As part of the melanoma awareness campaign, Melanoma survivors from across Canada are sharing their stories in response to the release of the video #NotJustSkinCancer.
Save Your Skin Foundation participated alongside the Melanoma Network of Canada to develop #NotJustSkinCancer. The video features Canadian patients who have experienced a melanoma diagnosis firsthand and have realized that melanoma is not “just skin cancer.” It informs and inspires by shedding light on the very real challenges and fears that come with a melanoma diagnosis, as well as provides hope to other Canadians facing similar situations.
Much to the esteem of the #NotJustSkinCancer team, the Toronto Blue Jays, via the Jays Care Foundation, chose to highlight the campaign during their game on July 2, 2016, as part of their Play Sun Smart program (est. 1999).
The Jays graciously hosted many folks from Save Your Skin Foundation and Melanoma Network of Canada in their Community Clubhouse Suite for their game against the Cleveland Indians on July 2, 2016.
They donated numerous tickets to the #NotJustSkinCancer team, 25 of which, Save Your Skin Foundation gifted to Toronto youth. It was a pleasure to watch all the little ones run the bases after the game, frolicking with “Ace” the Blue Jay mascot, on what is known as Jr. Jays Saturday.
In the Community Clubhouse Suite, the participants of the video, their families, and fellow volunteers enjoyed an afternoon of delicious ballpark snacks, soft beverages, and an unparalleled view of the game-winning Toronto Blue Jays.
We were comfortably seated on cushioned benches in the shade to watch the game, with a gentle breeze keeping us cool in the open-air Rogers Centre (formerly known as the SkyDome). We even got to meet a few Blue Jays Alumni! It was the first Toronto Blue Jays game for a few family members – little to say, the bar was set very high for their future game experiences.
Prior to the game, the Jays Care Foundation arranged for a segment of the #NotJustSkinCancer video to be played on the big screen. In full volume everyone could hear about the importance of raising awareness for melanoma skin cancer; a powerful moment for those involved.
Tearful hugs were exchange as many of the melanoma patients interviewed in the video were reunited. There were feelings of mutual respect for the gravity of the topic and the gratitude felt to be present in the moment.
As a Spokesperson for Save Your Skin Foundation, I would like to thank the Toronto Blue Jays and Jays Care Foundation for sharing the message #BeyondTheBallpark that it is important to #PlaySunSmart. Play Sun Smart – and LIVE sun Smart. It is #NotJustSkinCancer
On a personal note, I would also like to thank Kathy Barnard and the Save Your Skin Foundation team for allowing my family and I the privilege to attend the game of behalf of Save Your Skin. Because of you I was able to treat my Mother and Step Dad to an afternoon of fun and family. They are huge baseball fans and they were thrilled to experience such fine accommodations.
I was happy to represent #NotJustSkinCancer via Save Your Skin Foundation, while able to give some love back to the family who loves me and has cared for me throughout my melanoma journey. It gave us an afternoon to remember that we would not have had otherwise.
Thank you SYSF and Toronto Blue Jays – a winning team!
A very special thank-you to Roche for funding this skin cancer awareness video! With your support, the messages of the video can touch the lives of many battling skin cancer.
Natalie Richardson, July 2, 2016