Press Releases

Save Your Skin Foundation Applauds Health Canada’s Approval of BRAFTOVI (encorafenib) to be used in combination with MEKTOVI® (binimetinib) for the Treatment of Unresectable or Metastatic Melanoma with a BRAF V600 Mutation

Save Your Skin Foundation (SYSF) gathered and submitted patient feedback on the targeted therapy Braftovi™ in combination with Mektovi® for the treatment of patients with unresectable or metastatic melanoma with a BRAF V600 mutation. SYSF also supported health care providers with their Clinician Input submissions for this treatment.

VANCOUVER – March 31, 2021 – Read More


Cancer Patients Support Premiers’ Call for Long Overdue Increase to Canada Health Transfer

Canadians can no longer afford to wait for the healthcare and services they desperately need and deserve

Cancer patients and their representatives from across Canada today applauded their provincial Premiers for calling on the Federal Government to increase Canada Health Transfer payments from the present 22% to 35% of health spending.

TORONTO – March 9, 2021 – Read More


Melanoma Survivor to Run 30KM Across Frozen Lake Winnipeg for a Second Time 

After raising almost $20,000 last year, Chris Isfeld is inviting friends to channel their inner Viking and join him by running any distance of their choice anywhere in Canada on March 6 – 7, 2021.

Last March, Chris Isfeld completed a massive challenge. Three years after being diagnosed with late stage melanoma and becoming partially paralyzed from the waist down, he ran 30km across frozen Lake Winnipeg and raised almost $20,000 for melanoma patients.

WINNIPEG – Feb 16, 2021 – Read More


Move for Melanoma Event Raises $60,000 for Canadian Melanoma Patients

Save Your Skin Foundation has just wrapped up 2nd annual MOVE FOR MELANOMA event with Alberta Society of Melanoma to benefit melanoma and skin cancer patients across Canada

MOVE FOR MELANOMA, which ran over the weekend of September 26 – 27, 2020, raised over $60,000, far beyond its original goal of $25,000. After meeting their initial goal early, the Foundation raised their goal to $50,000 with less than two weeks to go, and still exceeded it. The weekend saw over 100 participants, including 24 teams from 4 provinces take part.

VANCOUVER – Sept 30, 2020 – Read More


Move for Melanoma to Raise $25,000 for Canadian Melanoma Patients

Save Your Skin Foundation is hosting the 2nd annual MOVE FOR MELANOMA event with Alberta Society of Melanoma to benefit melanoma and skin cancer patients across Canada

Save Your Skin Foundation is the only Canadian charity that helps skin cancer patients financially when they need it most. This year, MOVE FOR MELANOMA aims to raise $25,000 by Monday, September 28.  Survivors, patients, family members, friends and supporters from across Canada are helping the Foundation to reach that goal. 100% of funds raised from MOVE FOR MELANOMA will go directly to supporting melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancer patients in the form of treatment costs, flights, accommodation, cab fare and other necessary but costly expenses incurred while receiving treatment.

VANCOUVER – Sept 1, 2020 – Read More


Results Published of Longest and Largest Study of Stage III Melanoma Patients Receiving Targeted Therapy for Post-Surgery Treatment
Study shows five-year outcome of patients who received Canada’s only approved adjuvant treatment for stage III melanoma patients to prevent relapse after surgery.

Save Your Skin Foundation is pleased to share the conclusions of a five-year study that followed 870 patients with BRAF-mutated melanoma who were treated with a combination therapy of Tafinlar (dabrafenib) plus Mekinist (trametinib) following the surgical removal of their cancer. The findings show that more than half of the patients in the study were alive and free of a relapse after five years.

TORONTO, ONTARIO, June 19, 2020 – Read More


New Survey Shows 1 in 4 Canadians Don’t Understand Dangers of Sun Exposure
Save Your Skin Foundation urges Canadians to get informed about melanoma, the deadliest skin cancer

A recent survey shows there are serious knowledge and information gaps among Canadians about this cancer.  Hayley Wickenheiser, six time Olympian and Hockey Hall of Famer, is supporting an educational campaign to bridge these gaps so that Canadians will better understand this potentially devastating skin cancer and those diagnosed will be adequately armed to make informed decisions.

Melanoma should be taken very seriously, and the risks associated with melanoma should be understood by all Canadians, especially those who spend long hours outdoors, such as athletes and outdoor workers. According to results from a new survey2 more than half of Canadians (55%) do not realize a small amount of sun exposure without protection can lead to melanoma.

TORONTO – May 27, 2020 – Read More


All Hands On Deck Needed to Stop Dangerous Disease

Save Your Skin Foundation is Creating a Healthier and More Sun Safe Canada During Melanoma Skin Cancer Awareness Month

As May marks both Melanoma Awareness Month and the beginning of summer, it is imperative that communities across Canada be reminded of the importance of sun safety at this time of year. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many Canadians to stay home, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t spending time outside. In fact, many have more time than usual to enjoy the outdoors, making sun safety education as relevant as ever.

TORONTO, ONTARIO, April 30, 2020 – Read More


Miss Lower Mainland To Raise Awareness Of Skin Disorders And Skin Cancer At Miss Canada Pageant

Abbotsford’s Miss Lower Mainland Aman Merdha to compete in Miss Canada 2020 pageant on March 7, 2020 while raising awareness of skin cancer and sun safety

Save Your Skin Foundation (SYSF) is pleased to announce that SYSF ambassador Aman Merdha will represent people touched by skin disorders and raise awareness of skin cancer and sun safety among youth at the Miss Canada 2020 pageant on March 7, 2020 in Laval, Quebec.  After approaching SYSF to create a partnership dedicated to raising awareness of skin disorders and skin cancer, Aman won the title of Miss Lower Mainland in the Miss BC pageant in July 2019.

ABBOTSFORD, BRITISH COLUMBIA, February 13, 2020 – Read More


First Biologic Treatment for Deadly Type of Skin Cancer Gets Strong Positive Recommendation to be Covered by Provincial Health Care

Save Your Skin Foundation Applauds the pan-Canadian Oncology Drug Review recommendation for Provincial Reimbursement of LibtayoTM for the treatment of Advanced Cutaneous Squamous Cell Carcinoma (cSCC)

When cSCC invades deeper layers of the skin or adjacent tissues, it is categorized as locally advanced. Once it spreads to other distant parts of the body, it is considered metastatic. The five-year survival rate for metastatic cSCC is just 34.4%.

“As skin cancer prevalence continues to grow in Canada, patients and their loved ones need options for treatment of this potentially deadly disease,” says Kathy Barnard, skin cancer survivor and founder of Save Your Skin Foundation. “Squamous cell carcinoma is not ‘JUST’ skin cancer – it is a wake-up call to all Canadians to be vigilant about the risks of skin cancer and the serious nature of its membership to the most common type of cancer.”

TORONTO, ONTARIO, January 15, 2020 – Read More


255 Canadian Cancer Patients Share the Most Wasteful and Inefficient Parts of Their Cancer Care and Treatment

New Canadian report breaks down patient-reported waste and inefficiency by province

The Canadian All.Can cancer initiative has this month published a major report of cancer care recommendations based on patient insights following a Canada-wide patient survey conducted last year that gathered insights from cancer patient. Of the 314 responses received, 255 of these were selected for a provincial analysis comparing results from British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario and Quebec.
The report, Patient insights on Canadian Cancer care: opportunities for improving efficiency, highlights four major areas of cancer care inefficiency from the patient perspective. All.Can defines inefficiency in cancer care as anything that does not focus on what matters to patients.

TORONTO, ONTARIO – September 20, 2019 – Read more


Save Your Skin Foundation Launches Inaugural “MOVE FOR MELANOMA” Challenge Benefiting Skin Cancer Patients Across Canada

The unique physical activity challenge takes place across Canada starting today until September 16

Save Your Skin Foundation officially launches the inaugural 2019 “Move for Melanoma” Challenge today, benefiting skin cancer patients across Canada.

Save Your Skin Foundation notes the unique accessibility of the Challenge as an important part of campaign. “Skin cancer can happen to anyone. It’s caused by exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays from sunlight or tanning beds. We therefore wanted a campaign that was accessible to anyone”, explains Kathleen Barnard, President and Founder, Save Your Skin Foundation and stage four melanoma survivor. “People have come up with very creative ideas that work within their Challenge comfort zones. One team is doing CrossFit, another is doing an axe-throwing contest and I’ll be cycling 55 kilometres in Montreal on Monday!”

VANCOUVER, BC – September 13, 2019 – Read more


Launch of Free, Public Sunscreen Dispensers in Kelowna by Morgan’s Mole Patrol and Save Your Skin Foundation

Official Launch Event on Thurs, Aug 8th at 12pm at the Kelowna Visitor’s Centre 
 with Save Your Skin Foundation, Morgan’s Mole Patrol and Kelowna City Councillor

Thurs, Aug 8th will mark the official launch of two free, public sunscreen dispensers in key Kelowna hot spots. This project has been powered by Morgan’s Mole Patrol and Save Your Skin Foundation, with the support of the City of Kelowna and Tourism Kelowna, and Kelowna Golf & Country Club.

KELOWNA, BC – August 6, 2019 – Read more

Also – August 13, 2019, New Westminster, BC:

City of New Westminster partners with Save Your Skin Foundation and BC Cancer to launch free sunscreen dispenser pilot at Westminster Pier Park 


New Cancer Report Reveals Opportunities for Governments to ‘Do the Right Thing by Patients’

Canada part of 10-country survey that reveals inefficiencies in cancer care from patient perspective

The international All.Can cancer initiative has today published a major report urging health officials, governments and decision-makers to ‘do the right thing by patients’ when developing cancer care plans and policies by taking patient insights into account in all aspects of treatment and care.

The report, Patient insights on cancer care: opportunities for improving efficiency, highlights four major areas of cancer care inefficiency from the patient perspective. All.Can defines inefficiency in cancer care as anything that does not focus on what matters to patients.

VANCOUVER – July 24, 2019 – Read more


Patient groups call on all federal Parties: State your health commitments for the 2019 federal election

Patient groups are asking why Canada’s political Parties are not doing a better job at articulating a comprehensive approach to health care in the run up to the federal election. The federal Health Minister expressed support for the Hoskins Report on national pharmacare issued last week, however, while one piece of the puzzle, this report is not a comprehensive health care strategy.  “Canadians are generally proud of our universal health care system, but more needs to be done. Shockingly, Save Your Skin Foundation has seen people forced to sell everything to get proper cancer care in Canada. This is unacceptable and must be addressed by our federal government moving forward,” stated Louise Binder, Health Policy Consultant for Save Your Skin Foundation.

OTTAWA – June 18, 2019 – Read more


May is Melanoma Awareness Month

This year, for Melanoma Month, Save Your Skin Foundation will bring awareness to the following issues:
• Skin cancer rates in Canada continue to rise, including melanoma, ocular melanoma, and non-melanoma skin cancers.
• Now is the time for increased preventative efforts and methods of early detection, particularly in the form of public education, public policy and built environments.
• Too many gaps still exist in patient care, particularly around lack of resources for psychological support, lack of treatment for pre-stage IV patients and unequal access to life-saving treatments.

TORONTO – April 30, 2019 – Read more


Save Your Skin Foundation Applauds Health Canada’s Notice of Compliance for Libtayo™ for the Treatment of Advanced Cutaneous Squamous Cell Carcinoma (CSCC)

CSCC is the second most common form of skin cancer accounting for approximately one- fifth of all skin cancer cases in Canada. When CSCC invades deeper layers of the skin or adjacent tissues, it is categorized as locally advanced. Once it spreads to other distant parts of the body, it is considered metastatic. Prior to today’s announcement, in 2018 Libtayo™ received FDA approval under Priority Review and was granted Breakthrough Therapy Designation status for advanced CSCC which was created to expedite the development and review of drugs that have the potential for substantial improvement in the treatment of serious or life-threatening conditions.

VANCOUVER – April 11, 2019 – Read more


Launch of OCUMEL CANADA Offers New Hope for Canadians Diagnosed with Rare Ocular Melanoma

Save Your Skin Foundation, a Canadian, patient-led, notfor-profit organization, is launching Ocumel Canada to increase awareness, advance treatment options, and improve patient outcomes for Canadians touched by Ocular Melanoma, a rare but aggressive form of melanoma.  Save Your Skin Foundation (SYSF) has joined forces with ocular melanoma (OM) survivor and advocate Nigel Deacon, to create Ocumel Canada and improve OM patient care across Canada.

TORONTO – January 15, 2019 – Read more


Save Your Skin Foundation Applauds Health Canada Approval of First Adjuvant Treatment for Melanoma to Prevent Relapse Following Surgery

Health Canada approves Tafinlar® (dabrafenib) plus Mekinist® (trametinib) for the Adjuvant Treatment of Melanoma Patients (with BRAF V600 mutation).

“Canadians with Stage III melanoma are in urgent need of access to new adjuvant therapeutic options to prevent recurrence – it’s unfair to expect them to just watch and wait for it to happen,” says Kathy Barnard, Founder of Save Your Skin Foundation. “We applaud Health Canada’s approval of this combination treatment for patients in this situation.”

VANCOUVER – November 2, 2018 – Read more


May is Melanoma Awareness Month – As Skin Cancer Rates Continue to Rise Across Canada, Save Your Skin Foundation is Raising Awareness on the Need for Prevention, Early Detection and Patient Support.

This year, for Melanoma Month, Save Your Skin Foundation, a Canadian, patient-led, not-for-profit organization operating across Canada and internationally, is dedicating this month to the following initiatives:  Raising public awareness of skin cancer, the need for preventative measures, and the importance of early detection. Supporting patients by offering assistance, providing helpful resources, and fighting for equal, timely access to treatment. Helping the emerging population of melanoma survivors to transition to life after cancer.

TORONTO – April 30, 2018 – Read more


Save Your Skin Foundation Applauds Health Canada’s Approval of BAVENCIO™ (avelumab for injection) for the treatment of metastatic Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC)

“Canadians living with metastatic MCC are in urgent need of access to new therapeutic options to treat their aggressive disease – they simply don’t have the luxury of time,” says Kathy Barnard, Founder of Save Your Skin Foundation. “We applaud Health Canada’s approval of BAVENCIO, which provides new hope for patients and their loved ones.”

VANCOUVER – February 23, 2018 – Read more


Canadian Patient Groups Call on Federal Health Minister to Halt the Process Examining Proposed Amendments to the Patented Medicine Regulations Pending Constructive Consultations

“Access, appropriate use and affordability are the pillars of our healthcare goals in Canada and we encourage comprehensive dialogue with patient organizations, industry and government to identify strategies and methods to maintain this balance,” said Louise Binder of Save Your Skin Foundation.  “We can’t jeopardize our current standard of care, especially in this era of unprecedented medical innovation and breakthrough therapies.”

TORONTO – February 15, 2018 – Read more


CONECTed Welcomes the Ontario PC Party’s Commitment to Improving Healthcare for Cancer Patients and Calls on Other Parties to Match These Platform Statements

“We recognize the importance of a sustainable, affordable health care system and also the importance of access to badly needed cancer treatments for people who would otherwise have terrible quality of life and a much shorter lifespan,” says Kathy Barnard, cancer survivor, Founder of Save Your Skin Foundation, and CONECTed steering committee member. “While innovative drugs are high priced, the provinces can negotiate risk sharing arrangements with the manufacturers that will save money in the drug budget…”

TORONTO – November 30, 2017 – Read more


Drug Pricing Policy Summit 2017: Measuring Progress and Making our Mark

Health System Transformation ~ Patients Share Vision and Engage Decision-Makers

November 15 – 16, 2017 from 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM

TORONTO – November 2017 – Read more


CONECTed Shining a Spotlight on the Lack of Transparency When it Comes to Access to Cancer Treatments

With federal, provincial, and territorial health ministers meeting in Edmonton later this week, a Canadian cancer patient network is expressing its concern about the lack of transparency in the pan-Canadian review process that formalizes recommendations on the funding of cancer therapies on public drug plans.

EDMONTON – October 18, 2017 – Read more


Global Melanoma Research Network, Save Your Skin Foundation and Pulse Infoframe Collaborate to Augment Collection of Patient Relevant Melanoma Data

Partnership to Result in Real Time Data to Inform Policy Makers, Advance Research and Benefit Those Living with Melanoma

“The ability to tap into existing innovative and broadly deployed melanoma registries is another example of how Save Your Skin Foundation is advocating for patients,” said Kathy Barnard, Save Your Skin Foundation Founder and President. “As a melanoma survivor, I know first-hand the challenges that all involved face. The Save Your Skin Foundation is committed to serving this field, in all facets, and ultimately to eliminating melanoma. Our relationship with the Global Melanoma Research Network and Pulse Infoframe supports and advances these commitments.”



#CancerChanged Campaign Launched to Celebrate National Cancer Survivors Day on Sunday, June 4th 2017

#CancerChanged is a series of documentary-style photo essays that bring to life the stories of Canadian men and women living with advanced cancers. The series aims to highlight hope and survivorship through the lens of award-winning Canadian photojournalists. The #CancerChanged campaign gives an authentic glimpse into the lives of people living longer with advanced cancers to foster hope, understanding and peer-to-peer support. It aims to drive awareness that cancer survival is changing from the time of diagnosis to the outcome of a person’s life.

VANCOUVER – June 1, 2017 – Read more


Federal Health Minister Dr. Jane Philpott’s announcement today at the Economic Club of Canada on “improving affordability, accessibility and appropriate use of drugs in Canada,” may well have a profound impact on drug prices in the country.

The many patient organizations participating in the Drug Pricing Policy Working Groups encourage relevant stakeholders to reconsider the way we measure the value of potential lifesaving drugs, enhance drug access in Canada and address high priced pharmaceuticals.

OTTAWA – May 16, 2017 – Read more


Save Your Skin Foundation Leads Patient Advocacy Initiative To Push For Equal, Timely Access To Innovative New Cancer Treatments
Thanks to the emergence of innovative new treatments, the last two years have marked a dramatic shift in how we look at cancer. These new treatments mean that cancer patients are not only seeing increased survival rates, but also experiencing a better quality of life while in treatment than was ever possible with standard therapies. The challenge with new treatments is ensuring that they are made accessible to patients who need them. The Save Your Skin Foundation’s advocacy initiatives are pushing for a more transparent, efficient, and agile approach to drug approval and provincial funding decisions.

VANCOUVER – April 26, 2017


Patient advocacy experts gather to start a conversation on cancer immunotherapy in Canada
Inaugural patient summit brings together experts across oncology to collaborate on patient access to innovative cancer treatments and foster collaboration among patient groups and the medical community to improve patient outcomes
TORONTO – March 27, 2017


JOINT ANNOUNCEMENT Major Step Forward in Accessing New Life-Extending Medication for Advanced Metastatic Lung, Melanoma and Kidney Cancer Patients

pCPA negotiations concluded. Provinces and Territories encouraged to quickly list.
TORONTO – February 13, 2017


Important New Cancer Treatments Approved By Health Canada Marred By Major Provincial Reality Disconnect For Patients

Patient access to innovative new cancer treatments seriously limited by provincial funding recommendations across Canada
TORONTO – November 22, 2016


Health Canada Approves First-ever Combination of Two Immuno-Oncology Agents for Metastatic Melanoma
Health Canada approves the OPDIVO® + YERVOY® regimen for previously untreated patients with unresectable or metastatic melanoma

VANCOUVER – October 31, 2016


ESMO (European Society for Medical Oncology) Breaks Records for Attendance and the Quality of Science Presented    

Save Your Skin Foundation attends ESMO 2016 in Copenhagen, Denmark,  taking part in the annual congress impacting the practice of oncology across the globe 

VANCOUVER – October 12, 2016


Canadians with advanced skin cancer share their disease journey in empowering photo series: Melanoma Through My Lens
Campaign aims to raise awareness about different forms of the life-threatening skin cancer and its impact on patients and their families
TORONTO – August 17, 2016


Save Your Skin Foundation Recognizes National Cancer Survivors Day (Sunday, June 5th) with Greater Hope for Advanced Melanoma Survival 

On the tenth anniversary of the Foundation, Cancer Survivors Day also marks a survivorship milestone for Save Your Skin Founder, Kathleen Barnard 

VANCOUVER – June 2, 2016


Save Your Skin Foundation is Creating a Healthier and More Sun Safe Canada 
May is Melanoma Awareness Month and the Canadian Foundation will roll out initiatives across the country to build greater awareness of skin cancer

VANCOUVER – April 28, 2016


Save Your Skin Foundation Wants You To Know It’s #NotJustSkinCancer

Tweets Inspired by Real Online Conversations Shed Light on Need for Greater  Skin Cancer Awareness and Education

VANCOUVER – March 30, 2016


Together, #WeCanICan create awareness of #WorldCancerDay on February 4th!

Save Your Skin Foundation Participates in World Cancer Day #WeCanICan campaign, an Initiative of the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC)

VANCOUVER – February 4, 2016



For more press releases prior to 2016, click here

together we can make a difference

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.

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