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Cancer Survivor Day 2022

The term ‘survivor’ can mean different things to different people. For some, a survivor may have completed active treatment and is free from any signs of melanoma or non-melanoma skin cancer. For others, the term may refer to anyone who has been diagnosed with melanoma skin cancer, or any type of cancer, at any point in their journey.

During treatment, just getting through each day can take all of the energy we have, making it hard to think about anything else, especially life after treatment. After treatments are over, many people experience mixed emotions of being glad it’s over, yet anxious about what the future may hold. This may be an unexpectedly challenging period of adjustment, so be sensitive to your own needs. Don’t expect to always feel good now that you’re out of treatment, and take the time you need to come to terms with what you have been through.

How can we define ‘survivorship’?

‘Survivorship’ can have many different meanings, depending on your outlook on the situation. The Canadian Cancer Society suggests a way of defining a cancer survivor as anyone who:

~ has finished and is recovering from their active cancer treatment
~ is on maintenance therapy
~ is having ongoing treatment for cancer that is stable and slow growing
~ is on active surveillance
~ is in remission or “NED” – having no evidence of disease

At wherever point you are in your cancer experience, ‘survivorship’ means simply what it means to you. If you believe that you are a survivor, take this label on and be proud of your strength!

Save Your Skin Foundation wishes to bring hope and support to all those newly diagnosed, currently undergoing treatment, or to those referred to as “NED.” We have several resources and sources of information and support listed through our website, some of which include:

Updated Canadian Statistics on Cancer Survivorship

The number of newly diagnosed cancer cases in Canada is increasing, but survival rates are also increasing, resulting in a greater need to address the unique challenges of cancer survivorship. Survival rates are increasing thanks to innovative medicines such as immunotherapy and targeted therapy treatments, many of which were first invented and tested for the treatment of melanoma skin cancer.

The 5-year survival rate for melanoma in 2015-2017 was 89%. Read our 2022 distillation of the CCS report with a focus on melanoma:  SYSF Recap Report – Canadian Cancer Society Statistics 2021

Hand in Hand, We Fight Skin Cancer Together – More Resources at these links:

Survivorship
Self-Care After Cancer 

Innovative Treatments – Taking Patients from Diagnosis to Survivorship

Decision-Support Tool For Stage III Melanoma
Customized for the Canadian audience, this pamphlet is a document to provide/discuss with patients that helps guide their decision making regarding next steps for stage III melanoma. Reviewed by Save Your Skin Foundation, updated February 2021:
Options for Stage III Melanoma ~ Making the Decision That’s Right for You

Want to learn how to use the Stage III Decision-Support Tool? Peruse frequently asked questions about Stage III melanoma and learn how to use the support tool to guide your decision making. Also developed in collaboration with Save Your Skin Foundation, updated February 2021:
Options for Stage III Melanoma: Making the Decision That’s Right for You, Companion Piece

Decision-Support Tool For Stage IV Melanoma
Newly customized for the Canadian audience, this pamphlet, created by AIM at Melanoma and reviewed by Save Your Skin Foundation in March 2022, is a document to support patients and help guide their decision making regarding next steps for stage IV melanoma:
Stage IV Melanoma Treatment Options: Making the Decision That’s Right for You
The document addresses:
– Stage IV melanoma clinical picture, biomarkers and pathology, and disease and patient factors involved in decision making
– Efficacy, safety, administration, and family-planning aspects of targeted therapies, immune checkpoint inhibitors, and other therapies used for stage IV melanoma

I’m Living Proof

When Save Your Skin Founder Kathy Barnard was diagnosed with metastatic malignant melanoma in 2003, the first thing she did was look to the internet for anything that would inspire optimism for her prognosis; hopeful news, survivors, or treatment options. She didn’t find much. Now as you can see there is a plethora of information and resources to help us though our skin cancer journey.

At any time, you can contact us at info@saveyourskin.ca, or call Kathy directly at 1-800-460-5832

You can also find other patients or survivors on our I’m Living Proof map of stars – request to connect with someone on the map, choose to share your story, or simply read through others’ experiences – you are not alone.

 

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WEBINAR: Latest news on melanoma/skin cancer/ocular melanoma from ASCO 2022

(le français suit)

Don’t miss our webinar with Dr. Marcus Butler, the Medical Oncology Disease Site Lead for Melanoma/Skin Oncology at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre and Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Toronto. He is also the Clinical Director for the Immune Monitoring Team at the Princess Margaret where he focuses on the immunologic impact of anti-cancer immunotherapies.

This webinar reviews late breaking news, key takeaways, clinical data and other updates presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting taking place in Chicago, Illinois, in June 2022.

Dr. Butler shares his key insights into what the landscape of melanoma, non-melanoma skin cancers, and ocular melanoma treatment looks like for the near future in Canada.

Click HERE to view the recording

 

WEBINAIRE : Mise à jour sur le mélanome/cancer de la peau/mélanome oculaire de l’ASCO 2022

Regardez l’enregistrement du webinaire avec le Dr Marcus Butler, responsable du site d’oncologie médicale pour le mélanome et l’oncologie de la peau au Princess Margaret Cancer Centre et professeur adjoint de médecine à l’Université de Toronto. Il est également le directeur clinique de l’équipe de surveillance immunitaire du Princess Margaret, où il se concentre sur l’impact immunologique des immunothérapies anticancéreuses.

Ce webinaire a passé en revue les dernières nouvelles, les points essentiels, les données cliniques et d’autres mises à jour présentées lors de l’assemblée annuelle de l’American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) qui a eu lieu à Chicago, en Illinois, en juin 2022.

Le Dr Butler a partagé ses idées clés sur ce à quoi ressemble le paysage du traitement du mélanome, des cancers de la peau autres que le mélanome et du mélanome oculaire dans un avenir proche au Canada.

Cliquez ici pour le webinaire

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Check out our national and international Melanoma Awareness Month initiatives!

May is Melanoma and Skin Cancer Awareness Month

This May, Save Your Skin Foundation and Ocumel Canada are running local, national and international campaigns to raise awareness on the importance of prevention and early detection of skin cancers. See a full list of our Melanoma Skin Cancer Month and Ocular Melanoma awareness initiatives HERE.

For the third year in a row, Save your Skin Foundation’s proclamation initiative has invited Canadian municipalities to take a stance against skin cancer and educate their communities on sun safety through mayoral proclamations. Over 38 municipalities across 8 provinces have issued signed Proclamations to proclaim the month of May 2022 ‘Melanoma and Skin Cancer Awareness Month’.  Look for your city on the list here

Members of our SYSF team have also had the honour to present to the Mayors and Councils of a dozen municipalities across the country to share their experiences as patients and spread the message of sun safety and early detection of skin cancer.

Skin check awareness

Save Your Skin Foundation is part of the Global Melanoma Coalition, a group of 43 organizations from 28 different countries bringing the patient voice to the melanoma space. The below videos have been created in collaboration with the Global Coalition.

It’s funny what you can miss when you’re not looking for it. Watch the Global Coalition video and learn the importance of checking your skin for melanoma and skin cancer:

Skin self-exam tutorial

This video covers the ABCD&E warning signs of melanoma and skin cancer, and the seven steps for checking the body. Pauses between the seven steps have been included in the film, so you can simply take your phone or tablet into a bathroom, hit play, and follow the instructions in real time:

 

#EyePatchDay

Having regular eye examinations could save your life! Routine eye tests can lead to early detection of ocular melanoma and many other health issues. However, statistics show that we are not visiting the optometrist as frequently as we should.

Make a commitment to booking an eye exam this month!

Visit OcumelCanada.ca to learn more

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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:

 

 

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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!

 

 

 

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Announcing the GetSkinHelp mobile app!

We want you to #StopWaiting and get your skin checked as part of #DigitalHealthWeek!

SYSF is proud to be partnering with Skinopathy for the launch of their mobile app: GetSkinHelp

The GetSkinHelp mobile app allows individuals to access the SkinAI™ technology – an embedded artificial intelligence that allows people to quickly analyze for a selection of skin diseases, including skin cancers – and schedule video appointments with a licensed Canadian doctor who can help determine next steps.

From there, the doctor might suggest an in-person appointment or simply write a prescription, which will be sent to the patient’s home or pharmacy. What is most important is that the app gets a person in front of a doctor faster than traditional means.

Watch this video to learn more:

 

Download the new free #GetSkinHelp app and have your skin concerns analyzed by their SkinAI™ technology. You can then schedule an appointment with a skin doctor and have them check it out virtually. And best of all, it is all covered by provincial health plans!

#StopWaiting and download the app now to get the medical attention YOU need:

Download the app for Apple  |  Download the app for Android

 

See a licensed doctor and heal your skin. All online. On any device.
And covered by Canadian health cards.

In the summer of 2020, Dr. Colin Hong and entrepreneur Keith Loo noticed that the medical delays caused by the pandemic had resulted in greater occurrences of late stage skin cancers being diagnosed. A few months later they created Skinopathy, a medtech company with one simple goal: find answers on how they can help solve this growing public concern.

Save Your Skin Foundation is proud to support the launch of GetSkinHelp – a new service covered by Canadian health cards that allows people to get prompt and virtual medical attention when it comes to skin diseases and skin cancers. Click here to read the press release

At Save Your Skin Foundation, we are an organization dedicated to reducing skin cancers in Canada and providing compassionate support to those living with skin cancer. And we are always on the lookout for ways that can help with that mandate, but we also acknowledge we are not the experts on advanced technology.

As part of Digital Health Week and the #StopWaiting and Get Skin Help campaign, with the folks at Skinopathy, we hosted this roundtable that will help us understand how healthcare is changing due to new technologies, and what needs to happen to keep patients safe. 

The Future of Healthcare – Just Because We Can, Doesn’t Always Mean We Should

Healthcare and technology luminaries discuss how modern technology and social trends are changing healthcare, but are they all good things and what can be done to safeguard patients?

Moderated by Dr. Jonathan Reichental, with Guests – Ashley Casovan, Pirth Singh, and Keith Loo. Click here to view the Roundtable Discussion:

 

#StopWaiting and GetSkinHelp

Download the app for Apple  |  Download the app for Android

***Moderator***

Dr. Jonathan Reichental

Dr. Reichental is the founder of the advisory, investment, and education firm, Human Future. He is also a multiple-award-winning technology and business leader whose career has spanned both the private and public sectors. Most notably, he served as the chief information officer for the City of Palo Alto in California and in 2017 was named one of the top 100 CIOs in the World.

***Guests***

Ashley Casovan

Ashley has been at the forefront of building tools and policy interventions to support the responsible use and adoption of innovative technologies, both with her work at the Government of Canada, and now as the Executive Director of the Responsible AI Institute. She was also named as one of the top 100 most influential Young People in Government by Apolitical in 2018.

Pirth Singh

Pirth is a government maverick and trailblazer who has helped the government of Canada embrace open source technologies. He is now the Assistant Director General for the Industry Canada Innovation, Science and Economic Development team where he is leading the work on the development and implementation of digital credentials.

Keith Loo

Keith is the CEO and Co-Founder of Skinopathy, a Canadian medical technology startup that is revolutionizing the patient circle-of-care. He is heavily involved in the Canadian tech start-up community, consults out of several incubators and accelerators in the Greater Toronto Area, and is an entrepreneurship instructor at the Schulich School of Business.

 

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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!

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Move for Melanoma After Party

Join the funnest part of MOVE FOR MELANOMA this year by joining our VIRTUAL AFTER PARTY! Celebrate with the Save Your Skin team, donors and fellow participants! Everyone is welcome!

The After Party will take place on Sunday, September 26th, 2021 at 5pm PT | 8pm ET on a platform called Topia. If you attended our virtual Giving Hope Gala in the spring, then you will know that Topia is a fun, new, online chat platform that allows us to connect virtually in a more human way. You’ll easily be able to move in and out of conversations with other attendees like you would in person with the platform’s spatial video, while also exploring a world full of surprises.

In the meantime, click here to share, participate in, and stay up to date on the progress of our 3rd annual Move for Melanoma event!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 – 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 September 26th 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. 
  • You can mute yourself or others by clicking the speaker icon in the top right corner of your video or theirs. When muted the speaker will turn from black to red.
  • To send a private message to someone at the gala, click on the envelope symbol on their video. If someone sends you a private message, the envelope symbol to the left of your screen will become red. 

 

For complete instructions on how to use Topia and join the party, click here!

 

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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!

          

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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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