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 would save Kathleen’s life. While her cancer treatments have finished, the battle with melanoma is not over for Kathleen. 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.
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.