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melanoma patient support

New Merchandise Just in Time for the Holidays!

 

The holiday season is right around the corner and we know many of you are busy buying gifts for your loved ones.

To bring a little bit of extra cheer to our own holiday season, and to entice you to support melanoma patients while checking off your shopping list, we opened an Etsy store and designed some brand new Save Your Skin merchandise!

Amongst other things, we now have branded hoodies, headbands, t-shirts, bags, masks and, our favorite new item this year, a hilarious Ugly Christmas Sweater!

Whatever you end up buying, rest assured that all proceeds will, as usual, go directly to patients living with melanoma, non-melanoma skin cancer and ocular melanoma to help them with their everyday needs during treatment in the form of transportation, accommodation, child care, lost wages and more.

There’s an item for everyone in the family, and for every budget. For the fitness enthusiast, we have stylish branded Lululemon shirts and tank tops for men and women. For the minimalist, we have classic black tees with a simple logo. And for that friend who loves making others laugh, I think you’ll agree that the Ugly Christmas Sweater will do just that.

 

 

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Post-ESMO Webinar with Dr. Dummer: Skin Cancer News 2020

Webinar Recording Available! Click HERE

Presented by Professor Reinhard Dummer, Professor of the University of Zurich and Vice-Chairman of the Department of Dermatology in the University Hospital of Zürich, Switzerland, this webinar reviews late breaking news, key takeaways, clinical data and other updates presented at the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) Virtual Congress Annual Meeting September-October 2020.  Dr. Dummer shares his key insights into what the landscape of melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancer treatment looks like for the near future.  Watch until the end to see Dr. Dummer and Kathy Barnard discuss hope and survivorship in melanoma skin cancer.

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Prof. Reinhard Dummer, MD
Vice-Chairman, Department of Dermatology
University Hospital of Zürich, Switzerland

Professor Reinhard Dummer is Professor of the University of Zurich and Vice-Chairman of the Department of Dermatology in the University Hospital of Zürich, Switzerland and is a key thought leader in worldwide cutaneous oncology. Currently he is heading of the Skin Cancer Unit and the Clinical Trial Unit of the Department of Dermatology. Professor Dummer began his medical education in haematology and oncology before successfully completing his dermatology residency in Würzburg, Germany, and Zürich in 1992.

He is Board Certified in allergology, clinical immunology, dermatology and dermatopathology.

Professor Dummer’s principal research interests are molecular biology, immunology and immunotherapy of cutaneous malignancies, including cutaneous lymphomas and melanomas. He has published more than 741 papers with a cumulative impact factor of more than 6372. He w as past-president of the Melanoma Project Group of the Swiss Institute for Applied Cancer Research since 1999 -2016, is a member of German National Academy of Sciences (Leopoldina) and is past board member of the Society for Melanoma Research and past President of the International Society for Cutaneous Lymphomas.

He is a founding and board member of the European Association of Dermato-Oncology (EADO), ESMO, URPP and past President of the European Society for Dermatological Research (ESDR).

In the last 20 years, he has developed a leading skin cancer center. This center offers best medical care, a network of clinical trials reaching from phase I to phase III. His contributions are acknowledge in many publications in outstanding journals such as New England Journal of Medicine, Lancet, Lancet Oncology, Press etc. Locally he is intensify cooperation with basic research group at the University and the federal University (ETH). This has resulted in translation work improving our understanding of cutaneous malignancies.

To view the webinar recording please CLICK HERE

 

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Move for Melanoma 2020 – It’s a Wrap!

 

To everyone who participated in Move for Melanoma 2020 by raising awareness and funds in their communities, a huge thank you! We couldn’t have done it without you!


Over 100 participants
and 24 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.

We’d like to thank all those who supported Move for Melanoma by making a donation, sponsoring an event or spreading the word. Thanks to you, the event was a monumental success!
We reached 120% of our (doubled) fundraising goal! You can read our full post-event press release HERE.

To all participants and donors, your dedication to the fight against skin cancer will help Save Your Skin Foundation continue to support Canadians living with non-melanoma skin cancer, melanoma and ocular melanoma when they need it most. Every single dollar raised through your donations will go directly to patients in the form of cab fares, treatment costs, flights, accommodation and other necessary but costly expenses incurred while receiving treatment.

Thanks to all our participants who sent us pictures of themselves and their teammates taking part in Move for Melanoma, we were able to create a beautiful Wrap video of the event. We encourage you to take 2 minutes to complete our post-event PARTICIPANT SURVEY to help us improve for next year!

 

Watch our 2020 Wrap video!

 

 

Thank you to our Sponsors:

 

We’d like to acknowledge the many businesses that have stepped up to support our event this year. They have generously donated prizes for our top fundraisers and made monetary contributions to the event.
Please show them your support!

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Move for Melanoma Fundraising Tips

The Countdown is On!

 

Easy Fundraising Tools

 

To all of you who have already registered, a big thank you! With 25 days to go, we’ve already reached 45% of our fundraising goal. But we can’t stop here!

Soliciting donations doesn’t come naturally to everyone. That’s why we’ve created some fundraising templates that you can use.

These are pre-written messages you can customize and post to your social media or send by email to your friends and family. We wrote five different messages, so you can use the one you prefer, or use a different one every week.

To check out the templates and other resources, click here.

And don’t forget, if you don’t ask, the answer is always no! Most people who know you and your journey would probably love to support you, they just need a tangible way to do it. By asking for help, you’re gifting them with an excellent opportunity to show you they care.

 

Register if you haven’t already

 

It’s not too late to register, but don’t wait much longer. We’ll be sending our beautiful branded Lululemon shirts and other goodies to all Team Captains next week.

If you have any questions about how to register or what it involves, check out our Q&A page here, or email marianne@saveyourskin.ca.

 

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National Cancer Survivors Day

June 7th, 2020 is National Cancer Survivors Day!

         As Melanoma Awareness Month is so closely followed by National Cancer Survivors Day, which takes place on the first Sunday in June, the two occasions feel symbolically connected. May is a month wherein those who have been touched by melanoma, ocular melanoma, or non-melanoma skin cancer take the time to remind themselves and others of the importance of skin cancer prevention and detection, and emotional and financial support for patients. The conversations that we have throughout Melanoma Awareness Month traverse the most early days of diagnosis, through the creation of a healthcare plan, treatment, and survivorship. Therefore, National Cancer Survivors Day– which is June 7th this year– feels like an appropriate, and especially hopeful, way to conclude the journey that we trace throughout Melanoma Awareness Month, from diagnosis to survivorship. Therefore, we would like to bridge Melanoma Awareness Month and National Cancer Survivors Day reminding you to participate in this important occasion!

         National Cancer Survivors Day is a not-for-profit organization that began in the United States, but is beginning to gain a global following. To help spread the word about National Cancer Survivors Day, they have a number of social media graphics that you can share, and many resources for organizing your own National Cancer Survivors Day event. There is also a great list of resources on their website of issues surrounding survivorship, other non-profits, statistics, and news for survivors.

         Melanoma survivor and Save Your Skin Founder and President Kathy Barnard has previously written: “[when I was diagnosed] I realized how big my support network was. I had a lot of family, friends, colleagues and people in the community who were there for me. Together we stand strong. And today, I have new friends that I have created, new people I have tried to help. I want to continue building a community where people living with melanoma are not alone.” This desire to build community has always been at the core of Save Your Skin Foundation. We hope that you will finish off Melanoma Awareness Month by participating in National Cancer Survivors Day, in order to support and honour the cancer survivors in your life.

 

 

 

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Melanoma Awareness Month: Patient Support Resources

 

Everyone has different support needs, especially in the context of a melanoma, ocular melanoma, or non-melanoma skin cancer diagnosis. Whether you are looking for community, information, or strategies for self-care, we have resources available for you. We encourage you to take a look through our website to find what works for you, but for now, here is an overview of what we have to offer. If you are particularly looking for information and support related to the COVID-19 pandemic, you should check out our COVID-19 information hub.

In our 2017 survey report, “The Affects of Melanoma on the Mental Wellness of Patients, and the Landscape of Mental Health Support in the Canadian Melanoma Community,” Save Your Skin found that the effects of a melanoma diagnosis on the mental wellness of a patient is a real and urgent concern. Survey participants reported needing support with fear, grief, end-of-life planning, their diagnosis, next steps, living with cancer, family support, survivorship, and hope. The most ideal forms of support for participants, according to the survey, are group therapy, one-on-one therapy, and family support. The majority of participants (66% in our English survey and 84.21% in our French survey) reported wanting mental wellness support after their cancer diagnosis. Therefore, if you are fighting cancer or know someone who is, it might be helpful to participate in or share the resources below!

 

Webinars

Save Your Skin has been running webinars on medical and patient support topics since 2015, the video and audio recordings of which are archived on our website. These webinars are not only an excellent educational resource, but are great for connecting with the oncology community and meeting other patients and survivors. In terms of mental health support and community, the “Mental Wellness & Support After a Cancer Diagnosis,” “Living Beyond Cancer,” and “Surviving Melanoma: A Discussion on Survivorship” might be especially interesting to you– however, it is definitely worth looking through the entire list!

 

Patient Support Group Chats

On the first Thursday of every month, we host our informal Patient Support Group Chats. These meetings are free, can be joined by phone or online, and are open to melanoma, ocular melanoma, and non-melanoma skin cancer patients and survivors. These group discussions include patients and survivors from across Canada, and members of the Save Your Skin team, including Founder Kathy Barnard.

In addition to our support group, you can find a list of other support group options on our Additional Resources & Support Groups page, which may include something that is more local for you.

 

Emotional and Mental Wellness Resources Page

Our Emotional and Mental Wellness Resources page features many resources related to mental wellness. These include guides for coping with overwhelm, catastrophic thinking, and grief, for improving your quality of life, and for maintaining support networks and hope. This page also includes a link to Psychology Today’s chronic illness therapist search engine, which will help you find options for therapy in your area. On this page, you can also view our guide to self care after a cancer diagnosis

 

Community and Hope

If you are looking to make connections with people who have gone through a melanoma, ocular melanoma, or non-melanoma skin cancer diagnosis, or to read stories of hope, you might also be interested in our survivorship initiatives, such as Melanoma Through my Lens, which features the stories of six Canadian melanoma survivors, or I’m Living Proof, a global map that showcases the stories of many melanoma, ocular melanoma, and non-melanoma skin cancer survivors. If you are interested in speaking to someone you see on I’m Living Proof, you can request to connect with them to be put in touch.

We hope that Save Your Skin has something to support your mental wellness, wherever you are in your journey. This Melanoma Awareness Month, consider taking the time to investigate what resources may help you, or share the graphic below to your community, as you never know who might need help. Remember: hand in hand, we fight skin cancer together.

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17 BC Municipalities Proclaim May Melanoma Awareness Month

As May marks both Melanoma Awareness Month and the beginning of summer weather, 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.

“COVID-19 has highlighted everyone’s willingness to take drastic measures to preserve our health,” says Kathy Barnard, stage 4 melanoma survivor and Founder of Save Your Skin Foundation (SYSF). “Increased preventative efforts and methods of early detection, particularly in the form of public education, public policy and built environments are also needed to reduce skin cancer rates.”

Skin Cancer in Canada is still on the rise

COVID-19 isn’t the only disease whose rates can be drastically reduced through education and preventative measures. Skin cancer rates in Canada continue to rise, including melanoma, and non-melanoma skin cancers, despite being 90% preventable.

Skin cancer is the most common of all cancers. There are more new cases of skin cancer each year than the number of breast, prostate, lung and colon cancers COMBINED[1]. While most forms of non-melanoma skin cancer can be surgically removed, melanoma is an aggressive form of cancer. The five-year relative survival rate of melanoma that has metastasized is just 18%.[2]

Despite these figures, many people seek sun without taking the recommended precautionary measures, or believe that only severe burns contribute to one’s risk of skin cancer. In fact, any darkening of the skin, including a tan, is indicative of UV damage.

 

Municipal Proclamations

To increase the reach of SYSF’s awareness campaign this year, a new proclamation initiative invited BC municipalities to take a stance against skin cancer and educate their communities on sun safety through mayoral proclamations.  SYSF is pleased to announce that seventeen BC municipalities, listed below, have accepted SYSF’s invitation to proclaim the month of May 2020 ‘Melanoma Awareness Month’.  Click here to read our full press release.

City of Vancouver

City of Kelowna

City of Victoria

Town of Comox

City of Burnaby 

District of Saanich

City of Richmond

District of Central Saanich

City of New Westminster

City of Prince George

City of Surrey

City of Williams Lake

City of Whistler

District of Mission

City of Nanaimo

City of Langford

City of Campbell River 

 

Mayor of New Westminster, Jonathan Coté, was first to commit to proclaiming May 2020 as Melanoma Awareness Month, and decided to challenge other BC municipalities to follow his example. “Skin cancer is largely preventable, and yet there are more cases now than ever,” said Coté.  “This is why as Mayor of New Westminster, I’m happy to support this important initiative and challenge all BC municipalities to do the same.”

“This is an important initiative, especially for hot, sunny communities like ours,” said Mayor of Kelowna, Colin Basran. “Skin cancer is a serious public health concern, and incidences of the disease are only increasing.”

 

During Melanoma Awareness Month, we invite you to take action by publicly announcing your support of the fight against melanoma.

 

Throughout the month of May, SYSF will be engaged in several initiatives to bring awareness to melanoma, non-melanoma skin cancers, and ocular melanoma. The month will be starting out with a bang thanks to a new drawing contest aimed at youth. The contest’s theme “This is what sun safety looks like”, will encourage participants to submit drawings depicting actions or environments which help prevent skin cancer. The winning entry will be determined through open voting once the May 15th deadline for submission has passed, with a $100 gift card going to the artist with the most votes.

 

Download our custom banner photo for your Facebook cover photo below, or upload a selfie below to participate in our #WeWillDefeatMelanoma campaign! We will apply our campaign frame to your selfie and post it on our social media channels.

 

 

 

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New COVID-19 Information Hub

Many cancer patients across Canada have experienced changes, delays and cancellations to their regular appointments and treatments as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In order to provide Canadians living with melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers with the most up-to-date information and resources related to COVID-19, we have created the COVID-19 Information Hub.

This Hub is designed with resources specifically for melanoma and skin cancer patients, caregivers and their families, as well as general  information, and province-specific resources. The Hub will be continually updated as new information becomes available.

Check out the COVID-19 Information Hub here.

We want to thank all of our patients, caregivers and families for letting us know how the situation with COVID-19 has been affecting their care, and we encourage them to continue doing so.

As the situation progresses, we want you to know that we are connecting with our community of physicians to get as much information as we can. We will continue to update you on any new information as it develops.

We also moderate a Facebook group called Melanoma Connect, where melanoma patients can exchange important information.

If you are a patient with melanoma or non-melanoma skin cancer, please do not hesitate to reach out to us for support at info@saveyourskin.ca.

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Join Our Monthly Patient Support Chats

On the first Thursday of every month, Save Your Skin Foundation hosts an evening support chat for patients, survivors and caregivers touched by melanoma, non-melanoma skin cancer, and ocular melanoma.  These chats are open discussions about life after a cancer diagnosis, including sharing experiences with varied treatment options, managing side effects, emotional and wellness support channels, navigating the health care system, and any other concern that patients and their families may have.  It is also a great opportunity to meet other patients and survivors from across Canada.

To reflect the supportive and informal nature of these chats, we’ve decided to give them a new look and name! Anyone can join for free by phone by calling the toll-free number, or by logging in to the online option on computer, tablet or smartphone anywhere wifi is available.

Try it out on our next chat – 5pm PT | 8pm ET | 9pm AT Thursday February 6 2020

Please join our meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone:

Click HERE to join the discussion!

 

You can also dial in using your phone:
Toll-free in Canada: +1 (647) 497-9410- Access Code: 938-091-573

First GoToMeeting? Do a quick system check: https://link.gotomeeting.com/system-check

Still prefer one-on-one peer support? No problem – we are here for you. 

Email kathy@saveyourskin.ca OR call toll-free 1-800-460-5832

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Click on our Advent Calendar for Daily Inspiration!

December can be a difficult month for those facing challenges in their lives. Every day until Christmas, we will be posting messages of Hope to help alleviate those winter blues. 

Check back every day for a new message of Inspiration

Click on each number below to view the message of the day:

 

                                 

                                  

                                    

                               

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