Monthly Archives

March 2013

Parenting SunAWARE

Preventing A Pediatric Disease – Skin Cancer

Skin cancer is a preventable pediatric disease if sun protective habits start at an early age. Children spend more time outside than adults. As a result, most sun damage occurs before age 18. Chicago based Pediatric Sun Protection Foundation (PSPF) is educating children and families on the importance of sun protection – to end skin cancer one child at a time.

 “My children are in day camp all summer, and I wanted them to wear swim shirts daily,” said Founder of PSPF and Board Certified Dermatologist Amy Brodsky, M.D. “I thought if we could start a trend and have all campers wear them, my kids would not complain that they were the only ones,” she said of where the initial idea for the organization stemmed from.   

Amy Brodsky, MD Amy Brodsky, MD

Through PSPF, Dr. Brodsky shows other parents having your kid wear sun protective clothing is important for lifelong healthy skin. “You wouldn’t send your children out on a bicycle without a bike helmet, so why would you send them to camp and the swimming pool without a swim shirt,” said Dr. Brodsky.

Formed January 2012, PSPF has since created programs to promote sun protection awareness. PSPF’s website allows parents and children to adopt the practice of wearing sun protective clothing by providing information and accessibility to affordable sun protective products through partner vendors. A PSA campaign to promote the organization’s mission is also in the works.  “The next steps are to partner with clothing distributors and recruit a celebrity to create commercial and PSAs,” said Dr. Brodsky. “I also plan to talk via TV, radio and schools about our cause.  Our key message to parents is that skin cancer is a pediatric disease; and if sun protective habits start early, skin cancer can be prevented.”

June 2, 2013, PSPF will be at the Chicago Cubs game promoting Play Sun Smart with Major League Baseball and the American Academy of Dermatology.  For more information about the Pediatric Sun Protection Foundation and upcoming events visit

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Avoid UV & Seek Shade

#TanningIsOut: A Pledge for Teens

Spring break, prom, summer, all the reasons teens say they tan are around the corner. The Melanoma Foundation of New England is asking high school and college students to take the “no-tanning pledge” through their Your Skin Is In program. While the pledge contest portion is only for schools in New England states (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont), the pledge can be taken by anyone.

Your Skin Is In started as an effort to help build awareness in teens, as well as the general puclic, that UV exposure from both sunlight and tanning beds is linked to skin cancer. Using a tanning booth once a month before the age of 35, increases your chance of getting melanoma by 75%. Melanoma is also the second most common cancer in teens and young adults ages 15-29.

The Melanoma Foundation of New England hopes teens hearing this will take the following actions:
If you’ve never tanned before – don’t.
If you currently tan – stop.

Share #tanningisout with your friends on Twitter.

Take the pledge: #TanningIsOut or enter your skin is in Your Skin Is In Student Challenge before April 26, 2013.

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Coach Dunbar talks sunburn

NY Jets DL Coach Karl Dunbar takes skin care seriously, especially since he has vitiligo. As a coach, he helps his players not only understand how to become a great football player, but also how to take care of their skin and health. Since players spend a significant amount of time outdoors, we asked for his take on sunburn.

Is sunburn something you think about as a coach?

Yes sunburn is something I think of everyday since I’ve become aware of my skin condition – vitiligo.

What do you do when your players get sunburn?

Because our training staff does a great job of providing sunscreen and sun protective clothing for our players, it doesn’t happen very often.

Does sunburn happen often?

It happens sometimes when we play in Florida or Arizona early in the season, and games are at 1 p.m. In training camp we do a great job of practicing early or late in the day to avoid the Heat Index, when it’s high, and peak UV hours (between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.).

Obviously with vitiligo, you think about sunburn.  Is sunburn a concern amongst your players with darker skin tones?

No, the players with darker skin don’t seem to care until their skin starts peeling. We’ve done a great job of educating them about ultra violet sun rays and what they can do to your skin over any period of time.

If you’re unfortunate enough to get sunburn, home treatment measures may provide some relief from a mild sunburn. WebMD recommends the following:

• Use cool cloths on sunburned areas.

• Take frequent cool showers or baths.

• Apply soothing lotions that contain aloe vera to sunburned areas.

• Drink plenty of fluids.

• Cover-up with a hat, clothes and sunscreen outdoors.

While you cannot reverse sun damage, be SunAWARE from that point on and make a conscious effort to protect yourself from UV.

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Partner Athletes Sevve Stember

Coolibar Athlete Sevve Stember: Climbing Expert

I started climbing shortly after I could walk, although I don’t remember much of it. My mom would turn her head for a brief moment while we ate breakfast in the house that doubled as my dad’s chiropractic clinic at our home in Minnesota. Before she knew it, I would mantel my way onto the kitchen table. Climbing was in my blood.

One of the first climbs I did outdoors is burned into my memory as one of those moments that changes your life forever. As I climbed Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies at Shovel Point above the Great Lake Superior, I didn’t know it, but a whole new world had opened up to me – the vertical one. From that day onward, I would surround myself with climbing.

I learned from anyone I could and got on the rock as often as college would allow. The next three years would be a steady crescendo leading to an international expedition that was funded, in part, by a grant from the American Alpine Club to establish first ascents in Valle de Cochamo of the Andes Mountains.
After a successful expedition in Chile, where we established many new routes, some over 1000 feet tall, and climbed an unclimbed peak, I set my sights a little closer to home: Yosemite National Park. There I established an 800-foot aesthetic route on a granite point in Yosemite’s Wilderness.

Sevve Stember climbing Mr. Lean (5.11d) on the sea cliffs of Palisade Head in north eastern Minnesota

Since moving back to Minnesota, I have been focused on climbing shorter, harder routes. In this new endeavor, I have been successful in transforming myself as a climber and have developed a broader skill set. I’ve also learned to be ok with “failure” and think of it more so as a learning opportunity.

Climbing is inspiring to me because in order to improve at it, you must be really honest with yourself about your weaknesses. I love the mental side of climbing, the amazing places it takes me to, and the lessons that I learn from it that are often applicable in other aspects of my life. I care about sun protection because in order to do what I love outside, I must protect myself from the sun’s intense rays. Another reason skin care matters to me is because skin cancer is the most common form of cancer, so clearly as a society we need to work on prevention.

Outside of climbing, I am a science teacher, which is a really fantastic subject matter to teach because kids have a genuine interest in it. One of the best parts of my job is that I can use my strong connection with the natural world to inspire young minds. My wife and I also enjoy traveling, drinking coffee, cross-country skiing, and talking about the Norwegian Elk Hound that we hope to own soon.

– Sevve Stember

Andrea and Sevve Stember Andrea and Sevve Stember enjoy a bluebird day after completing the Buena Vista Snowjourn 12km freestyle ski race, just north of Bemidji, MN. Both stood on the podium; Sevve placed 2nd overall and Andrea won the women’s division.
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Coolibar Athletes

Coolibar Athlete Carol Philips: Women’s Pioneer of Surfing

I grew up in Hawaii on the North Shore of Oahu and have been surfing and bodyboarding every day since 1984. I started surfing because I fell in love with the ocean at an early age. It keeps me healthy and makes me feel free.

I was the first women to ever compete at the Pipeline and started the first ever women’s contest there back in 1990. I have for the past seven years run and own a surf school called the North Shore Surf Girls and live in the town of Haleiwa. I had a small role in the movie “Blue Crush” and modeled my surf school after the one in the movie. My favorite part of teaching surfing is teaching young children and people with special needs.

I’m of Irish descent and work in the sun daily for 6 hours at a time. I have always paid a lot of attention to protecting my skin from the sun as it’s important to me. Surfing is an amazing sport the only drawback is sun exposure, which is why I love Coolibar products.

Carol Philips

Carol Philips Surf School

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Coolibar Athletes

Coolibar Athlete Ally Loisel-Murray: Long-Distance Runner on a Mission

On April 22nd, I am running from Galveston, Texas to my hometown in Minnesota. My mission is prevention and Coolibar is helping to expand my awareness of leading a healthy lifestyle!

In 2008, I had a life threatening car accident, prior to my qualifying race for the Boston Marathon.  As a result, I suffered two strokes and three traumatic brain injuries. In addition, I trisected my left carotid artery. Born without a right carotid, I was left with a 5 percent chance of survival. After my experimental stent placement surgery, I was told I had a week, and then a month, then two months. Recently I had my fourth “new” birthday (October 10, 2012).

Every couple of months, I hear about people whose stents are rejected or recalled due to other complications. Just recently, I learned there is now a relationship between brain injury and brain cancer. I realized I needed help to raise awareness on so many levels, so I planned my approximately 1,200 mile run from Texas to Minnesota.

Besides being a marathoner, I was a commercial pilot. Currently, I am a wife to a husband, who thankfully,  is patient with my crazy life. We are a busy household of four as we have two amazing sled dogs. One raced a 350 mile Iditarod through the western states into Alaska. The other is a husky greyhound mix that failed at racing, but we love him anyway.

Ally Murray on Lake Superior in Duluth, MN

I am excited about Coolibar! I wear the Quarter Zip Long Sleeve Shirt and Long Sleeve Fitness Shirt over my winter heavy-duty workout clothes during training. They are flexible, breathable and have great length for both waist and arms, while protecting from the sun’s dangerous UV rays! I love the colors and styles and have received several compliments! Wearing Coolibar clothing brightens my workout and helps me adjust to the spring sun!

If you wish to follow my status once my run starts, visit my blog at

Ally Loisel-Murray

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Coolibar Athletes

Coolibar Athlete Gene Meade: Ultra Runner

My name is Gene Meade and I am a trail and ultra runner from North Carolina. I am also a fitness instructor and Vice President of the North Carolina Road Runners Club. I enjoy being outdoors, and in addition to running ultra races,  I enjoy cycling, hiking and mountain biking. In 2012, I competed in a Marathon, five 50K races, one 100K race, a 212 mile relay race and two 24 hour running events. Now, my 2013 goal is to run two one hundred mile races. I am running my first 100 miler in April.

I first got into running and cycling in the mid 80’s and then took a break in the mid 90’s to raise three daughters. I came back in 2008 and have not stopped since!

Being fair skinned, sun protection is very important to me. I also lost my brother-in-law to melanoma in 2009, which was a huge wake up call. Many of the clients I work with in the gym are focused on their bodies with regard to fitness and nutrition, but pay little attention to sun protection. I am looking to change that!

Gene Meade

Gene Meade Gene Meade
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Coolibar Athletes

Coolibar Athlete Krista Kennedy: Stand Up Paddleboarder

I consider myself a rare fifth generation native of Las Vegas, Nevada. For the past 11 years, I’ve managed apartment communities in and around Las Vegas. As single mom, I love the outdoors and playing in the sun. From an early age, I enjoyed many activities including gymnastics, dance, swimming and hiking the trails at beautiful Red Rock National Park and the Spring Mountains National Recreation Area. Most recently, I found a passion that combines my love of the sun, water and exercise–stand up paddle boarding or SUP.

I’ve spent most of my life in Las Vegas with the exception of two years in Fort Wainwright Alaska—the Last Great Frontier– and two years in Denver, Colorado. Spending winters in Colorado and Alaska was a major culture shock! It didn’t take long for me to return home to Las Vegas with my daughter Emma, where I could once again enjoy my favorite activities in the warm Las Vegas weather.

In June of 2010, while on vacation at Laguna Beach, I was introduced to SUP. After my first lesson, I knew this was the sport for me. The ability to be on the water and in the sun all while getting a full body workout is everything I love about the outdoors. When I returned home, I started researching to see if there was a location in the area that offered SUP rentals. I was ecstatic to find a business at Lake Las Vegas. ‘Paddle to the Core’ is a short 30 minute drive from the city and they even have small boards perfect for my eight year-old daughter. Now, in the spring and summer (and sometimes in the fall), Emma and I can get out on the water, enjoy the sun and take in the gorgeous views.

Krista Kennedy and her daughter Em Krista Kennedy and her daughter Em

With all of this new fun in the sun, I had a new challenge – how to keep my daughter and myself protected from UV rays. Prior to 2008, I did not have concerns about sun protection. As most people of my generation, being protected in the sun meant putting a little sunscreen on the nose and shoulders. That misperception changed in 2008 when my mother, Brenda, was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. After watching her battle cancer, undergo multiple surgeries and years of chemotherapy, my views changed. Since cancer is prevalent in my family, my mother insisted that I start being proactive with a healthy lifestyle that included being protected from the sun. And I knew applying sunscreen was not enough.

I made a concerted effort to cover up when going out to SUP. But staying covered on the water has not been easy. Sunscreen helps but for the long amounts of time I am out on and in the water I knew I was putting myself, and my daughter, at risk. Wearing shirts made my mother happy, but were too restrictive for the amount of moving needed to SUP. Also, the cotton fabric gets heavy when wet, feels rough on the skin when moving and doesn’t offer high levels of protection. So this summer, I will be using Coolibar UPF 50+ Swimwear in a lightweight flexible fabric perfect for the active water sport enthusiast.

My goals for 2013 include: 1) to train on the lake to increase energy and stamina needed for dance competitions throughout the year; 2) to compete in a charity run for cancer awareness; 3) to increase my exercise by learning SUP yoga (that is yoga done on a SUP board in the water!). I’m excited to participate as a ‘Coolibar Athlete’ and look forward to pushing myself to meet the challenges I have set for the year while staying protected in the sun!

Krista Kennedy

Krista Mountain Biking in Nevada Krista Mountain Biking in Nevada
Coolibar Athletes

Coolibar Athlete Chad Hannon: Adventure Racer

Nine years ago while sitting on the couch having a cigarette, I made the decision to change my life. I decided it was time to live life to the fullest. I threw out the cigarettes, and got on my bike. Today, at 41, I am 55 pounds lighter and nine years without a cigarette.  I run endurance events of all kinds. My favorites are Adventure Races.

I am the father of two daughters (Madeline and Lanie), and have been married to my wife Courtney for nearly 13 years now.  We consider ourselves, all of us, to be a very active family.  Madeline in particular has shown a passion to follow me into Adventure Racing, and has begun running and training on a regular basis.  At age 10, she already has more running medals then I ever will have.

We are excited to be sponsored by Coolibar this season. We’re of Irish descent and if there is one thing we Irish are known for – other than drinking prowess – it is sunburns.  We cannot step in the sun without burning.  So, imagine spending an entire 24 hour race in it, or trying to remember to reapply sunscreen on a five hour bike race section.  With all we know today about overexposure and all the tragic stories that I need not repeat here, sun protection is just as obvious as throwing out those cigarettes. 

Chad Hannon

Chad and daughter Madeline Chad and daughter Madeline
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Coolibar Athletes

Coolibar Athlete Sarah Gay: Triathlete

I’m your typical working wife and mother of two young children ages 16 months and 3 years.  The outdoors has always been a major part of my life, as have many different sports. 

Throughout childhood, I was a competitive synchronized swimmer and as a teenager competed at the national level.  In high school I played field hockey, as a college student at the University of Arizona, I played lacrosse, and as a young adult I worked as a ski patroller in Lake Tahoe.  My current favorite, though, is triathlon.  I did my first sprint distance tri in 1998 and was hooked from the get-go. 

Even from the start, I had a dream of completing an Ironman at some point which has turned into a goal of completing an IM the summer I turn 40. Today I am training for my first half Ironman distance tri in June 2013. I love triathlon because it combines three of my favorite sports (if you threw skiing in there, too, I’d definitely sign up for that race!) and the feeling I get when I cross the finish line is like no other!  I feel on top of the world, like I can conquer anything. 

Training for this race is motivating me to get back into shape after having kids. I also hope to set a positive example for them by showing them that staying physically fit and having fun outdoors while remaining sun smart is essential and easy. Sun protection is important me because, with one exception (a weakened immune system), I have every single risk factor for melanoma. I am fair skinned, have had more blistering sunburns than I care to admit, am outside any chance I get, have lived in Arizona and at elevation, my mother is a melanoma survivor (yay!!) and greater than 50 moles?  Try greater than 500, or 5000?  I have no idea, there are too many to count!  In an effort to beat the odds that aren’t in my favor, I have no choice but to stay protected from the sun.

Professionally, I work as a pediatric nurse practitioner where education and awareness is part of my every day life.  Granted, in pediatric cardiology sun awareness isn’t always the first thing to be discussed, but when parents ask, and they often do, about how to care for their child’s new surgical scar, sun protection is on the to-do list!  If I can continue to fit in little tidbits of sun protection education at work, at home and in the local triathlon community, then I will have done my part in bringing awareness to an often overlooked, but very common, health problem.

Sarah Gay

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