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SunAWARE

Success Stories SunAWARE Wellness Warriors

Melanoma Survivor Capt. Harry

During Skin Cancer Awareness Month, Coolibar invites skin cancer survivors to share their stories with us in their own words. Hope, determination and drive to educate others play a major role in these individuals’ lives. Skin cancer doesn’t discriminate, it can happen to anyone. Prevention and early detection can be life saving! We hope you share these stories with your friends, family and colleagues. Be SunAWARE this month and all year long. Read Capt. Harry’s story below.

I am fifty years old and run a saltwater charter fishing business out of O’Neill’s Marina in St. Pete, Florida. I had always spent a lot of time on the water, but not like this. In 2005, I started going to the dermatologist two times a year. In March of 2012, the dermatologist told me to keep an eye on a spot in the upper middle of my back, not to worry about it, but just watch it. This spot was in a place that I could barely see, even with two mirrors. I made the mistake of forgetting to tell my wife what the doctor said about keeping an eye on that spot.

While on a vacation in October, my wife noticed that spot on my back and said it did not look right. I went to the dermatologist in early November and the doctor said it was great that my wife noticed the spot. It did not look right to him and a biopsy was done.

I was on a fishing charter just off St. Pete beach when the doctor’s office called and told me that I had a Clark Level 3 Melanoma and to schedule an appointment with Moffitt Cancer Center. I didn’t know what to think. I was scared, angry, nervous and just wanted to get off the boat. As much as I tried not to let my clients know what that phone call was about, I’m sure they noticed a change in my attitude. I was so mad and angry that I told my wife that evening, “I don’t want to tell anyone about this, that it was my business, and it stays between us.”

We were reading everything we could about Melanoma and Clark Level 3 diagnosis. All this information was making the both of us more anxious, nervous, scared, angry and upset. Knowing and keeping this a secret was not the right thing to do. After a week or so, we agreed to tell two of her brothers that live close to us and my dad, and at some point my brother and sister who live in other states.

After Thanksgiving, we met with our team at Moffitt Cancer Center, and they told us what the procedure would be and scheduled the surgery for December 13th. While in a tree stand hunting one morning, I finally came to grips with what was going on and decided it was fine to talk about it, and totally changed my attitude. It took me three weeks to get to that point, but the anger was gone. I was still anxious and nervous, but not mad and angry.

After sitting in that tree for three hours, I got down and took a walk through the woods. I came upon a guy who was spraying invasive plant species to get rid of them. We talked for four hours and while talking he tells me that his wife went through breast cancer and Moffitt Cancer Center helped her beat it. She was cancer free and doing great. After about three hours, I told him I had just come to grips with my diagnosis, and I told him about it. He asked if it was alright with me if I would join him in a prayer for me. I told him it can’t hurt, so we prayed. It really was something that I ran into this man just after coming to grips with my situation.

I went in for the surgery on the 13th, and the first step was to inject a dye around the biopsy area to determine where and if the cancer had gone to any lymph nodes. The dye showed that it had gone to one lymph node in my left armpit and three in my right armpit. The surgery went well and they removed one under my left arm and three under my right. They also removed a large area around the biopsy. They scheduled my follow-up visit for December 31st. It was going to be an anxious two and a half weeks waiting for the lab results. After about ten days, my wife said let’s call and get the lab results. This was an anxious call but a great one. The nurse told me that all the lymph nodes came back negative and all of the area around the biopsy was also negative. Hallelujah! Christmas was so much better.

Words to the wise:

I had never heard of Coolibar before having to research melanoma and UPF clothing. Living and boating in Florida, you are going to be in the sun. I think, like myself, a lot of people have never heard of Coolibar. I spend over 200 days on the water, and clients as well as others in my industry, pay attention to what others are wearing. Regular cotton tee shirts just will not hold up, so people need to see others wearing sun protective apparel. Lead by example.

Capt. Harry

Capt. Harry’s Website: Hook Em Harry

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Avoid UV & Seek Shade

FDA works to increase awareness of tanning bed risks

Tanning Bed

Monday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a proposed order that, if finalized, would reclassify sunlamp products and require labeling to include a recommendation designed to warn young people not to use these devices.

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, there is a 75 percent increase in the risk of melanoma, the deadliest type of skin cancer, in those who have been exposed to ultraviolet radiation from indoor tanning, and the risk increases with each use. The proposed order does not prohibit the use of sunlamp products by those under the age of 18, but it provides a warning on the consequences.

The order would reclassify sunlamp products from a low risk device (class I) to a moderate risk device (class II).

“Using indoor tanning beds can damage your skin and increase your risk of developing skin cancer,” said FDA Commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg, M.D. “The FDA’s proposed changes will help address some of the risks associated with sunlamp products and provide consumers with clear and consistent information.”

If the order is finalized, manufacturers would have to submit a pre-market notification (510(k)) to the FDA for these devices, which are currently exempt from any pre-market review. Manufacturers would have to show that their products have met certain performance testing requirements, address certain product design characteristics and provide comprehensive labeling that presents consumers with clear information on the risks of use. The order proposes to include a contraindication against use on people under 18 years old, and the labeling would have to include a warning that frequent users of sunlamp products should be regularly screened for skin cancer.

Resource: http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm350864.htm

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SunAWARE Wellness Warriors

Melanoma Survivor Lauren

During Skin Cancer Awareness Month, Coolibar invites skin cancer survivors to share their stories with us in their own words. Hope, determination and drive to educate others play a major role in these individuals’ lives. Skin cancer doesn’t discriminate, it can happen to anyone. Prevention and early detection can be life saving! We hope you share these stories with your friends, family and colleagues. Be SunAWARE this month and all year round. Read Lauren’s story below.

My name is Lauren, and I am 25 years old.  I grew up in a small Colorado town where I was devoted to my family, friends, and sports. I lived outside, and under tanning bed lights.  I went to college on a volleyball scholarship where my tanning addiction only got worse.  Realizing that skin care was my passion, I gave up college classes for cosmotology ones.  Sitting in my esthetics class is when I realized that I could very well be suffering from Melanoma, and I was right.  Four months after my first mole diagnosis, I completed four rounds of biochemotherapy.  Since then, I have been cancer free and plan on staying that way.

Growing up in a small town that consisted of mostly prisons, antique shops, and bars made it easy for any child to know that almost all activities were meant to be outdoor adventures.  Whether it was swimming at the local pool, riding bikes, or swinging from ropes across a creek; they were all under the blistering Colorado sun.  Back then, wearing sunscreen was advised but never forced.  Oh, how I wish it was.

It all started before I was even in high school.  I realized that my skin always turned into a beautiful tan after only a couple days of suffering a sunburn.  That was not a problem for me; beauty is pain, right?  Any chance I had to roll up my pant legs and arm sleeves to let the sun beam down on me, I took.  I can remember a handful of severe sunburns ranging from scabs on my shoulders, blisters on my legs, and even my lips, but that never stopped me.  All these imperfections would go away, and I would soon have that perfect tan.

Not only did I love to feel the natural sun shine, but I loved the fact that I could get even better results from a tanning bed. I learned that lying in a tanning bed for just twenty minutes was equivalent to laying on a beach for four hours; so I made sure to include the twenty minute sessions of UV rays into my daily routine.  Sometimes I would even let the time run out and start it all over again.  After all, I wanted to have the best “glow” at prom, be the darkest on the volleyball court, and Lord knows, I couldn’t let my true shade show during the winter.  Using tanning beds was a part of my life for nearly ten years.  I was addicted.  Nothing felt better to me than to lie in the warm bed, close my eyes, and doze off to wake up to an even darker complexion.  It was just too easy.

I attended cosmetology school to become an esthetician-someone who works in skin care and is knowledgeable in the best ways to care for the epidermis, go figure.   I remember the week we learned about skin disorders and diseases, a light bulb turned on in my head.  We were going through the ABCD’s of Melanoma, and I realized that a certain mole on top of my head had these exact characteristics, but still, I didn’t think to go to the doctor.  No one ever thinks, “Why yes, this is probably cancer.” Just like when you have a tooth ache, the last thing you think about or want to do is go to the dentist.

Lauren in her Coolibar at the Richard David Kann Melanoma Foundation Offices

A couple months had passed, and this mole was only getting worse.  My grandma finally made it clear that I had to see a doctor, so I went just a couple days later.  I explained to the dermatologist what this mole was doing.  Whether it was oozing, bleeding, or peeling, something was not right.  Without hesitation, the doctor insisted a biopsy be done.  He numbed me and removed it faster than I could say, “Ouch.”  One thing that still pops into my mind when I think about this appointment is near the end of the visit, he told me that he would pray for me.  What?  I’ve never heard a doctor say that.  Did he know something was wrong?

About a week later, the phone finally rang and it was the call my family and I had been waiting for.  We were sure it was nothing, that he would have only good news to tell us.   How wrong we were.  The mole he had removed was a Melanoma, a Stage 4 on the Clark Scale.  He pointed us in the direction of a head and neck surgeon to have a wide excision done on my scalp, as well as a sentinel node biopsy.

Before this procedure, the surgeon was confident that there would be no spread.   He told us there was only a twenty percent chance it would have gone anywhere.  With this statistic, it was easy to feel the slightest bit of comfort.   The surgery went well, but there we were again, waiting.  Another week had passed, the phone rang, and everything changed.  I remember like it was yesterday; he said, “We did an amazing job on your scalp, the margins were perfect and there was no Melanoma found.  But, they did find a little Melanoma in the sentinel node.”  Getting that news once is hard enough, but twice?  There are no words to explain.  I was back under the knife exactly a month later for a complete neck dissection to remove all remaining lymph nodes, and I was officially a Stage III Melanoma patient.

Just nine days after the dissection, I was admitted to UCH in Denver for my first round of biochemotherapy, the most aggressive strategy against Melanoma.  This consisted of three types of chemo, and two bio medicines.  I was hospitalized for five days with a twenty-four hour drip.  I would have two weeks in between cycles, so just enough time to feel almost normal, and then it was right back to where I started.  I completed four of these cycles, and I am so thankful to know that biochemotherapy cannot be done twice.  Nothing makes me happier than to know I will never have to go through that again.

Recovering was hard; I was weak, and I am still weak.  But, my attitude and outlook have never been so strong.  I never let the thought of death cross my mind; it was not an option.  No matter how miserable I was, or how alone I felt, I knew that this was just a huge lesson for me, for people I love, and for people I’ll soon meet.  I couldn’t have fought this battle without all the love and support from my family and friends, especially my mom and dad.

I strive to be a role model for others that have dealt with or who are dealing with Melanoma:   patients, patients’ families, friends, neighbors, anyone who has been affected.  Understanding this disease and how to prevent it is crucial, and I am ready to spread the awareness and make a difference. Know your skin.  Check your skin.  Love your skin.

Lauren

Lauren and her mother at the Richard David Kann Melanoma Foundation Fashion Show Fundraiser 2/12/13
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Events Parenting School sun safety SunAWARE

Win Sun Protective Hats for Your School

Coolibar’s school sun hat contest is now open for entries! If you have a child in school or are a teacher, enter to win up to 50 kids hats for your classroom! We’ll be drawing the names of five lucky winners. Enter online and complete the SunAWARE quiz (ANSWERS BELOW) along with your contact information.

Mail your completed entry to Coolibar before May 9, 2014 and you’re registered:

Coolibar School Hats
2401 Edgewood Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55426

GOOD LUCK!

Contest Guidelines:

To enter, you must be a teacher or student at a public school, accredited private school, member of a 501(c)(3) educational organization, or a member of a recognized support group (e.g. PTA) for any of the preceding organizations. Contest open to residents of the 50 United States and District of Columbia. Contest entries for 2014 must by post marked or submitted by May 9, 2014 to be eligible for the contest drawing. Winners will be announced on May 14, 2014. Each winner will receive 50 hats maximum for their class. 5 winners will be chosen at random. No purchase necessary to win. Prize is non-transferable, not returnable and cannot be sold or redeemed for cash. Mechanically reproduced entries will not be accepted. One entry per person.Contest rules subject to change at the sole discretion of Coolibar.

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Events SunAWARE

Skin Cancer Awareness Month 2013

May has been declared Skin Cancer Awareness Month by the Centers for Disease Control. They remind us to increase awareness of the importance of the prevention, early detection and treatment of skin cancer. Each year, approximately 2 million persons in the United States are diagnosed with non melanoma skin cancers. Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation and a history of sunburn are preventable risk factors. With a little pre-planning it is easy to be sun safe all season long, and we’ve gathered a few ideas to help get you started.

1. Be SunAWARE and Be Safe! Use the easy to remember SunAWARE acronym to help keep in mind all the steps needed for sun safety. Remember it, use it and share it!

2. Get a Free Skin Cancer Screening at the Road to Healthy Skin Tour. The Skin Cancer Foundation’s Road to Healthy Skin Tour will make its way across the U.S. The mobile Tour kicks off in New York City in May for Skin Cancer Awareness Month. Check the Tour Schedule to see if it’s visiting your community.  If you go, say hi to the Tour event managers, Chris and Christie, protected by Coolibar Sunwear.

3. SPOT Orange™ on Melanoma Monday.  The American Academy of Dermatology designates the first Monday in May as Melanoma Monday and asks you to SPOT Orange™ to raise awareness of skin cancer. Visit the Academy’s website to find free screenings in your neighborhood.

Coolibar proudly supports the AAD’s SPOT Orange™ Skin Cancer Initiative and you can too.  We donate $10 for every Coolibar UPF 50+ SPOT™ Tee sold.

Coolibar UPF 50+ SPOT T-Shirt Coolibar UPF 50+ SPOT T-Shirt

 4. Attend a Skin Cancer Prevention Event.  Throughout the country there are walks, runs and golf tournaments that all benefit skin cancer prevention efforts. A few of our favorites are MRF’s Miles for Melanoma, MIF Safe from the Sun and the Stay Out of the Sun Run in MN.

5. Celebrate Don’t Fry Day. The National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention declares the Friday before Memorial Day (May 24, 2013) as “Don’t Fry Day” to encourage sun safety awareness. Because no single step can fully protect you and your family from overexposure to UV radiation, follow as many tips as possible.

Do you have other suggestions?  Share how you plan to make May and the rest of your summer sun safe. ‘Leave a reply’ below or visit our Facebook page.

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Inside Coolibar Sunscreens and Lotions

“Cool”ibar on Earth Day

As a Coolibar sun protective clothing fan, you can not only feel good about protecting your skin, but protecting a bit of the earth as well.

Coolibar Sun Protective Clothing Earthly Deeds:
1) For every sun protective clothing garment you wear versus sunscreen alone, you’re reducing the amount of sunscreen you use along with packaging waste. For more information read: Sun Protective Clothing vs. Sunscreen

2) Quality sun protective clothing like Coolibar’s lasts for years — we mean it! The sun protection doesn’t wash or wear out, and lasts for the life of the garment. If you have one child that outgrows the UPF clothing, you can pass it down to the next! For more information read: The Coolibar Guarantee

3) Coolibar has incorporated biodegradable garment bags and mailing envelopes into outgoing packages. (More on this to come later in the week!)

4) Coolibar recognizes the importance of using sunscreen on exposed skin (face, hands, feet, etc.). That’s why we carry sunscreen brands such as Raw Elements, chemical free zinc oxide sunscreen.

From Raw Elements Sunscreen: According to a study released in January 2008, four common chemical sunscreen agents may be at least partly responsible for increased coral bleaching worldwide. Cinnimate, benzophenone, parabens (artificial preservatives) and camphor derivatives were found to activate viruses in the algae. Not only are these chemicals infecting the reef, they are also disrupting the surrounding ecosystem as well. Algae being the primary energy source for coral reefs, once infected and depleted, the coral bleaches and dies. An estimated four to six thousand pounds of chemical sunscreen wash off swimmers each year and ten percent of the world’s coral reefs are destroyed. Environmental groups and environmentally conscious scuba and snorkel resorts around the world suggest using biodegradable zinc oxide-based sunscreens when entering fragile ecosystems such as oceans, lakes and ponds. Using a chemical free sunscreen with an active ingredient of Zinc Oxide is s a conscientious alternative to damaging sunscreens that consist chemical UV absorbers, synthetic preservatives or other harsh chemicals.

Happy Earth Day!

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Avoid UV & Seek Shade SunAWARE

Tanning bed legislation – where are we now?

This week, the Connecticut Health Committee passed a bill they hope will ban teens from tanning beds. The state senate and house still need to pass the bill before it becomes state law. Nationally, anti-tanning bed regulations have increased significantly over the past decade due to rapidly increasing skin cancer rates and new studies on the negative health effects of indoor tanning.

Also in the news this week, New Jersey officially signed their teen tanning bed ban into law. Now, no one under 17 years of age will be able to use a UV tanning bed. Curious where your state stands?

Tanning bed legislation in the U.S.

  • 5/2/2012, Vermont became the second state to ban indoor tanning for those 18 years and younger.
  • 10/9/2011, California became the first state to prohibit indoor tanning for children under age 18.
  • As of today, over 30 states restrict indoor tanning use by minors.

National Conference of State Legislatures Indoor Tanning Laws for Minors (July 2012)

Resources:
1. Norwich Bulletin
2. Washington Post
3. American Academy of Dermatology
4. National Conference of State Legislatures

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Inside Coolibar Sunscreens and Lotions

Don’t be fooled by sunscreen labels any longer!

This April Fools, we’re not fooling around – at least about sunscreen. Almost two years after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced their new sunscreen labeling requirements (first announced June 14, 2011), we’re now seeing both small and large sunscreen vendors roll-out new labeling, packaging, and in some cases, improved products. These changes will allow consumers to better understand a sunscreen’s ability to protect against UVA and UVB sun damage, skin cancer and skin aging.

Our friends at the American Academy of Dermatology did an excellent job of outlining many of these changes:

Skin cancer prevention versus sunburn protection

On the label, you’ll see whether a sunscreen can:

– Help prevent skin cancer and sunburn.

– Only help prevent sunburn.

That’s thanks to new FDA testing requirements. For a label to claim that a sunscreen can help prevent skin cancer and sunburn, it will have to pass two tests.

1. The first test is the broad-spectrum test. This test shows whether a sunscreen can protect your skin from the sun’s UVA and UVB rays. Both rays can cause skin cancer.

2. The second test is the sun protection factor (SPF) test. This test shows how well a sunscreen protects you from sunburn. Like today, you’ll see the SPF as a number, such as SPF 30. All sunscreen must offer some SPF. The minimum is SPF 2.

New warning: For a sunscreen to carry the claim that it can prevent skin cancer and sunburn, it must offer both: 1) broad-spectrum coverage and 2) an SPF of 15 or higher. If the sunscreen does not offer both, the label will have to carry this warning:

“This product has been shown only to help prevent sunburn, not skin cancer or early skin aging.”

Water resistance

The FDA will ban companies from claiming that a sunscreen is “waterproof” or “sweat proof.” This is simply not possible.

You’ll now see the term “water resistant.” To make this claim, the product must pass another test. This test shows how long a sunscreen keeps its SPF when a person goes in the water or sweats. The label also must state how long the water resistance lasts, either 40 or 80 minutes.

New warning: If a sunscreen is not water resistant, the label must carry a warning. This warning will tell you to use a water-resistant sunscreen if you are likely to sweat or be in water.

Makeup and moisturizers

You’ll see the new claims on makeup and moisturizers, too — provided the product undergoes and passes the FDA tests.

Vanicream SPF 50+No ratings above SPF 50+

A proposed rule, if enforced, will limit the maximum SPF value on sunscreen labels to “50 +” because there is not sufficient data to show that products with SPF values higher than 50 provide greater protection for users than products with SPF values of 50.

All Coolibar sunscreen brands will be making changes to their packaging to be in compliance with new FDA guidelines.  For example, Vanicream SPF 60 will be replaced by Vanicream SPF 50+. If you have any specific questions about your favorite sunscreen brand sold on http://www.coolibar.com/, ‘Leave a reply’ below or comment at http://www.facebook.com/coolibar

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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 http://www.pediatricspf.org/.

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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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