Francais
info@saveyourskin.ca

community

Looking Back at 2021

Our 2021 Annual Reports are out now!

It’s always a rewarding experience to look back on the past year and see how much the Foundation has accomplished.

Despite another year amid the pandemic, Save Your Skin Foundation and Ocumel Canada have continued to grow partnerships, operations and services, and reach more people touched by melanoma, non-melanoma skin cancer and ocular melanoma.

We are extremely grateful to our community of patients, caregivers, healthcare providers and sponsors who continue to inspire and support us in our endeavors.

Click on the images below to view the reports:

 

 

Read more

A Viking’s Challenge 3rd Edition is Here!

In March of 2020, Chris Isfeld and his childhood friend Shawn Bjornsson completed a massive challenge. Three years after Chris was diagnosed with late stage melanoma and recovered from being partially paralyzed from the waist down, they ran 30km across frozen Lake Winnipeg and raised almost $20,000 for melanoma patients.

One year later, they were facing a different kind of Viking’s challenge: a global pandemic that kept Chris from returning to Gimli to run on the lake with Shawn. But that didn’t stop them from getting people all over Canada to join them in running and walking to raise funds and awareness wherever they were.

This year, life has thrown Chris yet another curve-ball. A large mass was found on his right adrenal gland, forcing him to stop training to focus on his treatment. Though Chris is hopeful that the immunotherapy treatment that saved his life in 2017 will help him overcome this latest challenge, he needs our support!

Let’s show Chris he is not alone on this journey by joining A Viking’s Challenge and pledging to run or walk! By channeling our inner Vikings, we will make a powerful statement of support for Chris and fellow melanoma patients across Canada.

All registrants will receive a charitable donation tax receipt and those who want one will receive a beautiful A Viking’s Challenge participant medal. To learn more about Chris’s story and previous years’ events, click here.

 

Event Details

When: March 4 – 6, 2022
Where: Anywhere in Canada. Shawn Bjornsson will be running in Gimli, MB, the largest icelandic community outside of Iceland.
How: To participate, you must first register here and pledge to run a certain number of kilometres. We will keep a running tally of the number of kilometres pledged and see how many times we can “cross” Lake Winnipeg.

Each participant will have the option to get a free medal to commemorate their participation. Special t-shirts and other merchandise are also available for purchase in our Etsy store!

As always, every dollar raised through this event will go directly to assisting melanoma, non melanoma skin cancer and ocular melanoma patients meet their everyday needs during treatment in the form of transportation, accommodation, child care and more.

So what are you waiting for? Register now and start training to channel your inner Viking!

 

 

 

Read more

SYSF Holiday Party 2021

You’re Invited!

Sunday, December 19th at 5pm PT / 8pm ET

 

This party will be hosted in our custom Topia virtual world, with lots of festive activities and surprises. This party is for all patients, family members and friends of the Foundation.

Come in your most festive apparel with your favourite holiday beverage!

Instructions for how to join the party

On Dec 19th, click here to start the party: 

https://topia.io/save-your-skin-foundation

What you’ll need:

  • A computer or a tablet – You’ll need a Windows or Mac desktop or laptop computer equipped with a camera, or a Android Tablet or Ipad.
  • For the best experience on Android tablets please use “desktop mode” in Chrome.
  • A supported web browser – Topia works best on Google Chrome, Edge, and Brave on desktop and laptop computers. For best results we recommend using one of these three browsers.
  • Headphones/ear buds – There is ambient sound in Topia which is personal to you. Headphones ensure a great experience. Without headphones, higher volume can result in feedback for other guests or mixed sounds which isn’t fun for anyone.

How to join:

  • On December 19 at 5pm PT | 8pm ET, click on this link to join: https://topia.io/save-your-skin-foundation. Don’t bother trying to go on beforehand as it will not be available.
  • When you first go in, you will be asked to choose a display name.
  • Your browser will ask for permission to use your camera and audio. If you have Zoom/Teams/Skype open you won’t be able to do this, so please make sure they’re closed first.

What to do once you’re in:

  • You can move around the space using either mouse clicks or your arrow cursor buttons.
  • You hear and see people better the closer you are to their little “Topi,” or person.
  • If you walk away from people you hear and see them less. People “fade out” as they get farther away.
  • As you explore, notice when your cursor turns into a pointer. This indicates that the object your mouse is on has a function. Click to interact with the object.

See you there!!

Read more

With Thanks to All Move for Melanoma 2021 Participants, Donors, and Sponsors

A tremendous THANK YOU to all of our incredibly dedicated participants and generous donors!

95 participants and 29 teams across Canada took part in Move for Melanoma this year! We have been so moved and inspired by this incredible community of patients, families, and friends.

When we set the ambitious goal of raising $75,000 this year, we thought we might be aiming a little high. But clearly, we were right to dream big because, with your help, we ended up surpassing our goal!

To wrap up this monumental weekend, we’ve created the Recap Video below. We hope you will take a few moments to watch it as we pay tribute to our incredible participants, donors and sponsors across Canada.

 

We’d also like to highlight the five fundraising teams that raised the most.

Team Miller
Vancouver Canucks’ JT Miller and his wife Natalie fundraised in memory of Natalie’s mother who passed from melanoma last year.  We can’t thank them enough for their support over the last year. Check out the Team Miller page here.

Team Mela-No-More 
Based in Port Moody, BC, Team Captain Stefanie Lynch and her teammates organized a run/walk at Inlet Park and raised almost $11,000! Stefanie’s mother is currently fighting Stage 4 malignant melanoma. Check out her team page here.

Team The Eyes Have It
Based in Victoria, BC, Team Captain Nigel Deacon ran a marathon distance to inspire others to donate to this worthy cause. All together, his team raised an amazing $7,300 for ocular melanoma patients. Nigel was diagnosed with advanced ocular melanoma 10 years ago and now advocates for ocular melanoma patients across Canada.
Check out his team page here.

Team Stringer
Nicole and Michael Stringer hosted a virtual 3km or 5km run/walk in Red Deer Alberta and raised just under $5,000. Michael is currently fighting Stage 4 Melanoma. A heartfelt thank you to the Stringer Family. Check out their team page here.

The Laurence B. “For Life” Team
The Campbell River team, led by Laurence’s mother, Michelle, threw axes for 6 hours and raised almost $4,000. Amazing work everyone! Laurence is currently fighting ocular melanoma. Check out their team page here.

Move for Melanoma Sponsors

Finally, we’d like to acknowledge the many businesses that stepped up to support our event this year. Please show them your support!

Read more

Move for Melanoma 2021

Move for Melanoma is back!

This year, we’ll be joined by Vancouver Canucks’ JT Miller and his wife Natalie to raise funds for melanoma skin cancer. 

Move for Melanoma is an activity challenge that takes place across Canada. The goal of the event is to bring awareness to melanoma, non-melanoma skin cancer and ocular melanoma, while raising funds to support patients affected with these illnesses when they need it most.

This year, the event will take place on September 25-26th, 2021. As always, participants will be able to choose a physical challenge of their choice to complete on the weekend of the event. Participants will form teams and, together with their friends and family, try to reach their personal fundraising goals.

To facilitate the whole thing, again this year we will be using a custom website that allows people to register, donate, solicit donations, track progress and promote the event all in one place. The website also includes many resources for participants to help them get ready, and a Q&A page for more information.

If you’re interested in joining us, please visit Move for Melanoma 2021 and register now.

 

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.

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

Hand in hand, we fight melanoma together!

          

Read more

#InItTogether Campaign – Melanoma Is Personal

We’ve teamed up with Hayley Wickenheiser again this year to bring awareness to those coping with a melanoma diagnosis.  Summer is here, but if you’re not protecting yourself from the sun, the damage can be far-reaching. Melanoma is one of the top 10 cancers diagnosed in Canada and getting a diagnosis can be scary. Arming yourself with the right information you can literally change the course of your melanoma experience.

Ask about your mutation type. Do your research to find out your options. And know you are not alone in this.

Some Patients, Survivors, and Caregivers from the Save Your Skin Foundation family have come together share their story to inspire education and hope.

“I am newly diagnosed with metastatic malignant melanoma, and I plan to survive it.” – SHERI

“My melanoma came back, but I’m not letting fear in.” – BOB

“I was in end-of-life care when my doctor recommended I take part in a clinical trial.” – MIKE

“Learning that my melanoma was BRAF+ was a huge weight off my shoulders. That knowledge shaped my path through the disease.” – COLIN

“Melanoma research literally saved my life. Today I’m surrounded with the support of the melanoma community and I know they have my back.” – NATALIE

Check out this article in Elle magazine, dedicated to Canadians who have their own personal melanoma stories: 

ELLE Canada – Summer is Back ~ Do you know what you need to know about melanoma?

Check out these “Melanoma is Personal” videos on YouTube   And click here to see more clips on the SYSF youTube channel

Read more

SYSF Around the World

“SYSF works hard to bring resources from around the world to give Canadian skin cancer patients the latest information on treatment options and disease management.

This year our May campaigns have gone around the globe – from our long-standing participation in the Global Coalition for Melanoma Patient Advocacy with the Melanoma Research Foundation to the Melanoma International Patient Advocates Coalition with AIM at Melanoma to Ocumel Canada’s partnership with the US, the UK, Ireland and Australia, all the way home to the NCCN Guidelines created in the US but used by our own Health Care Providers in Canada.

We hope you enjoy these resources and welcome questions or feedback any time.”

Natalie Richardson, Managing Director, SYSF

We are very pleased to congratulate the National Comprehensive Cancer Network on the release of a new valuable patient/caregiver resource! Save Your Skin Foundation is proud to have provided endorsement for the Guide and have our Managing Director Natalie featured on the cover!

The new NCCN Guidelines for Patients® on Melanoma provides an extremely comprehensive and informational reference for patients covering melanoma basics, testing, staging, treatment and recurrence. 

Click HERE to view and download the Guidelines

 

In collaboration with the Global Coalition for Melanoma Patient Advocacy, hosted by the Melanoma Research Foundation in the United States, Save Your Skin Foundation participated in the making of this skin check awareness video for Melanoma Awareness Month 2021, featuring melanoma patients and caregivers from across the globe demonstrating that the time it takes to do a skin self-exam is the same as that of drinking a cup of coffee. Check it out:

Need help performing a self skin check? Click here for a video tutorial!

 

Also:

Save Your Skin Foundation is a proud member of MI-PAC, a coalition of organizations across the globe committed to reducing the global melanoma burden through education, advocacy, and collaboration. MIPAC, hosted by AIM at Melanoma in the United States, works to increase awareness and change public perceptions of melanoma, empower melanoma patients to take an active role in their care, and effect change in regulatory policies to optimize treatment and care.

Watch for our upcoming patient stories and continued awareness initiatives right here at home in Canada!  For more information or support please contact us at kathy@saveyourskin.ca / 1.800.460.5832

 

Read more

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:

 

 

REGISTER NOW

 

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!

[table id=6 /]

 

SIGN ME UP!

 

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.

Read more

One Week Until Move for Melanoma!

All across Canada teams of runners, bikers, hikers, and even laser tag enthusiasts are all preparing to MOVE FOR MELANOMA next weekend!

In our weekend-long fund-and-awareness-raising activity challenge Save Your Skin supporters will be all hands on deck to make this event great.

Friday September 13 kicks off Move for Melanoma with a team of cyclists biking 600 kilometres in the Montreal area, wrapping up the ride on Monday September 16 in conjunction with two shorter rides, 85 kms and 55 kms, in which our very own Kathy Barnard will be biking with her husband alongside the BMS team.

On the Saturday and Sunday in cities all over, participants will do their favourite activities in the name of melanoma patient support – in addition to the run and bike routes people have planned, we have crossfit teams, kayaking, city tour walking, and axe-throwing!

Haven’t yet registered? 

CLICK HERE to view the event website and join a team, create a team, or donate today!

Click on any image below to see what these teams are doing:

             

             

 

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!”

Email us to let us know what you’re doing for MOVE FOR MELANOMA! 

Stay tuned for more photos and excitement from the events next weekend.  We will also post thanks to our generous sponsors, including:

Bristol-Meyers Squibb Canada, Montreal, Quebec

AXED Throwing Club, Thornbury, Ontario

Beach City CrossFit, Penticton, BC

MadLab School of Fitness, Vancouver, BC

And many more!

 

 

 

Read more

Launch of Free, Public Sunscreen Dispensers in Kelowna

Today marks the launch of two free, public sunscreen dispensers in key Kelowna hot spots. The project has been powered by Morgan’s Mole Patrol and Save Your Skin Foundation, with the support of the City of Kelowna.  Click here to read our press release.

In memory of her son Morgan Forshner, Karen Wells of Kelowna, started Morgan’s Mole Patrol Foundation to spread awareness about the importance of sun safety. Her aim is to stop the spread of melanoma, a largely preventable cancer – with the application of some sun smart behaviour.  Karen reached out to Kathy Barnard of Save Your Skin Foundation in the initiative, and quickly a partnership was born.

This launch is just the beginning of Karen and Kathy’s plan to install many more dispensers in Kelowna and all over British Columbia.  Stay tuned for news!

First located at the Kelowna’s Visitor Centre downtown, and the Kelowna Golf & Country Club, the dispensers are automatic and touchless, and will provide free, Health Canada approved SPF 30 sunscreen for anyone who needs it. The dispensers use SPF 30 sunscreen, free from known dangerous ingredients such as parabens, oxybenzone, retinyl palminate, phthalate, PEG, parfume, and sodium lauryl sulphate.

Applying sunscreen is part of an overall sun-safe way to enjoy the outdoors. First, limit your time in the direct sunlight, especially between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., seek shade, cover up by wearing long sleeves and pants and a wide-brimmed hat. Use sunscreen, specifically one labelled broad-spectrum, SPF 30, protect the lips with lip sunscreen or zinc oxide. Apply 20 minutes before sun exposure, and reapply every two hours or after swimming.

Shoutout to David Cornfield Melanoma Fund, who first launched their sunscreen dispensers pilot in Toronto in 2017. Since then they continue to inspire us all with the growth of their program, totalling 50 dispensers in 2018, and they now have 75. Way to go!

Congratulations to Karen and her family, we know Morgan would feel honoured today.

 

 

 

 

Read more