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melanoma survivorship

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: https://offer.fevo.com/arizona-coyotes-ebylfkn-46c643. 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

Presenters:

  • 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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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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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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Introducing Sty-Lives (Styling Hair and Saving Lives)

We are very pleased to be launching the Sty-Lives (Styling Hair & Saving Lives) program aimed at increasing early detection of skin cancer

The Sty-Lives program is being led by Dr. Miranda Waugh, first year Dermatology resident at the University of Ottawa, and Shannon D’Angelo, medical student at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, with the support of Save Your Skin Foundation, and leading Dermatologists across Canada.

Through the Sty-Lives program and video, participating salons and barbershops are provided with training materials and resources, and are taught how to detect suspicious spots.

The purpose of the project is to help facilitate communication between the client and their healthcare provider, leading to earlier detection of potentially dangerous skin cancers. The goal is to help with detection, not with diagnosis. Click here to read the full press release

Help us spread the word!

All hair professionals in Canada are eligible to participate. The next time you get your hair cut, tell your hairstylist or barber about this project and invite them to visit www.saveyourskin.ca/sty-lives to learn more and to register.

Watch the video here:

 

 

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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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#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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SYSF Webinar: Post-ASCO 2021 Update

Post-ASCO 2021 Update with Dr. Hamid: Melanoma, Non-Melanoma Skin Cancers, and Ocular Melanoma

Presented by Dr. Omid Hamid, The Angeles Clinic and Research Institute, Los Angeles, California, this webinar  reviews late breaking news, key takeaways, clinical data and other updates presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting that took place in a virtual format in June 2021.

Dr. Hamid shares his key insights into what the landscape of melanoma, non-melanoma skin cancers, and ocular melanoma treatment looks like for the near future.  As Director of the Melanoma Center at The Angeles Clinic and Research Institute, Dr. Omid Hamid works to ensure that patients receive access to the most up-to-date therapeutics, based on molecular pathways of melanoma progression. Dr. Hamid is recognized as one of the preeminent Immuno-Oncologists and melanoma specialists in the world.

Click HERE to view the Presentation Recording on our youTube channel

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Metastatic Melanoma on Canadian Health & Family – with Dr. Marla Shapiro

Watch this video which aired May 10, 2021:

Melanomas on the skin usually start as areas of pigmentation that’s changed or irregular. If they are noticed and picked up early, they can often be removed. But in some cases it turns into something much greater.

In this segment, we will hear from Dr. Marcus Butler from Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, Kathy Barnard from Save Your Skin, and Shannon, who has been living with metastatic melanoma since 2005. They will be telling their stories, and sharing support options for those seeking education on metastatic melanoma.

 

For more information please visit Health and Family Metastatic Melanoma – Health and Family

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A Viking’s Challenge is Back!

A Viking's Challenge is BackMark your calendars! The second edition of A Viking’s Challenge will be taking place on March 6, 2021. 

Last March, Chris Isfeld ran 30km across frozen Lake Winnipeg and raised almost $20,000 for melanoma patients! Building on last year’s enormous success, Chris invites you to join A Viking’s Challenge this year by running a distance of your choice anywhere in Canada.

Chris’s Story

Chris is a melanoma survivor. His story with cancer began in 2017 when he was diagnosed with advanced melanoma. He was given lifesaving immunotherapy treatment just in time. The treatment was challenging but it proved to be effective. The cancer stopped growing and the side effects became more manageable over the next few months. Soon, he was walking again. By December 2018, just one year after his melanoma diagnosis, he was lacing up his running shoes again.

The results of his latest PET/CT scan, on November 2, 2019, show an almost complete metabolic response; he is well on the way to becoming NED (No Evidence of Disease).

 

A Viking's Challenge is BackTHE CHALLENGE

Chris had been frequently running and practicing yoga to overcome the physical and emotional anguish he was feeling.

In an interview with Global News, he said:

“A friend of mine, Shawn Bjornsson from Winnipeg, posted a photo after he did a 5K run in -40, and for some reason, I just made a comment and said, ‘Hey, I’ll race you across the lake,’ just as a joke, But a week later, I thought about it, and thought, ‘You know what, this is an absolutely great idea.’

“It gives me something to focus on, and obviously with my diagnosis, I had gotten to know the people at Save Your Skin Foundation very well, and decided that I should do it as a fundraiser and raise money for them.”

THE RACE

True to their Viking roots, they didn’t back down from a challenge. On March 7, 2020, they ran about 30 km from Grand Beach, Manitoba to Gimli, Manitoba, raising almost $20,000 for Save Your Skin Foundation. Read more about last year’s race here.

This Year’s Challenge

Last year’s race was a personal challenge for Chris and his friend Shawn, but since so many expressed an interest in joining the challenge in future years, Chris has decided to open the challenge up to the general public this year. Because of the pandemic, the event will take place virtually, allowing participants to run any distance they choose from any location in Canada and beyond. To participate, runners will have to register and make a one-time donation to Save Your Skin Foundation. More details will be coming soon but, in the mean time, lace up those running shoes, put on your helmet and start channeling your inner Viking!

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