Monday, May 9, 2016

Melanoma Monday 2016 - May 2, Toronto ON

Last Monday kicked off the Melanoma Awareness Month of May in Canada and the U.S.  The girls and I attended an event on behalf of the lovely Save Your Skin FoundationThe "Become A #SkinChecker" pop-up event hosted by skin care company LaRoche-Posay was downtown Toronto all day May 2, 2016.  

Similar to last year there was a tent (though not the "Anthelios Bubble") staffed with representatives providing samples of sunscreen and information on the program and how to sign up for free dermatological check-ups throughout June and July 2016.  Dr. Cook was again on hand for free skin checks given on that day, and there was an open invitation to media to check it out and interview Dr. Cook, LaRoche-Posay, and/or the token melanoma patient (...that was me).  

It was a chilly rainy morning but we made our way to the event by taxi from the hotel to Yonge & Bloor, in front of the Hudson's Bay Centre.  We were greeted graciously by the representative we met last year, a lovely expert in all things sunscreen and skin care.  We reacquainted ourselves quickly and the girls and I took some photos of the event.  

This was the second annual #SkinChecker event, with last year's launch stating a goal of reaching people around the world to unite against skin cancer.  
SPOT skin cancer to STOP skin cancer - Become A Skin Checker.  
This year has developed into 
Detect. Protect. Keep Skin Cancer in Check. Become A #SkinChecker

I appreciate both equally.  I enjoy the PR around this campaign, I am a sucker for those Dalmatians!  And this year's video features a black kitten inspecting the spotty dog.  It's mesmerizing. Please watch:

And please sign up to Join the Movement! 
One media interview created a bit of buzz... CTV News Toronto came to cover the event!  The accomplished Pauline Chan arrived to chat with us about the importance of good skin health, the clear sun-safety instructions from dermatologist Dr. Sonia Cook, and the story behind my diagnosis as well.   

We chatted while the camera man got all set up to interview Dr. Cook, and when Ms. Chan heard the story that Claire had insisted I have our family physician check my troublesome mole two years ago - in effect saving my life - she asked Claire if she would be comfortable being interviewed with me.  
Claire is always ready for action so yes please she would be honoured to!   
(For the record, Cass was invited but declined interview, though she did participate in the long shot filmed of the three of us walking.  All fair kiddo, I would never force you to do something you are not comfortable with.  This is still a very personal journey for each of us and I respect your privacy.)

Ms. Chan, Claire and I, and Mr. Camera went into the pseudo-medical-room set up under the event tent, got some footage of Dr. Cook examining my skin, and then had a 5-7 minute interview.  I will stop leading up to it now and just show you the video (if you haven't already seen it online), it is pretty self-explanatory:
CLICK on this PHOTO:

I deeply appreciate Pauline Chan and CTV News helping us to share the message, it means the world to me that there are people willing to help educate others to be aware of their skin health.  I was proud to be there on behalf of Save Your Skin Foundation, and I applaud LaRoche-Posay for taking this approach with their excellent product.  (Thank you for the gifties J & J) :-)

I would also like to thank my dear friend Sonya who took the time to join us in Toronto last week for this event.  She met us at the hotel and we had an evening of fun (and Hard Rock Cafe - the girls' favourite!) and made the now traditional trek up to the rooftop of the Eaton Chelsea to see the city lights.  During the #SkinChecker event she kept me calm, and kept the girls safe and occupied (Auntie Sonya loves shopping! - do C & C!)  ;-) 
I will leave you with a bunch of random photos of our Melanoma Monday 2016:

Oh yes - I wanted to mention as well that I was able to get Dr. Cook to check two moles of my own that have been making me wonder... and I got the all-clear on both!  Thank you Dr. Cook (....for saving me a derm appointment for another 6 months!!) 

OK the pics:
Thank you Sonya, Cassi, and Claire!  <3

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