Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Melanoma Monday, Toronto ON May 4, 2015 - La Roche-Posay launches skin cancer awareness campaign

We are back from Toronto, with plenty of photos and stories to share!

Thanks to those who emailed, text, or facebooked support of my interviews in Toronto, I was grateful to be a part of the event at Yonge-Dundas Square on Monday.  My interview itself was not filmed on Breakfast Television (phew!!), but I hear I made the long shot with a quick view of me in the "bubble." 
(I am glad about that as I was afraid my comments on the event would have become a jumble if filmed on live TV. LOL I am the one after all, who ran off the stage crying when faced with a grade 11 Student Council Secretary campaign speech in front of my high school peers.  I didn't make the speech, and I didn't get the secretary job either.  Thankfully I have learned since then to speak publicly during my business career, but early morning Toronto TV may have been a bit of a stretch!)

I have photos and an explanation of the bubble below, but first I will outline or clarify my involvement in the event. 

I was invited by Save Your Skin Foundation and La Roche-Posay to be at the Become a Skin Checker event as a face of melanoma, to share my story, speak about the importance of early cancer detection, and to share the story of how my very own skin checkers saved my life.  As I have mentioned before, it was Claire who "out-ed" my mole last year while at her sore throat Dr. appointment with our family physician. Had she not done that I may not be writing this story right now.  Claire and Cassandra are my SkinCheckers, and I am theirs.  

My connection with Save Your Skin Foundation is growing, as we have much in common in our goals for melanoma awareness.  I am grateful to have found a group who is so knowledgeable about and supportive of melanoma patients.  They help me and I want to help them.  I was able to express in my interviews the gratitude of Save Your Skin Foundation for the partnership with La Roche-Posay (LRP), for their melanoma awareness advocacy, and for donations from the event. 

Although Breakfast Television did not post any video from the broadcast on their site (we were preempted by the Peel Region teachers strike and the birth of the Royal baby princess), I have posted this link to the press release for the event on Monday, and when I receive further publication I will be sure to post it.  Thanks to my friends who watched for my "TV debut" - hope you weren't too disappointed that Hollywood isn't scooping me up just yet. 

Here are details of the event and of the campaign: 


<--- Dr. Cook on Breakfast Television  (they are waving to the girls, watching them prepare)

Dr. Sonya Cook was the Dermatologist invited for the interview as well, and she performed mole checks on passersby who chose to participate in the event.  The LRP representative that I had the pleasure to work with throughout the day said that to date in events such as this La Roche-Posay has detected 1 600 cases of skin cancer through these kinds of mole-checking awareness events!  I learned a lot from both of these ladies about skin, skin cancer, and sunscreen.

Skin-care/sunscreen company La Roche-Posay is launching an international campaign in 23 countries, Canada being one of course, timing here being that of the start of our "sun season." Last weekend they launched in Montreal with this bubble, dalmatian pups, and campaign promotion, and next month they will do the same in Vancouver during the World Dermatology Conference. 

OK let me show you the photos!  Claire and Cass took many of these pictures while I was in interviews.  

In the morning I was interviewed alongside Dr. Cook and the La Roche-Posay expert, and in the evening media interviews were with LRP and myself alone, though Cass and Claire did sit in on one.  I will admit that the second last interview was my best, and happens to be the one the LRP/publicists photographer happened to video. So..... we shall see what comes of that!  

I am just happy to help bring awareness to a topic that has become very close to my heart.  Literally.  

The Bubble:  

The "Anthelios bubble" is the high-tech tent that was set up in the middle of Dundas Square, containing the LRP products for demonstration, table and chairs for media interviews, and a couple of tv's playing the catchy dalmatian video on repeat (on mute).  Anthelios is the formula invented 30 years ago by La Roche-Posay for the protection against sun damage to skin. 

The bubble itself represents the layer of protection that a broad spectrum sunscreen provides the body; as I will relay in a future post, I learned a lot about La Roche-Posay and UVA/UVB protection!

ME, in the bubble:

And I found another photo and profile of myself in the bubble, in this article:

Around the Square was signage for the campaign, displaying some catchy and very true slogans speaking to early detection of skin cancers.   


Staff mingled around inviting the public to sign up for a mole-check, and hung out with Cass and Claire in my absence.  

Dr. Cook and the visiting Dalmatian "Ripley" were interviewed by BT, and the girls got a front row view:

If you have not yet watched this video, please do.  It is beautiful and demonstrates the proper way to check yourself and your loved ones for skin problems.  If you care for someone, have a look at their beauty spots.  

Our view of Dundas Square and the Become A Skin Checker campaign event from the rooftop patio of the Eaton Chelsea Hotel, where we stayed:  

Our view from inside the bubble, during the evening media interviews and social period:  


<--- We signed up to become SkinCheckers for the ones we love, and we hope you will too:  Become A Skin Checker

All of the La Roche-Posay and participating staff were extremely knowledgeable and supportive of our involvement and story.  They were generous with their gifts to us as well, we have a beautiful collection of our favourite sunscreen products - skin safety won't take a holiday around here folks! 

Aside from this post I will blog more about our Toronto adventure this week and other fun stuff we did.  

Overall, it was a rewarding experience for the girls and for myself.  We all learned about sunscreen, skin cancer, publicity, television media, elevators to the 27th floor LOL, street-safety, and the fun of living and playing at Yonge & Dundas in Toronto ON.  We even took the subway and street cars to visit my buddy in a far-away (?) neighbourhood!  ;-)

Article & Photos © Natalie Richardson 2015

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