Save Your Skin Foundation (SYSF) is a national patient-led not-for-profit group dedicated to the fight against non-melanoma skin cancers, melanoma and ocular melanoma through nationwide education, advocacy, and awareness initiatives. Save Your Skin Foundation is committed to playing an active role in reducing the incidence of skin cancer in Canada, and to providing compassionate support for all Canadians living with skin cancers.

SYSF was founded by North Vancouver resident and melanoma survivor Kathleen Barnard. In 2003, Kathleen was diagnosed with stage IV malignant melanoma, and by the time Save Your Skin Foundation was established in 2006, Kathleen’s cancer had spread to her vital organs and her treatment options were limited. Fortunately, one of her sons discovered a trial treatment taking place in Alberta; this trial saved Kathleen’s life.

While her cancer treatments have finished, the battle with melanoma is not over for Kathleen. 

Kathy prioritizes patient care and support.

Kathy was a key player in federal tanning bed legislation for Canada’s Youth, and she is the recipient of the British Columbia Community Achievement Award for her leadership in addressing and raising awareness around skin cancer issues. Additionally, Kathy is on the Conference Board of Canada advisory committee for Value of Oncology Innovation in Canada.

SYSF is a member of All.Can International and is bringing the All.Can initiative to Canada, and is the secretariat of CONECTed (Collective Oncology Network for Exchange, Cancer Care Innovation, Treatment Access and Education). In addition, SYSF is a member of SkIN Canada, La Coalition Priorite Cancer au Quebec, IMC (Innovative Medicines Canada), the Skin Cancer Prevention Framework of Alberta, Sun Safe BC, Ontario Sun Safety WG, CSPA (Canadian Skin Patient Alliance), Health eMatters, and other Canadian and Global melanoma skin cancer initiatives.

Save Your Skin Foundation is committed to ensuring equal, timely, affordable, and appropriate access to skin cancer treatment for all Canadians, by engaging in public and private industry, health policy, and systemic treatment access issues with cancer agencies, government, and drug-approval bodies across the country.


To provide resources, including emotional and financial assistance, to those battling non-melanoma skin cancers, melanoma, and ocular melanoma

To promote education and awareness of skin cancer

To facilitate work in immuno-oncology and other precision medicine

To engage in public and private industry health policy and systemic treatment access issues

To represent the voice of skin cancer patients


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.