Friday, May 30, 2014

Top 10 Tips to Prevent Melanoma

With Melanoma awareness month here in full swing, I thought I would share my Top 10 list of things you can do not only to prevent melanoma, but help us increase awareness.  Here they go:


 10. Wear black this coming Monday, which is "Melanoma Monday" and post your picture on any social media outlet explaining that you are helping promote melanoma awareness. (Black is melanoma's "color" like pink is breast cancer's.)

9. Share our page on FB with your friends, so they can learn helpful and useful information about melanoma.

8. Learn more about melanoma, how it starts, how it spreads, and how to prevent it by going here:

 7. Join the Thunderclap movement and help spread worldwide attention for melanoma May 20th.

6. Tell at least 3 people about melanoma this month and how to prevent it!

5. If you live in the Boise area, sign up for the Run for Dunn, which is June 1st. The proceeds from the run help Sol Survivors.

 4. Say NO to tanning! This includes tanning beds and laying out to get a tan. Any kind of "color" to your skin albeit a sunburn or a tan is a sign of DNA damage in your skin cells, which can lead to skin cancer.

 3. Know the ABCDE's of melanoma--Asymmetry, Border, Color, Diameter, and Evolution and perform a self-skin check once a month. If you notice any moles that have any of these signs, see below! To learn more go here:

2. If you haven't been to the dermatologist in over a year, schedule an appointment to get your skin checked! This alone, could save your life. And schedule one for your spouse!

1. With summer coming up, the best thing you can do to promote awareness and prevent skin cancer including melanoma is to COVER UP. That means, wear your SPF 30 broad spectrum (preferably zinc oxide based) sunscreen and make sure to REAPPLY liberally every 2 hours, avoid long exposure in the sun, seek shade when possible, and lastly, wear protective clothing including hats and sunglasses! Prevention is key since almost all melanoma is entirely preventable!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014


After a long 9 months and a lot of work, we finally received the good news yesterday.  Our application for non-profit (501c) status was reviewed and APPROVED by the IRS!
We are so thrilled that it went through (the first time) and can't wait to get started as an official non-profit!  To learn more about our organization, Sol Survivors Melanoma Foundation, go here.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Celebrities with skin cancer

These are just a few celebrities that have been diagnosed with some form of skin cancer, many of them with melanoma.  And yes, in case you didn't know, Bob Marley died of melanoma!
The bottom line: It can and WILL happen to anyone if you aren't careful. Be smart!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Don't Fry Day

Did you know that today is National Don't Fry Day?!  Right in time for Memorial Day weekend and an important weekend to get out that sunscreen as you plan your outdoor activities!
And remember...

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

We've got some work to do...

In a recent article by the Huffington Post titled, "It's Time for the U.S. to Catch Up on Melanoma Prevention", I was astonished by how behind we are in the U.S. for educating the public on melanoma and how to prevent it.  Countries like Australia where melanoma is an epidemic, are getting it right.  Here are some note-worthy quotes from the article:
"This year Melanoma Monday (May 5) was one of the most successful ever in generating information and buzz around the important messages tied to melanoma prevention."
"Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays and the resulting cellular damage is a leading risk factor for developing melanoma -- and that risk factor is something we can control and reduce. The U.S. needs a comprehensive public health plan designed to reduce UV exposure and combat melanoma."
"While these state-level efforts to restrict access to tanning beds signal an increased public awareness of their dangers, the U.S. is still inexplicably behind countries like the U.K. and France, where nationwide under-18 indoor tanning bans are in place. Brazil has gone a step further and banned tanning beds for everyone, no matter their age."
"Catching melanoma early saves lives, but the U.S. does not have uniform melanoma and skin cancer screening guidelines. Unless people go out of their way to broach the subject with the family doctor or schedule a skin check with a dermatologist, it is unlikely that they will hear about the importance of skin checks."

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Know the Facts

Did you know???
Most melanomas are directly attributed to overexposure from UV light.

Did you know?

People with fair skin are at a higher risk of developing melanoma; yet it does not discriminate. Melanoma is less frequently diagnosed among African-Americans, Latinos, and Asians; however, when diagnosed in these populations it is more likely diagnosed at a later stage.
Did you know?
While it's important to prevent a sunburn before the age of 18, it's also important to protect your skin at all ages because most of your sun exposure occurs after the age of 18!  The moral of the story is it's never too late (or too early) to cover up and protect your skin!
 Lastly, did you know?

There is no such thing a safe tan, including a base tan.  Base tans don't add protection to your skin, they only increase harmful exposure to more UV radiation, thereby increasing your risk for skin cancer!


Thursday, May 15, 2014

Celebrating melanoma survivors

(From our Facebook page):  "With melanoma month now in full swing, we thought we would take a day to celebrate "melanoma survivorship". These are just a FEW "faces of melanoma". They are all fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, grandparents, uncles and aunts. All of these survivors have inspired us in their own way, taught us to be brave and to keep going, and most importantly, given us a greater purpose spreading the word and providing hope to others. These survivors represent YEARS of fighting and defeating this horrible disease. Some of these survivors have battled melanoma a number of times, some were lucky to catch it early, some were even told they had months to live, but are now living MANY years later. ALL of these incredible people and their stories give hope to thousands who are just beginning their fight with melanoma. And as know, HOPE is everything.

Today let's celebrate these incredible melanoma survivors and many more out there surviving, thriving and beating this disease!"
You want to know what's so cool about this?  Besides the fact that I know almost all of these melanoma survivors, 16 of the 32 faces you see are living and surviving STAGE 4!  Many have been in remission 5, 8, and even 12 years!  That's something to celebrate right there!  I loved putting together this collage and it makes so incredibly happy and humbled to do what I'm doing with Sol Survivors.

Monday, May 12, 2014

#getnaked to Save a Life!

Did that hashtag catch your attention? ;)  We love the new Melanoma Research Foundation's new ad campaign which promotes skin cancer awareness, specifically performing monthly skin checks.  Here are some tips on how to do skin checks and what to look for!
Also, if you don't know the ABCDE's of melanoma, go here to learn more.  And remember, E is the most important! The evolution of your mole(s) has become the most important factor to consider when it comes to diagnosing a melanoma.  Knowing what is normal for YOU could save your life.  If a mole has gone through recent changes in color and/or size, bring it to the attention of a dermatologist immediately.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Black Out Monday for Melanoma

Today for Melanoma Monday, I wear black for many melanoma survivors, warriors, and angels.  Many whom I personally know and call "friend".  I also wear black for myself to remind me of the journey I have been on the past 6 years with melanoma.  I have come a long way and am so grateful to be alive and healthy today.
Who do you wear black for today?

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Melanoma month kicks off!

For the month of May, all of my blog posts will be about melanoma awareness!