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Official Rules: My Holiday Wish List Pin to Win

Coolibar “My Holiday Wish List” Pin to  Win

OFFICIAL RULES

1. HOW TO ENTER: Beginning on November 17, 2014 –December 8, 2014 (“Promotion Period”), go to coolibar.com/pintowin and follow the prompts. First, you must follow Coolibar on Pinterest. Go to pinterest.com/coolibar and follow us. You must be a member of Pinterest to follow us. Membership to Pinterest is free. After you follow Coolibar on Pinterest, create a ‘My Holiday Wish List’ board. The board must include ‘My Holiday Wish List’ in the name to be eligible to win (“Board”). Your Board must be public and contain a minimum of three (3) Coolibar products and one (1) Contest Image pinned from Coolibar.com/pintowin. You may also pin other items as you wish. Pins of items from other sites do not count towards the minimum pins.

Use of any robotic, automatic, programmed or similar entry method or more than one entry during the Promotion Period will void all entries and result in disqualification. Only one (1) Board entry per person permitted during the Promotion Period.

Use the prompts at coolibar.com/pintowin to enter your name, email address, mailing address, and a link to your board URL. You must also agree to the terms and conditions of the contest. Entry must be received during the Promotion Period.  No purchase necessary to enter.

At the conclusion of the Promotion Period, you will receive an email to notify you if you won a prize. You may also choose to receive promotional information or a catalog from Coolibar.

2. ELIGIBILITY: Open only to residents of the 50 United States and D.C., 18 years of age and older as of November 17, 2014, except for Pinterest and its affiliates and subsidiaries, and members of each of their respective immediate families or persons living in the same household. Void where prohibited. Employees of Coolibar or its affiliated companies and their immediate family members and/or those living in the same household of such persons are not eligible to enter.

3. RANDOM DRAWING: Three winners from all qualified entrants will be selected by Sponsor, via a random computer generated program on or about December 8, 2014. Entrant must be following Coolibar on Pinterest at the time of the drawing to be eligible for the prize. Winners will be notified by e-mail upon selection. If the winner does not respond within 48 hours of award notification time/date, another entrant will be chosen at random via a computer generated program. Odds of winning will depend upon the number of eligible entries received. The return of any prize/prize notification as undeliverable may result in disqualification and an alternate winner will be selected.

4. PRIZE: Three (3) items from the Coolibar.com website will be awarded to each of the three (3) contest winners. Winners will be able to request size and color of prize merchandise. No substitution or transfer of prize permitted by winner. Sponsor reserves the right to substitute a prize of equal or greater value.

5. OTHER TERMS AND CONDITIONS: Coolibar is not responsible for failed, partial or garbled computer transmissions or for technical failures of any kind, including but not limited to electronic malfunction or damage of any network, hardware or software. If for any reason the contest is not capable of running as planned, including infection by computer virus, bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical failures or other causes that corrupt or affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity or proper conduct of the contest, Coolibar reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the contest and/or disqualify any individual who tampers with the entry or voting process. No responsibility is assumed for: any error, omission, interruption, deletion, defect, delay in operation or transmission, communications line failure, theft or destruction or unauthorized access to, or alteration of entries; or any problems or technical malfunctions of any telephone network or lines, computer online systems, servers, providers, computer equipment, or software; or failure of any email or electronic entry to be received on account of technical problems or traffic congestion on the Internet or at any website, or any combination thereof, including any injury or damage to entrant’s or any other person’s computer related to or resulting from participation in the contest. In the event of a dispute over an electronic entry, the prize will be awarded to the owner of the email account, if eligible, not the name on the entry form. Coolibar reserves the right to terminate or modify the contest at any time in the event of any intervention with the promotion beyond Coolibar’s reasonable control.

All decisions involving the contest and these official rules will be made by the sole discretion of Coolibar, which shall be final in all respects. By participating in the contest and/or accepting any Prize that they may win, entrants agree to release Coolibar, its affiliated and successor companies, advertising and promotion agencies and prize suppliers, and each of their respective officers, directors, agents, representatives and employees, as well as each of their respective successors, representatives and assigns (collectively, the “Released Parties”), from any and all actions, claims, injury, loss or damage arising in any manner, directly or indirectly, from participation in the contest and/or acceptance or use of the prize. All entries will become the property of Coolibar. Entrants authorize the Released Parties to use their name, voice, biographical data, city and state of residence and entry materials in programming or promotional material, in any media now known or hereafter created, worldwide in perpetuity, or on a winner’s list, if applicable, without further compensation. Coolibar is not obligated to use any of the above mentioned information or materials, but may do so and may edit such information or materials at Coolibar’s sole discretion, without materially changing the substance and without further obligation or compensation. Although Coolibar will pay for shipping the prize, the prize winner assumes the risk of safe arrival of the prize. Coolibar is not responsible for lost, stolen, damaged, mutilated or misdirected mail or unsafe arrival of the prize.

This contest shall be governed by Minnesota law. By participating in this contest, entrants agree that Minnesota courts shall have jurisdiction over any dispute or litigation arising from or relating to this contest and that venue shall be only in Minneapolis, MN. All federal, state and/or local taxes are the responsibility of the winner. All contest prize winners will be required to fill out a completed W-9 form and return to Coolibar to receive any cash check prize. Coolibar will report to the IRS by use of 1099 form and/or all federal, state and/or local tax law requirements.

6. WINNERS LIST: For winner’s list, available after December 15, 2014, please write an email to marketinginquiry@coolibar.com with “Request for Winner’s List” in the subject line or mail a postcard or letter to Request for Winner’s List 2401 Edgewood Avenue South Minneapolis, MN 55426.

SPONSOR: Coolibar, Inc Minneapolis, MN
This sweepstakes is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by Pinterest. Coolibar releases Pinterest of all responsibilities associated with this contest.

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Wellness Warriors

What’s Your Ultimate Resort Destination?

Canyon Ranch Tucson - Guest Room

With the launch of our new Resort Collection, we’ve pondered the whole concept of the “resort experience.” Our new collection of colors and prints can help show what we decided. You’ll love the look right away. Once you slip into it, you’ll find it’s also about being comfortable – for wherever you go, whatever you’re doing and whenever you’re doing it.

Traveling to an actual resort is optional, but desirable. In fact, while we were dreaming up our Resort Collection, we dreamed up some of our favorite resort destinations. See if you agree!

Canyon Ranch,Tucson, Arizona

Canyon Ranch Tucson
Courtesy of Canyon Ranch

A unique and original blend of upscale comfort and deep well-being. This place has evolved with the times – once a cattle ranch, then a classic guest ranch, now a fitness spa resort in the beautiful Sonoran Desert. Actually, it’s an all-inclusive health resort and luxury spa. That sounds impressive, and it is; Canyon ranch has been a driving force as the entire concept of a “health resort” has taken off.

Suggested look: Ocean Glimmer Antigua Tunic

Cal-a-Vie Health Spa, Vista, California

Cal a Vie Resort
Courtesy of Cal-a-Vie Health Spa

For all of its hundreds – yes, hundreds – of spa treatments, fitness activities and mind-body-spirit classes, we can’t help but notice how simple and elemental this California health spa resort is. Particularly impressive is that the resort balances this active and/or meditative experience with a passion for fresh, local cuisine. And just for good measure, there’s golf at the resort’s Vista Valley Country Club.

Suggested look: Banded Fitness Tee with Swim Capris

Lake Austin Spa Resort, Austin, Texas

Law
Courtesy of Lake Austin Spa Resort

Everything you could ask for in a wellness retreat: a lake (in this case, Austin Lake) for Paddle Fit, Aqua Zumba or just a mild boat cruise; the Lakehouse Spa with two pools, steam rooms and a café; luxury guest and garden rooms; five course meals and more. Bonus: all of this is surrounded by the incomparable Texas Hill Country.

Suggested look: ZnO Sun Wrap outfit

 

Omni Amelia Island Plantation, Amelia Island, Florida

Amelia Island Plantation Resort
Courtesy of Omni Hotels & Resorts

If you’re thinking about visiting a spa on an island, you’ll find that here. But around it you’ll also discover a world-class resort, and all that that implies: a tiered pool complex including a splash park, a fully-equipped fitness center (think LCD TV screens) and a championship golf course for starters. The resort also provides a variety of ways to explore the island, for you and your whole family.  

Suggested look: Sport Polo with Zip Off Sun Visor

Casa Dorada Los Cabos Resort & Spa, Los Cabos, Mexico

La Casa Dorada Resort Los Cabos
Courtesy of la Casa Dorada Resort

This is a truly impressive getaway that you’ll have almost as much fun telling people about as you will on the actual trip. A highlight is the saltwater spa – if you can tear yourself away from the pools, the four restaurants, the luxurious accommodations and the best swimmable beach in Cabo. This is for the whole family, too – pets included.

Suggested look: Convertible Swim Shirt outfit

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Contests

We’re Giving Away a ZnO Sun Wrap!

Coolibar ZnO Sun Wrap

ENTRIES ARE NOW CLOSED.

Coolibar has the light, comfortable sun protective fabric for any activity, any time of year. So we’re giving away one of our original ZnO Sun Wraps! It features ZnO – our most technically advanced fabric with tiny zinc oxide sun blocking particles permanently embedded into every fiber. It’s cool, soft, comfortable and always UPF 50+!

To Enter:  “Like” our ZnO Sun Wrap giveaway post on our Facebook page, and comment “I want to win ZnO”!

Coolibar ZnO Sun Wrap Giveaway Official Rules: 

Coolibar ZnO Sun Wrap Giveaway is open for entries on Wednesday, September 17, 2014. To enter, you must be 18 years of age or older. Open to residents of the 50 United States and District of Columbia. The winner will receive one (1) Coolibar ZnO Sun Wrap (Product #01263),retail value $59.50. Winner will be chosen at random by Coolibar representatives. Winner will choose the Sun Wrap from available sizes and colors. Comments deemed inappropriate by Coolibar, or not owned by the posting individual, will be deleted and disqualified. No purchase necessary to win. Prize is non-transferable, not returnable and cannot be sold or redeemed for cash. Coolibar, Inc. employees, employee family members and affiliates are not eligible to win. Rules subject to changes at the discretion of Coolibar. Facebook is not affiliated with Coolibar, Inc. or this giveaway. Deadline for entry: Wednesday, September 17, 2014 at 11:59 pm CST.

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Educate Others Events

After 25 Years with Lupus, Still Going Strong

Jan Jundt - Coolibar 5K Lupus Walk

Can there be any disease as grueling and, often, mysterious as lupus?

Certainly not for Jan Jundt, 2014 ambassador for Lupus Foundation of Minnesota, who was diagnosed in 1989. “I thought at the time that it was arthritis,” Jan says. “I was having trouble getting my hands open, and walking stairs. I was really afraid it was arthritis – my family has a long history of arthritis.”

Back then it was very common even for doctors to diagnose lupus as something else, she says, and not just in her home town of Bismarck, North Dakota. “For years lupus was misdiagnosed completely,” says Jan, on the eve of the foundation’s 17th annual Lupus Walk for Hope and 5K Trail Run – Twin Cities.

The Onset

Jan Jundt Coolibar Lupus 5K
Jan Jundt

Jan is married; her husband Dave recently retired from the North Dakota National Guard. Last spring the couple moved to Fargo, ND from Bismarck to be closer to their three grown daughters.

Also: 25 years ago, lupus nearly killed her.

“I thought it was arthritis,” Jan relates. “In a visit to my allergist he said: ‘go see a rheumatologist.’ The look on his face was, ‘you do it now.’” She got an appointment the following week – a miracle in itself. After tests were run, her rheumatologist called to say she had lupus and wanted to visit with her and her husband.  She scheduled a follow-up at the end of the next week.

“And I didn’t make that appointment,” Jan says. “The night before, I crashed. I had complete renal failure. Basically the only things functioning were my heart and my brain. They gave me 24 hours to live.

I don’t remember the next 10 days, and my husband says well, that’s a blessing. You don’t want to know.”

Another time, much more recently, she had another scare. “I had come down with pneumonia. I just thought it was my allergies, and my asthma. We were driving to Minneapolis and I collapsed. That’s the lupus; if you have a weakness in one spot, it just goes for it.”

What’s most striking about this is her positive, enthusiastic tone, even when the subject turns dark. How can you ensure that these frightening episodes do not happen? “You can’t,” she says.

What is Lupus?

If anything about lupus can be simple, here’s the simplest explanation – lupus causes the immune system to malfunction. It mistakenly starts creating auto-antibodies that normally guard the body against bacteria and viruses. Instead, they attack and destroy healthy tissue. This can result in a very wide range of symptoms – pain at the joints, fever, fatigue, headaches and sensitivity to the sun among them.

Lupus Walk for Hope, Plymouth, MN
Lupus Walk for Hope, Plymouth, MN

Like most other people, Jan knew none of this. Following her first harrowing episode, she started researching the disease.

“I could not get any information about lupus,” she says. “Every place I called, I was finding dead ends.”

The one certainty: there were lots of others suffering from lupus, and they likely had no place to go either.

The Support Group

Jan and her husband started a lupus support group 24 years ago in Bismarck, ND. She found a catalyst for it in the Lupus Foundation of Minnesota, which provided the help needed to start the support group.

The group meets the second Thursday of every month. There are about 15 people in the group, Jan says, with a core of about a half dozen. The group first met at night, but switched to mid-days after fatigue became a problem. There are also frequent transportation issues in a community with lots of rural areas; “the community has been very good to us,” she says. “They help whenever they can.”

Team Coolibar at Lupus Walk
Part of Team Coolibar, Sept. 13

Still, the resource has become irreplaceable.  “I have learned the most from those who have lupus,” says Jan. “People come for different reasons. “Some people come when they’re not feeling good, and need some support. Others come when they are feeling good, and just want to be around people.”

Going Strong

Since her move to Fargo, North Dakota last May, Jan can no longer attend the group she started. But it’s still going strong. On Saturday, September 13, she walked along with Coolibar team members as the official ambassador for Lupus Foundation of Minnesota in the  Lupus Walk for Hope and 5K Trail Run – Twin Cities.

“Our goal is to help one person,” she says. “If we can do that, we’ve done our job.”

For information on Coolibar sun protective clothing, visit our site!

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Coolibar Athletes Kaitlyn Price

Pro Golf Dream is on Hold – For Now

Kaitlyn Price - Golf

What does a Coolibar 2014 Sponsored Athlete do when injury temporarily takes her out of the game? Switch sports, of course!

By Kaitlyn Price

Unfortunately, this summer hasn’t gone exactly as planned. As most of you know, injuries are a part of living an active lifestyle. While they never seem to come at a good time, they can, in the long run, make you stronger. This summer has been frustrating to say the least.

It started on a high: graduating college, playing well in my first events, and preparing for Q-school [the annual qualifying tournaments required for membership in pro golf tours such as the LPGA]. But sadly I have sustained a shoulder injury that will keep me from attending Q-school this year. While my dream of playing professionally is on hold for the moment, I am taking this time to rehab my shoulder and get back into fighting shape to give it a whirl again next year.

Since I have been taking a break from playing in tournaments and practicing I have had more time to do some other activities. One of the activities I have taken up is fishing. My brother is an avid fisherman and he takes me out on his boat to fish the Intracoastal Waterway.Kaitlyn Price - fish

Much like golf, fishing takes a lot of patience as well as long periods of time in the sun. The Marina Sun Hat and the Quarter Zip Long Sleeve Fitness Pullover have been great assets to a day on the water. The picture shows a black drum I caught while wearing my Quarter Zip Long Sleeve Fitness Pullover!

Although I was skeptical at first of wearing long sleeves in the summertime, I have been amazed at how well the Coolibar clothing keeps you cool and protects your skin from the sun. Coolibar clothing has definitely enhanced my wardrobe and keeps me looking good while staying cool and protected.

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Inside Coolibar What's Hot

What the Heck is a Rash Guard?

Coolibar Boys Rash Guard

And why should you buy one? If you grew up in Australia, as Coolibar founder John Barrow did, you already know the answers to these questions. If you didn’t, allow us to explain.

A rash guard is almost always a shirt, specifically one that’s worn in or around water. This might seem strange; after all, we have swim shirts and wraps and beach cover ups that do the same thing, right? But the original Australian rash guard was called a rash guard (or “rashie”) for its ability to protect against rashes.

In thCoolibar Rash Guard for Mene beginning, rash guards were almost exclusively for men. Almost all of these men were surfers and most of the rashes came from chafing – against fast-moving water, or against sand caught in waxed surfboards. These rash guards fit very tightly so they didn’t rub against the skin at all; sometimes people even used them underneath wet suits to protect them from neoprene chafing.

Rash guards were normally fashioned from combinations of polyester, nylon, lycra or spandex for stretch, breathability and quick-drying properties.

All of the above is still true today. But nowadays you don’t have to surf to wear a raCoolibar Rash Guards for Womensh guard (in fact there are specialized rash guards for a variety of sports including baseball).

You don’t have to be a guy, either – women’s rash guards are available in a range of colors and styles.

In fact: you don’t even have to be athletic to wear a rash guard. It helps…but it’s no longer necessary.

Much of this is because many of the “rashes” that today’s rash guards prevent are not caused by surfboards or saltwater or too much body motion. Rash guards today actually guard against the sun’s UV rays – good old-fashioned sunburn.

That means UPF 50+ sun protection. And all of a sudden, a rash guard isn’t so strange after all.

 

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Coolibar Athletes Valerie Stewart

The Athlete Within

Valerie Stewart - Kayak

By Valerie Stewart

In fourth grade I ruled on the four square court. NO one could knock me out of the server’s square. My family didn’t know and I didn’t receive any blue ribbons, but I knew and it made me feel great.

Thinking back, I realize that I took no specific pleasure in beating the other kids. The payoff was the sense of power that being the best gave me. In an era when parents and teachers didn’t constantly stroke and support children, it was up to us to find a sense of identity and pride. I see now that it was incredibly satisfying to beat all the boys at a time when girls weren’t encouraged to be athletes.

As an adult, what I don’t like about competition is making the other women feel badly when I beat them. What I do like is the sense of power and personal accomplishment that winning gives me. Many athletes say that they are really competing against themselves. Which is why timed competitions are so much more satisfying than judged ones; the former are not subjective, and athletes can accurately measure their own progress.Valerie Blog2 A

I define “athlete” as a person who has decided to commit to a physical activity, while working to improve their skills.  In other words, anyone who chooses to can be an athlete. You may be drawn to a sport, or you may want to try out various activities to find the right fit. Don’t worry about your age or past experience or what you “should” do;  if you don’t enjoy it, you won’t do it.

I joined several kayaking groups last summer as a newbie, and am thrilled to have found another sport that I love. I’ll compete in some casual Class 1-2 kayaking events, but kayaking is primarily my safe and peaceful sport. A chance to discover the rivers, lakes, and bays of Northern California, while meeting lots of men and women over 40 who like to do the same thing. We share the delight of seeing eagles, herons, egrets, osprey, pelicans, geese, seals, otters, sea lions, turtles, even sharks and whales in their natural habitat as we float by. A year ago I didn’t realize that these experiences existed.

When I started snowboarding, I was totally unaware of snowboarding competitions. I hadn’t competed in anything since I was a kid in Horse 4H. But my willingness to try a new sport at an “old” age opened up a whole world of unforeseen experiences. I found myself competing on a national level against other women my age who also loved the sport. I produced two award-winning snowboarding videos, and interviewed pro boarders from around the world as they competed to qualify for snowboarding’s historic entry into the Olympics. I competed alongside Shaun White as he evolved from a promising nine-year-old into a multiple Olympic gold medalist. And I found a sport that expresses exactly who I am.

So be open, and ignore your doubts. And the doubts of others. You never know what life may bring if you’re ready to let it in.


Valerie’s Product Pick:

Valerie Stewart - Coolibar Swim Tights

If you thought you could never swim in public again because of your “imperfect” legs, you were wrong. Coolibar has introduced a new age of swimwear – the Active Swim Tight.  It comes in two styles; with or without an attached skirt.  And it’s offered in three lengths; above the knee, below the knee, and above the ankle. The SUNTECT® fabric is UPF 50+ and resists chlorine and saltwater. I own three of these, and will buy more when they’re offered in more colors.

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Expert Rx

How to Properly Help Protect Your Eyes From UV Exposure

By Susan Resnick, OD, FAAO, Drs. Farkas, Kassalow, Resnick & Associates, New York

Throughout my career, I’ve seen thousands (maybe even tens of thousands!) of patients in my practice, and one of the most common items that links everyone together is the lack of understanding of the dangers that UV rays pose to the health of our eyes. I advocate for full body protection – broad spectrum sunscreen and UPF clothing for the skin, and comprehensive protection for the eyes.

But first, let me explain why UV exposure can potentially harm the health of your eyes. A number of studies have shown that the effects of UV radiation to the eyes are mostly cumulative, and UV exposure may increase the chance of developing eye problems later in life. Once you, or your eye doctor, notices damage, it’s often too late to reverse it.

It’s also important to know that if it is daytime; your eyes are being exposed to UV rays. A cloudy day is no excuse for not protecting your eyes – it’s estimated that up to 80% of UV rays can pass through thin clouds1. Appropriate protection is also vital in all four seasons – while direct sunlight itself can be harmful, reflected UV rays can increase your UV exposure. For example, fresh snow reflects as much as 80% of UV rays2 and those rays can bounce up directly into the eyes.

So what should you do each day to help protect your eyes from the sun? Start with a wide-brimmed hat, like a sun hat or a baseball cap. The hat helps to block the sun from above, especially when it is highest in the sky (10 a.m. – 2 p.m.).

Second, high-quality, UV blocking sunglasses are essential. Not all sunglasses are equal, and UV blocking doesn’t necessarily mean expensive. Pay attention to labels, and look for 100% UVA/UVB blocking. Sunglasses that block at least 99 percent of UV are OK too – you want to limit UV transmission to no more than 1 percent UVB and 1 percent UVA rays. Make sure to look for frames that wraparound the face, and cover the eyes from the eyebrow to the upper cheek.

For those who require vision correction, UV blocking contact lenses+* can offer an additional measure of UV protection. Not all contact lenses offer UV protection, and of those that do, not all provide similar absorption levels. ACUVUE® Brand Contact Lenses is the only major brand which blocks approximately 97% of UVB and 81% of UVA rays as standard across the entire range of its products+*. Although UV-blocking contact lenses are beneficial in helping to protect against harmful UV rays, clinical studies have not been done to show they reduce the risk of any specific eye disease or condition. That’s why it is important to wear them as part of a comprehensive sun protection plan along your wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses.

Talk to your eye doctor about UV protection, and for additional information, check out “The Sun & Your Eyes: What You Need to Know” at www.acuvue.com/sunandyoureyes.

1 Sunburn: Causes, Mayo Clinic: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/sunburn/basics/causes/con-20031065

2 Global solar UV Index, World Health Organization: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/who271/en/print.html

 

Susan Resnick, OD, FAAO, is a partner at Drs. Farkas, Kassalow, Resnick & Associates. She authors, lectures and consults in the areas of specialty contact lenses and emerging vision and eyecare technologies. In addition to her contact lens specialty, Dr. Resnick maintains a strong interest and participation in primary optometric care including binocular vision assessment and pediatric examinations. Dr. Resnick is an authoritative source for eye health and has been quoted in Women’s Health, FoxNews.com, Allure.com and Glamour.com, among others and serves as an advisor to the industry as a clinical investigator in the contact lens and pharmaceutical fields. Dr. Resnick is a member of the America Academy of Optometry and the Nassau County Optometric Society.  Dr. Resnick is a paid consultant for Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc., which provided support for this content.

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Expert Rx Success Stories Wellness Warriors

Guest Post: A Call to Action from a Skin Cancer Survivor

Megan Ramey

NOTE: This post by Megan Ramey first appeared July 29 on Cancer Candor, a blog from Chris Hanson, President, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN). It appeared on the same day that the US Surgeon General released a call to action to prevent skin cancer in which he called the disease a major public health problem. “I wanted impress upon my readers why it is so important that our nation has an action plan for dealing with this devastating cancer by sharing Megan’s powerful story,” Mr. Hanson said.

My name is Megan Ramey and I was diagnosed with stage III melanoma in 2010, just weeks before my 21st birthday. With blonde hair, blue eyes and fair skin I am the walking definition of someone who should take extra precautions when it comes to UV exposure. Four years post diagnosis I look back on the choices I made and feel a large amount of regret for not being cautious enough. Melanoma is a unique cancer in that most cases directly results from our behavior. We can choose to protect ourselves in the sun and we can choose to stay away from tanning beds. I admit I did not take the risks seriously.

Growing up in Minnesota my family and I cherished our beautiful summers.  Whether we were at the lake or by my family pool we were outside from sun up to sun down. I used sunscreen here and there but not nearly enough to prevent several painful sunburns over the years. When I reached high school, I began using tanning beds before school dances, vacations and figure skating competitions. I thought that tanning beds were a safer way to obtain a tan. In college, going to the tanning salon was a common activity amongst my friends. Being tan was considered attractive.  Everyone was doing it. When you are young, you don’t think about the consequences of your actions and how they can impact your future. Had I been better educated about skin cancer (specifically melanoma) and taken the warnings seriously, my life could very well be entirely different from what is today.

When I was first diagnosed with melanoma, the summer between my junior and senior year of college became a whirlwind of scans, surgeries, oncology visits and one month of high dose immune building chemotherapy (interferon). Luckily all scans since my initial diagnosis have come back NED (or no evidence of disease), meaning I have no active cancer cells to worry about at the moment. Melanoma is tricky. Even if you are lucky enough to be labeled NED, it could reoccur at any moment. Knowing this, I made a choice to complete two years of low dose interferon in hopes that the medication will continue to help my immune system ward off active melanoma cells. Currently, I live my life in 6 month increments never knowing when the next scan will show trouble. A recurrence of melanoma is never far from my mind, and one of my biggest fears. My life at 25 is unlike anything that I could have imagined.

Melanoma awareness is an important part of my life. I am part of a local non-profit group called Melanoma Awareness Minnesota. This group is active in the community, participating in health fairs, expos and presenting to local high school students the dangers of melanoma. I recently had the opportunity to work with the ACS CAN here in Minnesota to pass the tanning legislation prohibiting minors from using commercial tanning beds. I enjoy sharing my story with anyone who will listen. When it comes to melanoma, education is key! Knowledge saves lives. The CDC and Surgeon General released today a call to action on skin cancer. Their support and assistance sends a strong message to the general public about just how dangerous and prevalent skin cancer can be. The numbers are staggering; millions of people every year are being diagnosed with melanoma. Something needs to change and I think this call to action is going to be a significant step in the right direction!

Megan Ramey is a courageous ACS CAN volunteer from Minnesota. At age 21, after several years of indoor tanning, Megan was diagnosed with melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. Megan bravely shares her story with teens with the hope that they will avoid indoor tanning salons and protect their skin from ultraviolet (UV) exposure. 

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Coolibar Athletes Jim Webster

The Spirit of Competition Includes Sun Safety

Jim Webster "Web"

Coolibar continues highlighting our Sponsored Athletes for 2014. Here, long range marksman Jim Webster talks about striving for excellence and staying safe at the same time.

By Jim Webster

If I were to wager, I’d bet most of you have probably heard the phrase, “you have to burn before you tan”.  That was a favorite quote around my house.  We heard it every year from relatives when the family would go to VA Beach during the summer.

Vacation was always the last two weeks in August; right before school started when the sun absolutely baked the sand every day. You left for the beach first thing in the morning and didn’t come home until dinner. Umbrellas – not a chance. If you got too hot you just jumped in the water. That’s just the way it was 35 years ago.  And bake we did, then peel, then eventually the pink would turn brown by the time we were ready to head back to NY.

I am fortunate that my father’s side of the family is from the St. Kitts, a small island in the Caribbean about 200 miles southeast of San Juan.  This heritage means I tan quite easily, and over the years I have spent more than my share of time in the sun. So far I have been lucky. I will turn 49 this summer and have only had one spot on my arm that needed to be checked. It turned out to be nothing.

But that wasn’t the case for a friend of mine. Crockett, as he was known, was 50 years old in October of ‘99 when the doctor examined what he thought was a mole on his shoulder. It proved to be melanoma, and a short time later my friend lost his fight with skin cancer.

Jim Webster - Long Range Shooting

Long-range shooting competitions are one of my passions.  Events are held in wide-open areas.  They have to be for safety purposes. Picture an area that is 10 football fields long by five football fields wide.

Shooting begins early in the morning and runs until evening (e.g. similar to the days at the beach), and the only shade is what you find under the brim of your hat. Take in too much sun during the day and not only will your performance suffer, you could find yourself in a fight where the odds are not in your favor.

In my mind, what makes me an athlete it is what makes us all athletes: a willingness to push ourselves through whatever adversity life presents. Whether it is parenting, being a good friend, or success in work or competition, inherently we all want to do well. It feels good to perform well, and even better to win. Being able to harness this drive separates an average performance from an exceptional one.

Am I different than most? I don’t view it that way.  I am fortunate to have a supportive family and good friends. I do everything I can to make each day and each experience the best possible.

The bottom line: I enjoy spending time outside with my family and traveling to competitions. I enjoy the beach, and can’t wait to go back.  Simply stated, I don’t want to miss out on any of those opportunities. If being smart about my exposure to UV makes those things possible, then it is worth my time and effort. Coolibar makes is easy with comfortable active wear for every sport.

Have fun and stay safe,

WEB

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