperatures soared above 35 C in Kelowna, two foundations joined forces to launch a new pilot project providing free sunscreen.  Two automatic touchless sunscreen dispensers have been set up, one beside the Kelowna Visitor Centre downtown and one at the Kelowna Golf and Country Club.

“It’s nice sunscreen too. It’s very white, and that’s the zinc oxide, which is a very important ingredient, a natural ingredient,” said Karen Wells, founder of Morgan’s Mole Patrol.  Wells, along with Kathy Barnard, founder of Save Your Skin Foundation, partnered up on this project because of the impact skin cancer has had on both of their lives.
To view the full article and recording, please click HERE.

July 11, 2019, Kelowna Daily Courier:  Son’s skin cancer death sparks sunscreen drive

August 13, 2019, North Shore News: Public sunscreen dispensers launch as part of pilot project

August 14, 2019, Kelowna Daily Courier: No excuse not to put on sunscreen

August 14, 2019, Kelowna: Sunscreen for everyone

City Style and Living Magazine 

Summer 2019 Issue- Tips to Save Your Skin

Thanks to City Style and Living Magazine for inviting Save Your Skin Foundation to contribute sun safety tips and a full page ad to bring awareness to skin cancer and how to protect ourselves.  The tips are on page 15, and editorial ad is on page 5.

To view the magazine, please click HERE.

HELLO! Canada Magazine article “From Sun Worshipper to Melanoma Survivor”, by Natalie Richardson

To read the article please click HERE.

Sun Safety and Your Smartphone

Breakfast Television, Calgary, June 11, 2019

Dermatologist Dr. Mike Kalisiak explains how you can keep protected from the dangers of skin cancer, and how you can exercise secondary prevention by using your smartphone to monitor your skin and moles. Early detection is key to controlling skin cancer.  Thank you Dr. Kalisiak for accepting Save Your Skin Foundation’s invitation to cover this awareness interview opportunity!
To view the interview, please click HERE.

North Van runner undertaking 71-km marathon to raise awareness about skin cancer

North Shore News, May 28, 2019

Describing cancer as like “wearing a chain around your neck,” Westie says her sister never gave up and, undeterred, the two sisters decided to do something to help others struggling with skin cancer or melanoma lead better lives. The pair founded Save Your Skin Foundation as a way to advocate for equal, timely, affordable, and appropriate access to skin cancer treatment for all Canadians, and to give support for people living with it in their day-to-day lives. This week Westie, along with her husband Tom, are travelling to France for the race of a lifetime – one that’ll combine their advocacy when it comes to sun health and skin cancer, as well as their passion and respect when it comes to our shared history.

To read the interview, please click HERE.

Ask An Expert: May is Melanoma Awareness Month

Global News Morning, May 26, 2019

May is Melanoma Month. Dermatologist, Dr. Vincent Richer, explains how you can keep protected from the dangers of skin cancer.  Thank you Dr. Richer for accepting Save Your Skin Foundation’s invitation to cover this awareness interview opportunity!

To view the interview, please click HERE.

Rosemary Westie, on CTV Morning Live

Vancouver, May 13, 2019

On June 6th, 1944 hundreds of thousands of soldiers stormed the beaches of Normandy to begin the drive that would eventually break the German occupation of Europe. Many of those soldiers paid the ultimate sacrifice.  “I have been fortunate to wear my Save Your Skin Jersey in many amazing races around the world, but none more meaningful than the D-Day 44 Challenge I will be running this June 6th on the 75th anniversary of D-Day.  I understand that running 44 miles will be a challenge, but I am also humbled every single day by people dealing with real challenges, challenges they did not choose. Like taking on a life threatening disease, or bravely running onto a beach, sacrificing everything for the safety of others.”
To view the interview, please click HERE.

North Van woman trains for a 71-km marathon to raise awareness about skin cancer

Rosemary Westie, on CTV News, Vancouver, May 12, 2019

Rosemary Westie, 60, will be pounding the pavement through 71 kilometres of Normandy, France on the 75th anniversary of D-Day.  Westie said she is running in honour of someone who inspires her: her sister, Kathy.  Kathy was diagnosed with an advanced stage of melanoma, a common type of skin cancer.  Westie and her sister started a non-profit, Save Your Skin Foundation, to help people battling the disease. Last year, skin cancer killed an estimated 1,300 Canadians.  “Anybody who is diagnosed with melanoma can pick up the phone, call, and my sister will get them whatever they need.”  Westie said she knows the marathon will be a tiring one, but it won’t be able to measure up to the pain people with cancer experience.
To view the interview, please click HERE.

Cancer Patients Receive Unequal Treatment Depending on Stage or Postal Code

By Natalie Richardson, for National Post: Therapeutic Spotlight on Immuno-oncology, October 29, 2018

Current studies are proving that melanoma shows a phenomenal response rate to immunotherapies and targeted therapies, yet these treatments are restricted to certain stage IV patients – hit and miss. Across Canada, cancer patients are being restricted from access to innovative new treatments due to static recommendations made by health technology assessment agencies, followed by provinces. These limitations are outdated, and devastating.

Many patients all over the country have had to start GoFundMe pages or re-mortgage their homes to find alternative ways to pay for these treatments, which are often not approved based on the cost of the drugs. It is difficult for these patients and their families to understand how they are made to feel that their lives are not worth the cost of a life-saving therapy.

To read the full article, please click HERE.

Medical discoveries driving better outcomes for patients with advanced melanoma

National Post, Therapeutic Spotlight on Immuno-oncology, September 26, 2018

In the past, a diagnosis of metastatic melanoma was often a death sentence. While chemotherapy remains an important weapon in the fight against cancer, scientists are finding new ways to identify and destroy cancer cells. Some patients see better outcomes with immunotherapy treatments that boost the body’s own ability to fight disease. Others have access to breakthrough targeted therapies that have become available in recent years.

Recent combinations of targeted therapies have proven effective in shrinking tumours and controlling the spread of disease. “In the last three years, all of the innovative medicines are coming fast and furious into the melanoma space,” notes Kathy Barnard, founder of Canada’s Save Your Skin Foundation. “It is a gamechanger for us. We always tell everybody that melanoma used to be at the back of the bus. Now we are literally driving the bus.”

To read the full article, please click HERE.

Radio Interview: Sun Safety 

PowerfulXNature, July 16, 2018

Natalie Richardson of Save Your Skin Foundation, was interviewed by ‘Powerful by Nature,’ a radio show led by participants in Jessie’s Community Education Program, on Radio Regent. After sharing her personal experience with metastatic melanoma and her subsequent treatments, Natalie passed along valuable tips for maintaining sun safety and skin health.  To listen to the interview excerpt, please click HERE 

To learn more about Jessie’s Centre please visit their website or Twitter or Facebook accounts.

Global News coverage of Melanoma Awareness Month and Skin Cancer Awareness

May 2, 2018

Roger Deckert and Diane Whitehouse from the Save Your Skin Foundation join Global News Morning Calgary to talk about the risks of skin cancer and how to prevent it. To watch the interview, please click here.

May 4, 2018

Skin cancer is on the rise in Canada, due in part to UV ray exposure both from the sun and from man-made sources like tanning beds. Cross Cancer Institute oncologist Dr. John Walker and patient Roger Deckert joined Global News Morning Edmonton with some warnings signs and prevention tips. To watch the interview, please click here.

With lives on the line, Canadians’ access to the newest medicines face numerous hurdles

Financial Post, January 15, 2018

Even when a new, potentially life-saving medicine does make it through the reimbursement process, there are restrictions that could limit options for patients who need more than one medication. Targeted combinations are becoming the new standard in treating cancer,” Dr. Kuruvilla says. “Usually chemotherapy regimens are given in combinations of two to five drugs depending on the disease and setting, but with novel targeted drugs come much bigger price tags, with some treatment courses easily costing $100,000.” This means, he adds, that even when a reimbursement review shows a medicine has merit, the conclusion tends to be that the benefit doesn’t merit the increase in cost— and the patients are the ones who lose out.

Louise Binder, health policy consultant with Save Your Skin Foundation, says things are only getting worse. “The reality for many cancer patients is that combinations of drugs work best, yet the government will only pay for one and not the other.”   To read the article click HERE

Her experience fighting for access to a specific medicine motivated her to find a way to improve the odds for other melanoma patients

National Post, January 13, 2018

In 2006, Barnard established the Save Your Skin Foundation, a non-profit charity that works with the Canadian government and professional stakeholders to change federal and provincial policy, and write patient policy guidelines. The Foundation also provides patients with counseling support and fund raising for treatment.  While Barnard’s efforts have revolved around improving access, she says treatment options for patients have also continued to improve and, in the last 10 years, medical breakthroughs for melanoma have been moving forward at a positive pace. But the more innovative the medicine, the more expensive it is to produce, and these higher costs are slowing down approvals and access, she says.  To read the article click HERE

Skin cancer survivor fears drug defunding

Prince George Citizen, December 28, 2017

Mike Allan is a Stage 4 melanoma skin cancer survivor.  Allan believes that there is a possibility that his melanoma might return. He feels that the Yervoy/ipilimumab treatment would be his best option. But, he said, obtaining funding for this drug in B.C. has become next to impossible since 2016. The cost for this drug can be prohibitively expensive. According to the Pan-Canadian Drug Oncology Review website, the list price for a 200 mg vial of the drug is $23,200.

Kathy Barnard, founder of the Save Your Skin Foundation, an advocacy organization focused upon melanoma treatment, said that prior to 2016, Yervoy/ipilimumab was one of many funded treatment options for Canadians suffering from the disease.  To read the article click HERE

Russell woman forced to raise thousands for melanoma drug that arrived too late to help her

Ottawa Citizen, December 12, 2017

Pol, 51, and her family had to raise tens of thousands of dollars before she could begin taking an expensive combination of two immunotherapy drugs that her oncologist hoped might extend her life, as it has the lives of some melanoma patients. But the Ontario government does not pay for the drug combination, although it has been approved by Health Canada. Raising money for the drugs delayed her treatment. By the time Pol started taking them, it was too late.

The drugs available to treat advanced melanoma — pembrolizumab (Keytruda), nivolumab (Opdivo) and ipilimumabI (Yervoy) — are forms of immunotherapy that use the patient’s immune systems to attack specific cells. They are part of a revolution in cancer treatment that has extended the lives of many melanoma patients.  To read the article click HERE

Sun Protection A Year-Round Necessity 

The Globe & Mail, September 25, 2017

About 10 months after she was diagnosed at 37 with melanoma, (Natalie) Richardson began volunteering for the Save Your Skin Foundation, a non-profit advocacy organization founded by Vancouver melanoma survivor Kathleen Barnard. After starting out writing blogs to connect with other survivors, Richardson became a full-time project co-ordinator last fall.

She stresses there’s no such thing as a “safe tan” or “just skin cancer,” the most commonly diagnosed form of cancer in North America. To read the full article click HERE

Ernst: Life and death decisions made in dark 

London Free Press, December 1, 2017

In 2012, ipilimumab, the first-generation checkpoint inhibitor, was approved and now 25 per cent of patients who have not undergone other treatment but receive ipilimumab experience long-term survival, compared with a historical survival of five to 10 per cent.  With newer therapies, pembrolizumab and nivolumab, survival is even superior to ipilimumab. They are generally used as initial treatments in metastatic melanoma. However, ipilimumab is still effective in some patients who have failed newer therapies.

So why, one year ago, did all public drug plans suddenly and without consultation with provincial experts defund ipilimumab? Canada is the only western country to defund this therapy.  To read the article click HERE

MacLean’s Canada 150 Special Issue: Patient Access to Medication


Louise Binder speaks in the “Patient Access to Medication” campaign launched June 14, 2017. This was published within the Maclean’s Canada 150 Special Issue to a readership of 1.4 million Canadians, and will be on newsstands for a month.

The campaign sends a powerful message to Canadians – despite being an innovative nation, many patients in Canada still struggle to access life-saving medications. By uniting industry-leading experts and patients, we are encouraging sustainable access to medication and a collaborative path forward.  To read the article click HERE

Think immunotherapy is right for you? Talk to your MP

North Shore News, June 3, 2017  

It was an innovative solution that saved Barnard after she was diagnosed with melanoma. Doctors found cancer in her left lung, kidney, liver and adrenal gland, and in 2005 she was given six months to live. As she prepares to celebrate one more National Cancer Survivors Day on Sunday, Barnard credits her survival to a clinical trial during which she was given the immunotherapy treatment Yervoy. Read more

Think immunotherapy is right for you? Talk to your MP

North Shore News, June 3, 2017  

It was an innovative solution that saved Barnard after she was diagnosed with melanoma. Doctors found cancer in her left lung, kidney, liver and adrenal gland, and in 2005 she was given six months to live. As she prepares to celebrate one more National Cancer Survivors Day on Sunday, Barnard credits her survival to a clinical trial during which she was given the immunotherapy treatment Yervoy. Read more

Lengthy Cancer Drug Approval Process Makes Me Fear For My Future

HuffPost, November 28, 2016

Even as I sat in the chemotherapy unit receiving my IV infusions, I did not fully understand the repercussions of what would happen in my future. I knew that someone somewhere along the line pressed a button that landed me in the chair with the potentially life-saving stuff flowing into my arm, but that was it. It never occurred to me that, should the disease come back, that I might not receive further treatment.

Here we are, in the year 2016, four years since Yervoy was approved by Health Canada for treatment of malignant melanoma, and I cannot have any more if I need it again. This is not for a medical reason; biologically speaking, my body can tolerate more treatment down the line. It is because the treatment that could prolong my life has been restricted in Ontario. By my own government.

To read the full article, please click HERE

Foundation Calling For Access To Better Cancer Treatments 

 Victoria News, November 24, 2016

The Victoria resident was diagnosed with an ocular melanoma at the back of his right eye in 2010 and shortly after received radiation. However, two years later, Deacon discovered the cancer had spread to his abdomen and liver. He was given months to live.  “I was absolutely devastated and assumed that I only had a couple of months to get my life sorted and get everything in order,” Deacon said. “It was a truly horrible experience. It changes you. You never get back to the way you were.”

In the fall of 2012 and 2013, Deacon received four infusions of a drug called Yervoy and while he admits the drug didn’t cure his cancer, it stopped the tumours from growing and allowed him to continue on with his life.  After the second round of infusions in 2013, Deacon decided to run one of the toughest ultra marathon in the world in South Africa, which he completed in 10 hours and 23 minutes. A year later he went on to run another ultra marathon in South Africa, with his son and running partners — all things he wouldn’t have been able to do without the drug.  To read the full article, please click HERE

Tea with a Titan, Episode 21: Kathy Barnard, Melanoma Survivor and Advocate

October, 2016

Melanoma spreads like wildfire, and Kathy’s was no different. It spread to her lungs, her kidney, her liver, her adrenal glands, her abdomen, and her bones. She was given three to six months to live. That was 11 years ago. Today, she is cancer free and the founder of the much-respected Save Your Skin Foundation.

Kathy’s story is a reminder too that we need to take it upon ourselves to not just float in the dreamy space of “oh really – it’s nothing.” If you feel it’s something, don’t stop until you know what it is.  To view the episode, please click HERE

New Field of Cancer Treatment Offers More Hope to Patients

660News, November 2, 2016

Doctors say Health Canada has given conditional approval for the first ever combination of two immuno-oncology agents — Opdivo and Yervoy.  Dr. Michael Smylie with the Cross Cancer Institute in Edmonton told 660NEWS, this class of drugs takes the brakes off the immune system. “They’re called immune checkpoint inhibitors,” he said. “What they’ve [researchers] have done is they’ve combined the two drugs and they’ve seen that in metastatic melanoma, patients where the response rate, which is the number of patients that actually get a significant shrinkage of their tumour, was historically about 10 per cent. It’s gone up anywhere from about 50 to 70 per cent.”

He said they’ve gone from about a five per cent, five-year survival to close to 65 per cent and they’re probably curing a significant number of patients, which wasn’t possible before.  According to Dr. Smylie, previously, when people developed metastatic melanoma, there were no effective therapies and now doctors can offer potentially curative therapies to these patients. To read the full article, please click HERE

That Talk Show

Shaw TV, July 17, 2015

Every year thousands of Canadians are diagnosed with melanoma. Kathy Barnard is the Founder of Save Your Skin Foundation and skin cancer survivor and came by to share her story.  To see the interview, please click HERE

Kathy Barnard on Studio 4 with Host Fanny Kiefe

Shaw TV, June 21, 2011

Save Your Skin Foundation Founder Kathy Barnard is interviewed by Fanny Kiefer on Shaw TV’s Studio 4 in Vancouver and discusses establishing the foundation and her own struggles battling melanoma. To watch the interview, please click HERE


Making awareness and education available is crucial. Since 2006, the Foundation has worked to raise awareness of melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers focusing on education, prevention and the need for improved patient care.