Kathy Barnard

Webinar – Post-CMC 2023 Update from Dr. Smylie

Date/Time:  March 1 – 5pm-6:30 pm PT / 8pm-9:30 pm ET

Presented by Dr. Michael Smylie, Cross Cancer Institute, Edmonton, this webinar will review breaking news, key takeaways, clinical data and other updates presented at the Canadian Melanoma Conference (CMC) taking place in Banff, Alberta, from February 23-25, 2023. Dr. Smylie will present on key clinical trial data from 2022 in the management of melanoma, the latest strategies in melanoma as they pertain to medical oncology, pathology, radiation and surgery, and implementation approaches that maximize patient standard of care in melanoma. Dr. Michael Smylie is a medical oncologist at the Cross Cancer Institute, and a professor at the Department of Oncology at the University of Alberta in Edmonton

View Webinar Recording (English) Here


  • Kathy Barnard, President, SYSF, melanoma stage 4 survivor
  • Dr. Michael Smylie, Medical Oncologist, Cross Cancer Institute, Professor, Department of Oncology, University of Alberta, Edmonton

More on CMC

This conference brings together medical oncologists, surgeons, dermatologists, radiotherapists, pathologists, molecular biologists, immunologists, and other allied health professionals interested in the treatment of melanoma worldwide.

  1. Describe key clinical trial data from 2022 in the management of melanoma and understand the impact on Canadian practices.
  2. Understand the latest strategies in melanoma as they pertain to medical oncology, pathology, radiation, and surgery.
  3. Implement approaches that maximize patient standard of care in melanoma.
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Hockey Fights Cancer Focuses on Save Your Skin Foundation This Year

Save Your Skin Foundation has been chosen to receive special focus during the Vancouver Canucks’s Hockey Fights Cancer Night!


This year’s Hockey Fights Cancer game will have a special focus and holds important meaning to a member of the Canucks family. In 2020, Natalie Miller’s mother, Janet, passed away from metastatic melanoma. Since her diagnosis, J.T. and Natalie have supported Save Your Skin Foundation. The Vancouver Canucks announced this morning that a $20,000 donation will be made to Save Your Skin Foundation on behalf of the Canucks for Kids Fund.


If you’d like to join us on Sat, Dec. 3rd at Rogers Arena, you can purchase your tickets using the following link and SYSF will get $10 from every ticket sold: We will have a booth in section 111 so if you come to the game, make sure to come say hi! A video featuring SYSF founder Kathy Barnard will play during the game and our booth will be features as well.


On top of all this, the purple jerseys worn by the players during their warm-up session will be auctioned off with proceeds coming to SYSF. We are truly honoured by the generosity shown by the Vancouver Canucks and the J.T. Miller family, and by this wonderful opportunity to bring greater awareness to melanoma.


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Webinar – Living with Cancer: Survivorship & Mental Wellness

Date/Time:  November 23, 2022 – 5pm-6:30 pm PT / 8pm-9:30 pm ET

This webinar will focus on the experience of cancer survivors and the importance of mental wellness from the perspective of four women with unique backgrounds and experiences in the cancer space. Shannon Gaudette, a melanoma stage 4 survivor, will talk about her physical and emotional wellbeing throughout her cancer experience. She will be followed by Antonella Scali, Executive Director of the Canadian Psoriasis Network and the daughter of a cancer survivor, who will talk about the results of a survey completed by All.Can Canada and implications for mental health and the need for psychosocial supports. Then, Kathy Barnard, president of the Save Your Skin Foundation and a melanoma stage 4 survivor, will talk about her experience as a long-time survivor. Finally, Lyanne Westie, SYSF wellness support consultant, will present on the importance of mental wellness in all aspects of life. These short presentations will be followed by a discussion between the four presenters, with time for questions from webinar attendees.

Watch the recording here


  • Kathy Barnard, President, SYSF, melanoma stage 4 survivor
  • Antonella Scali, MSW RSW, Executive Director, Canadian Psoriasis Network
  • Shannon Gaudette, melanoma stage 4 survivor
  • Lyanne Westie, SYSF wellness support consultant
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#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

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Happy Holidays from the SYSF Team!

From Save Your Skin Foundation’s Founder and President, Kathy Barnard, here is a message of thanks to all those who supported the Foundation this past year. SYSF’s team is so very grateful to all those who helped us as we continued offering the best support possible to melanoma, non-melanoma skin cancer and ocular melanoma patients and caregivers, despite the unprecedented challenges we faced this year.

Warmest wishes for a happy holiday season and a wonderful New Year. With lots of love.


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Cancelled: Join Team Save Your Skin at the BMO Vancouver International Marathon


The 2020 BMO Vancouver Marathon has been cancelled due to increased COVID-19 concerns and the recent directive from the British Columbia Provincial Health Officer to ban all public gatherings that exceed 250 people.

For more information about the cancellation and how BMO Vancouver International Marathon plans to proceed, please visit:


This May 3rd, Team Save Your Skin will be running in the BMO Vancouver International Marathon.

Join Rosemary Westie, champion of Save Your Skin Foundation, and other team members in proudly donning the Team Save Your Skin jersey. Our colours and logo have become a symbol of hope for those fighting melanoma. Let’s make our presence known!

Join the team! 


The BMO Marathon offers several race lengths:

  • Marathon (42.2 km)
  • Half Marathon (21.1 km)
  • 8 km
  • Relay (Runner A – 12 km, Runner B – 12 km, Runner C – 5 km, Runner D – 13 km)


Don’t want to run but still want to support Team Save Your Skin? Wear our jersey while volunteering at the Marathon!

Learn more about the BMO Vancouver International Marathon here.

Rosemary’s  Story

My sister Kath was diagnosed with late stage melanoma back in 2003. Needless to say, it was shattering.  We were petrified that we would lose her, but miracles do happen, and although it has been an uphill battle she is still with us today.  Kath has always been an amazing person, very thoughtful, giving and strong, both mentally and physically.  It is these qualities that have kept her going through her battle with melanoma, and these same qualities that she now calls upon to help anyone else struggling with this form of cancer through the organization we founded together, Save Your Skin Foundation.

Every time I challenge myself to run for melanoma patients, I am humbled by people dealing with real challenges, challenges they did not choose.  So friends, at this time I am reaching out to ask you to join me in running to help spread awareness of melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers so that the ones you love never have to experience what Kath and our family went through.

For more information on joining Team Save Your Skin at the BMO Marathon, please contact Rosemary Westie at

Sign up now!

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Team Save Your Skin Runs the Beaches of Normandy on D-Day 2019

Guest post by Rosemary Westie, ultra marathon runner and member of Team Save Your Skin, who is traveling to France in June 2019 to run the race of a lifetime. 

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.

This amazing race hugs the Normandy Coast line, and has us running over sand dunes and pebble beaches, through marsh lands and beautiful villages.  The race begins in Pointe Du Hoc, high on a cliff overlooking the English Channel where in 1944, 200 elite Rangers climbed the chalk cliff on a mission to find and destroy the large battery guns firing at the troops arriving on the beaches.  200 men began the climb, and 30 men survived.

From there we will run across the beaches, Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno and Sword, all still scattered with memorials and reminders of the life changing battle that took place there so many years ago.  Ultimately, after running along the beautiful coastline we will finish our run at Pegasus Bridge.  It was within meters of here that Horsa Gliders were deployed in the evening of June 5th, to secure the bridge to aid in the landing force which would be arriving in the morning at Sword Beach.

It is fitting that the official finish line is just across the bridge, at the Café Gondree, the first house to be liberated in WW11.  Here, Ms Gondree, who inherited the café from her father and remembers the relief and joy they felt when the first British commandos knocked on their door, will be pouring champagne for all of the participants taking part in the D-Day44 Challenge.

On this day there are 2 events, the 44 mile run, which I will be participating in, and a 22 mile walk, which will stretch from Juno Beach to Pegasus Bridge.  I am really pleased that my husband Tom, a long time supporter of our Save Your Skin Foundation, will be taking on the 22 mile walk.

Tom and I have both been very lucky in our lives, surrounded by good family and friends, and more importantly good health.  Not everyone we know has been so fortunate.

When my sister Kath was diagnosed with late stage melanoma back in 2003, it was shattering.  We were petrified that we would lose her, but miracles do happen, and although it has been an uphill battle she is still with us today.  Kath has always been an amazing person, very thoughtful, giving and strong.  Strong mentally and physically.  It is these qualities that have kept her going through her battle with melanoma,  and these same qualities that she now calls upon to help anyone else struggling with this cruel form of cancer through our, Save Your Skin Foundation.

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, miles from home into enemy fire, sacrificing everything for the safety of others.

So friends, at this time I am reaching out to ask for a small donation. Through this event we are hoping to raise some money for our Save Your Skin Foundation, which provides emotional and financial support to those dealing with melanoma.

Click here to make a donation in honour of Rosemary’s Run


Also, in support of the organizers of this event, my family will be contributing to the Blesma Foundation.  Blesma, is an organization in Britain that supports veterans that have lost limbs, their eyesight, or are struggling with post traumatic disorder.

Thank you in advance for your support,

Rosemary Westie



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National Post: Therapeutic Spotlight on Immuno-Oncology

On September 26, 2018, you may have seen a special insert in the paper version of the National Post across the country, featuring eight pages of informative articles about immunotherapy, an innovative treatment proving successful in several cancer indications.  This special content is the result of a collaboration between sponsoring funders, patient group representatives, and the folks at a group called Patient Diaries.  Over the years, Patient Diaries has coordinated several series such as this, raising awareness of various diseases and their effective treatments.                                                        This time they chose to highlight Immuno-Oncology.

Researchers and clinicians treating metastatic melanoma have been seeing success with these therapies for about ten years, but the growing use of and experimentation with them in recent years has been the topic of discussion at countless oncology conferences and treatment centres around the world.  In fact, just last month the 2018 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded to James P. Allison and Tasuku Honjo for their discovery of cancer therapy by inhibition of negative immune regulation: immunotherapy.

Save Your Skin Foundation openly discusses the need for access to these treatments by melanoma patients across Canada, and we jumped on the opportunity to be the primary patient group sponsor of this feature, sharing our collective patient experience with these therapies. On page six of the insert there was an article in which both Kathy Barnard and Natalie Richardson of Save Your Skin were interviewed.  We were also given half a page to display informative anecdotes about ourselves and raise awareness of our ongoing support of skin cancer patients.

In addition to the paper version of the Therapeutic Spotlight, a digital space has been placed on the National Post website.  SYSF awareness spots and our patient video from May 2018 can be seen throughout the Immuno-Oncology board – please feel free to take a look around.  There are additional informative articles about innovative treatments for lung cancer, leukemia, and breast cancer.

There is also a blog written by Natalie Richardson, melanoma survivor and Managing Director of SYSF, discussing the barriers to treatment access that many Canadian patients face.  Click here to read the blog: Cancer Patients Receive Unequal Treatment Depending on Stage or Postal Code

To see what else SYSF is talking about, click here to visit our MEDIA page!

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Surviving Melanoma – Our New Video

Click here to watch our new patient-led awareness video:  Surviving Melanoma

Launched last week at our Giving Hope Gala in Toronto, this video portrays several melanoma survivor stories and their experiences within the community of support at Save Your Skin Foundation.

This film would not have been possible without the generous participation of a handful of melanoma patients and survivors, and for that we cannot thank them enough.

Click here to view on YouTube

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Melanoma Patient Support Group Webinars

All patients, survivors, family members, and caregivers are invited to join these informal monthly webinars to connect with other patients and survivors across Canada.        Join one or all three:
Thurs, February 1, 2018
Thurs, March 1, 2018
Thurs, April 5, 2018

5pm PST | 8pm EST

We know the importance of having a good support network during difficult times. This is why we decided to organize a recurring support group by Webinar. Although melanoma patients and survivors are scattered all over Canada, these webinars will allow them to talk to others going through similar experiences from the comfort of their own home.  Founder Kathy Barnard will be in attendance, along with other members of the SYSF team. Whether you’re a patient or a caregiver, we hope that you will take part in this virtual discussion around melanoma, treatments, and hope.


Within 48 hours of registering for this webinar, you will receive an email from providing you with the link and dial-in details for this group call in gotoMeeting. You will be able to choose if you wish to share your webcam with all participants, or participate in call-in mode only.

Thank you, and hope to chat with you soon!

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