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: 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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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!




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Best of ASCO: Montréal!

Updated 3-August-2018: Click HERE to find our full report from ASCO 2018!



While we’re finishing up our report on the ASCO Annual Meeting 2018 in Chicago, we’d like to share with you some resources about trials that were discussed at an ASCO satellite meeting: Best of ASCO 2018 Montréal, which took place in Montréal, QC on June 19th, 2018. From 7:50-8:20 pm, Dr. Wilson Miller (McGill) gave a talk entitled “Best of Melanoma,” which highlighted some of the notable melanoma studies discussed at the ASCO annual meeting.

For those interested in more ASCO recaps, Oncology Education has posted video resources, including Dr. Jeffrey Weber (NYU) discussing Checkmate 238, Dr. Max Madu (Netherlands Cancer Institute) on the 8th AJCC melanoma staging system, and a roundtable discussion of ASCO highlights with Dr. Marcus Butler (Princess Margaret Cancer Centre), Dr. John Walker (Alberta Cancer Centre), and Dr. Jason Luke (University of Chicago). These videos are available here, though you will need to register for the Oncology Education website to view them.

Below is a list of some of the trials Dr. Miller presented, with links to the ASCO abstracts for further reading:


Abstract number 9501: “Final analysis of DeCOG-SLT trial: Survival outcomes of complete lymph node dissection in melanoma patients with positive sentinel node.”

Presented at ASCO Annual Meeting, Chicago, in the Melanoma/Skin Cancers Oral Abstract Session (Monday, June 4, 8:00-11:00 AM).

Authors: Ulrike M. Leiter et al.

Retrieved from:

The DeCOG-SLT trial assessed whether complete lymph node dissection can result in increased survival compared with observation in patients with positive sentinel node biopsy in a randomized phase III trial. The update presented at ASCO 2018 comes three years after the inclusion of the last patient. After the median 72-month follow-up time, there seemed to be no survival benefit in patients with positive sentinel node biopsy with complete lymph node dissection, compared to observation. More information about the methods and results of the study can be found at the link above.


Abstract number 9503: “4-year Survival and Outcomes After Cessation of Pembrolizumab (pembro) after 2-years in Patients (pts) with Ipilimumab (ipi)-naive Advanced Melanoma in KEYNOTE-006 [NCT01866319]”

Presented at ASCO Annual Meeting, Chicago, in the Melanoma/Skin Cancers Oral Abstract Session (Monday, June 4, 8:00-11:00 AM).

Authors: Georgina V. Long et al.

Retrieved from:

The KEYNOTE-006, or NTO1866319, sought to establish the efficacy of pembrolizumab over ipilimumab in advanced melanoma. The data includes four year outcomes, long term data for patients who have completed two years of pembro, and data for second course. The results suggest that pembrolizumab can provide durable anti-tumour activity in treatment-naive or previously treated patients. 86% of the patients who had completed two years of pembro were progression free at 20 months. The data suggests that pembro is safe, and can be used as a second-course treatment to provide additional anti-tumour activity. For more information, see the link above.


Abstract number 9594: “Assessing the Value of Nivolumab (NIVO) versus Placebo (PBO) and Ipilimumab (IPI) as Adjuvant Therapy for Resected Melanoma [EORTC 18071]

Presented at ASCO Annual Meeting, Chicago, in the Melanoma/Skin Cancers Oral Abstract Session (Monday, June 4, 8:00-11:00 AM).

Authors: Morganna Louise Freeman et al.

Retrieved from:

This study assessed the cost of cancer therapies in the context of clinical benefits. Data from CheckMate 238 and EORTC 18071 (nivolumab) was compared to placebo and ipilimumab in the adjuvant setting for patients with resected melanoma was used to consider the cost for each recurrence-free life month (RFLM) and associated medical costs. They found that nivo has a lower medical cost per RFLM than both placebo and ipi in patients with resected IIIB and IIIC cutaneous melanoma, and has superior drug costs per RFLM relative to placebo and ipi over eighteen months. Data suggests that follow-up will continue to determine the cost-effectiveness of adjuvant NIVO. For methods, results, and outcome measures, see the link above.


Abstract number 9502: “Adjuvant Therapy with Nivolumab (NIVO) versus Ipilimumab (IPI) After Complete Resection of Stage III/IV Melanoma: Updated Results from a Phase III Trial (CheckMate 238)”

Presented at ASCO Annual Meeting, Chicago, in the Melanoma/Skin Cancers Oral Abstract Session (Monday, June 4, 8:00-11:00 AM).

Authors: Jeffrey S. Weber et al.

Retrieved from:

With a minimum follow-up of 18 months, the initial report data from the CheckMate 238 trial demonstrated that nivolumab had longer recurrence-free survival over ipilimumab in patients with resected stage III or IV melanoma. At ASCO, phase III data with an additional six months of follow-up was reported. With this extended follow-up, nivo continued to demonstrated a sustained benefit versus ipi for patients with resected stage III/IV melanoma at a high risk of recurrence, PD-L1 expression, or BRAF mutation. More information can be retrieved at the link above.


Abstract number 9514: “Phase II Trial of Pembrolizumab (pembro) plus 1 mg/kg Ipilimumab (ipi) Immediately Following Progression on Anti-PD-1 Ab in Melanoma (mel)”

Presented at the ASCO Annual Meeting 2018, Chicago, in the Melanoma/Skin Cancer Poster Session (Monday, June 4, 1:15-4:45 PM).

Authors: Daniel Olsen et al.

Retrieved from:

This study sought to examine the role of the immunotherapy anti-PD-1 + CTLA-4 combination after the first line anti-PD-1. They are reporting the first potential data examining pembrolizumab + low dose ipilimumab following progression on anti-PD-1. The results suggest that low dose ipi + pembro is tolerable and has anti-tumour activity in melanoma patients who have progressed on an anti-PD-1 immediately prior. For more information on this abstract and ongoing trial, see the link above.


Abstract number 9542: “BRAF/MEK Inhibition in Melanoma Patients with Rare BRAF Mutations”

Presented at the ASCO Annual Meeting 2018, Chicago, in the Melanoma/Skin Cancer Poster Session (Monday, June 4, 1:15-4:45 PM).

Authors: Jessica Cecile Hassel et al.

Retrieved from:

This study uncovered efficacy data for BRAF/MEK inhibition, which is standard care for patients with BRAF V600E/K mutated melanoma. The results suggest that patients with tate BRAF mutations often respond to targeted therapy. Less likely to respond to BRAFi monotherapy are patients with non-V600 mutations, but MEKi as monotherapy or combined with BRAFi seems more promising for these patients. For more information, including a data breakdown, see the link above.


We hope this information was interesting and helpful– stay tuned to our social media channels for study news, and our upcoming ASCO Annual Meeting 2018 report!

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#sunsafechallenge Winner Announcement!

Thank you to everyone who participated in our #sunsafechallenge instagram contest! Here are some of the awesome photos that were shared. Scroll to the bottom to see which post has been randomly selected to win a $100 Shoppers Drug Mart gift card!


And the winner is…

Congratulations, @ramonabietlot!

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February Conference Recap: Canadian Melanoma Conference and ASCO SITC

As February comes to a close, we’d like to look back on the conferences we attended this month: the Canadian Melanoma Conference and the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) meeting in Orlando, Florida!

Here is a sample of our social media from these conferences!

Canadian Melanoma Conference


ASCO Florida



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Save Your Skin and Giving Tuesday

On November 29th, Giving Tuesday is coming to Canada! A compliment to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday is a day that stimulates the community instead of the economy by facilitating donation to thousands of charities across Canada.
There are many charities worth donating to on Giving Tuesday, and we always encourage helping your community by donating. If you are considering donating to the Save Your Skin Foundation, we thank you– and would like to fill you in a little bit on what we’re up to, and how your money would be used.
First and foremost, the money donated to the Save Your Skin Foundation goes to melanoma patients. The primary goal of SYSF is supporting families during the worst time of their lives; therefore we want the cancer patient and their family to be able to focus on the fight against melanoma, by alleviating the financial strain of cancer treatment. Whenever possible, we offer monetary assistance for transportation, accommodation, and food costs to melanoma patients travelling for trial treatments. Emotional support is equally a priority– Save Your Skin Founder Kathy Barnard is approachable for advice and support from someone who has been through the melanoma journey. Kathy Barnard’s knowledge of the treatment landscape and connections with Oncologists, Dermatologists, and other medical professionals is often helpful to patients who are unsure of how to navigate the medical system, such as finding treatment options and preparing for appointments. We also strive to make our websites Save Your Skin and I’m Living Proof hopeful, informative, and supportive, as the internet is often a discouraging place to look for those fighting melanoma.
The Save Your Skin Foundation represents the patient voice on the national and international level with its presence at conferences and meetings in Canada, the United States, and Europe. Nationally, Save Your Skin regularly meets with government stakeholders, pharmaceutical companies, and medical professionals to bridge the gap between these groups and the melanoma patient. Medical knowledge is further imbued to the patient via our educational YouTube video series, and our Webinars. These webinars feature a wide range of topics and guests, from medical professionals to melanoma survivors, and live recordings of past webinars are available on our website. Further, in 2017, Save Your Skin intends to develop an immuno-oncology network for medical professionals, advocacy groups, and the melanoma patient to further assist the patient in navigating immuno-oncological treatments, a recent and exciting development in the melanoma landscape.
Due to these incredible advances in medical technology and trial treatments in the past decade, we are pleased to report that melanoma survivorship is at an all-time high. From this new group of melanoma survivors, we are learning that the fight with melanoma doesn’t end at remission. Save Your Skin has taken several steps to be supportive of melanoma survivors, including the I’m Living Proof initiative, which allows melanoma survivors to tell their stories and connect with each other, and melanoma patients; we often include survivors in webinars and forums we are involved in hosting; and in 2017, we are intending to launch our Melanoma Survivorship Pilot Project, which will include national media campaigns, a survivorship e-book, a survivor survey and report, and a microsite. We also intend to host a survivorship meeting in the Spring of 2017, to ascertain how the needs of survivors are being met and what improvements could be made.
We’re looking forward to Giving Tuesday, and hope you will consider the Save Your Skin Foundation when you are selecting the charities to whom you will donate. If donating is financially a stretch, you can still participate by volunteering for Giving Tuesday, and tweeting with the hashtag #givingtuesday to spread the word! Thank you for reading, and happy giving!

Donate to Save Your Skin via Giving Tuesday here

GivingTuesday Countdown

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Shoutout to Slyde Handboards for Their Generosity!

Blog re-posted from the Slyde Handboard Website, October 22 2016



Carlos our team rider from Canada recently completed a 365 day watermen challenge. In which he wave rode every day for 365 day without fail.

The challenge in effort to raise awareness and education for skin cancer.  The most common type of cancer, and one dear to Carlos’s heart as his father Marcel passed away from the disease.

Slyde alongside Raw Elements USA honored Carlos’s epic effort and his father by auctioning off an autographed Mark Cunningham Handboard & natural sunscreen package, with all proceeds going to Save Your Skin Foundation of Canada.

The auction saw a ton of action with the winning bid of $280 going to South African native Clint Buckham.

Thank you Clint for your generous donation, and everyone who participated.


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Why Save Your Skin Foundation?

Written by Natalie Richardson


This has been the most exciting few weeks I have had since I was diagnosed with metastatic melanoma. I feel an optimism unusual for my character since finding a potentially deadly mole on my hip in April 2014, when my world came crashing down with fear and worry. After surgeries and immunotherapy treatments, my body and my mind were left confused and full of dread.

I remember the exact moment I embarked on the path that would eventually lead me back into a productive life, with hope and determination as my new leads. Though I did not know it at the time, my discovery of Save Your Skin Foundation was a saving grace.

Depressed by internet searches about this disease, I relied solely on the word of my oncologists to guide decision-making in my care. Thankfully, I was fortunate to have an excellent medical team with a finger on the pulse of current treatments and clinical trials. My family and I did seek second – and third – opinions at Centres in Ontario, and I felt as secure as I could possibly be, choosing the course of my treatments with their guidance, via clinical trial.

By randomized-draw chance I received the treatment that I may always credit with saving my life, and I am grateful for that. But to this day I ponder what may have happened had I been on the other side of that trial draw. It bothers me, keeps that fear lingering. Not only fear for myself, but for others who may face the same risks that I have, and may not receive the same care. What if someday, my children were to face this diagnosis and did not have access to treatment?

In researching this question, I came upon a website with a warm first impression and a vastly informative set of links and options. I clicked and read and explored, not once feeling intimidated. I had to know more… the moment was right, and I had stumbled upon the right place: Save Your Skin Foundation.

I called the number, immediately reaching Kathy Barnard, melanoma Survivor, and Founder of this Foundation. Her distinctive voice put me at ease, and we talked about my situation and how fearful and alone I felt. She told me of her experiences with treatments, and I shared mine. She knew my medical oncologist as well as many others across the country, and she told me about new therapies on their way toward fighting melanoma skin cancer.

She determinedly said “You’re going to be okay.” And I believed her. I felt she might be right. She had run the gamut and come out the other side, and she understood what I was talking about.

My loving friends and family had been telling me that I would be all right, but when Kathy said it, it was different. My loved ones wanted it to be all right, but Kathy knew that there was actually a possibility that it WOULD be.

I have since learned that it is this determination and experience that has led Kathy and her family to build an educated team, in the form of a Foundation, to help others in this way. Many patients are touched by the support of this group; many lives are saved.

Emotionally and physically, Save Your Skin Foundation is there for any and every Canadian touched by skin cancer, whether it be a pre-cancerous lesion or a diagnosis of advanced metastasis. They share their experience, they research every medical detail, they work every day to help those in need of support in a skin cancer battle.

Since that day I first spoke with Kathy, I felt safe. I was comfortable looking around her website, watching the webinars and reading the notes carefully assembled. It remains a safe and reliable source of information about every stage of skin cancer.

Having gravitated to it for a year and a half, I have been dedicated to helping Save Your Skin save MY skin! And that of others. We network, collaborate, and identify with each other in a way that perhaps only those in our shoes can understand. It is a community of support available to those who need it.

It is at their invitation that I have had the inspiration to share my story so openly, encouraged in campaigns such as #NotJustSkinCancer and the Melanoma Through My Lens Reflection
Project. They have been a huge part of my rehabilitation, right down to the gentle reminders that I CAN still do the things I feared I had lost after diagnosis.

I feel great responsibility in being able to represent Save Your Skin in these kinds of projects, and at the same time I feel equal duty to represent fellow melanoma warriors, patients, families, and friends travelling their own skin cancer journey.

It’s the least I can do, in return for this gift of support and hope that I have been given. Thank you, Save Your Skin Foundation.


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Biosim•Exchange: A Resource for Staying Updated about Biosimilars!

While not yet a frequently heard term in melanoma treatment, biologic medications are making their way from arthritis to other chronic illnesses, including cancers. Biologics are medications that are created from living organisms, such as bacteria or yeast, as opposed to chemicals. The second iterations of these products are biosimilars; the closest imitations to the first products possible, though the chemical compositions of the first cannot be exactly duplicated.

Like other medications, biosimilars in Canada require chemical equivalence trials before being put on the market. These trials include a comparison of the mechanism of action, rate of administration, dosage form, and strength of the original medication and the biosimilar. This is to ensure that there will be no difference in the safety or efficacy between the two medications.

As biosimilars are most often developed for the treatment of arthritis, the Arthritis Consumer Experts (ACE) are leaders in the biosimilar field. Since 2009, the ACE has been working with advocacy groups, patients, healthcare, and government stakeholders to support the development of a medication approval and reimbursement access regime. Recently, ACE launched the Biosim•Exchange website. Biosim•Exchange is an information hub for consumers to learn about biosimilars, stay up-to-date on biosimilar news, and background analysis of biosimilars currently on the market. Having this information helps patients participate in forming their treatment plan, and encourages collaboration between patients and their medical team.

Biosimilars are a rapidly developing option for the treatment of chronic illnesses. To stay on top of advancements in this field, check out Biosim•Exchange!

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Save Your Skin Weekly Flashback! [September 12-18]

Welcome to the Save Your Skin Foundation media flashback- your weekly guide to the melanoma landscape, and the activities of the Save Your Skin Foundation! This week, we’re excited to announce our new educational video series, which we hope will answer your questions about a variety of skin cancer issues! There are already some videos up there, so be sure to check it out.

We’re also busy getting prepared for our upcoming public forum on October 6 in Nanaimo, B.C., hosted by Dermatologist Gabrielle Weichert, and melanoma survivors Nigel Deacon and Meloney Edgehill! More information can be found on the poster below.



Here are some links we shared with you this week:

-This piece on immunotherapy in the Ottawa Citizen

-A link to the Canadian Daily UV Index Forecast

-A summary of our roundtable discussion about whether early detection and prevention in primary care can benefit patient outcomes

-This article on Entertainment Tonight Canada about Khloe Kardashian’s skin cancer scare!

-This piece on My Toba warning about the particular skin cancer risks for those over 50 years of age

-This article in the Ottawa Citizen about the hunt for immunotherapy funding

-And this lovely photo of two Save Your Skin Team members, Rose and Marion, who recently raced in Oregon wearing SYSF jerseys! Way to go, team!



Thank you for reading, and stay sun safe out there!

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