Coolibar had the pleasure of spending a day at the American Academy of Dermatology’s Camp Discovery on June 25. Camp Discovery offers youth with skin conditions the opportunity to spend a week among young people who have similar skin conditions — free of charge. Click “read more” to check out our album from Camp Discovery.
Vitiligo, a chronic skin condition in which there is a loss of pigment in areas of the skin, affects roughly 2 million people in the U.S. Karl Dunbar can still recall the first day white spots began to appear on his skin. “I was in seventh grade and my vitiligo started to appear on my right hand (on my thumb) and over my right eye,” says Dunbar. “At first, I tried to hide it by wearing gloves.” Now, Dunbar plays an essential role as the defensive line coach for the New York Jets. He also knows a thing or two about becoming comfortable in his own skin.
We often say “be SunAWARE” at Coolibar, but we’ve never taken the time to explain its place within our company and why we use it. SunAWARE is a non-profit sun education organization that provides the most up-to-date sun protection tips and skin cancer news. It’s also an acronym that helps people prevent and detect skin cancers. At Coolibar, we have adopted SunAWARE as our official educational message as it’s easy to remember and easy to follow.
In Tanzania, the sun is unrelenting and people have little escape from it. There are also very high rates of skin cancer among Africans, especially for those who suffer with albinism (albinism is a defect of melanin production that results in little or no pigment in the skin, hair, and eyes and makes skin ultra sensitive to the sun). After Coolibar employee Ben heard about the need for sun protection at a medical and cancer treatment center in Tanzania, Ben returned to work with a mission to help find sun protection relief for patients.
While you may already have a personal goal in mind to accomplish in 2012, have you thought about creating a New Year’s Resolution that can have a profound impact on others as well? You, just one person, can help lower the rate people are being diagnosed with melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer, and save lives. This year, consider giving back by getting involved in a race for the cure, fundraise for melanoma research, or hold an event to help educate others about skin cancer and prevention. Our friends at Melanoma Research Foundation (MRF) have some suggestions to help you get started.
Duane Braswell is a recent skin cancer survivor whom is thankful for many things this holiday season. After being diagnosed with both basal cell carcinoma and melanoma in August 2011 and having it successfully excised, he came to the conclusion that there is not enough awareness around the dangers of skin cancer. With the support of his family, friends and outside donors, Duane has arranged to complete a 2,500 bike circuit starting in Phoenix, AZ and ending in Washington, DC to raise money for awareness and further research into skin cancer.
Seirra Leone, located in West Africa, is one of the poorest nations in the world. While mineral, agricultural and fishery resources are abundant, its physical and social infrastructure have not fully recovered from the civil war that ended in 2002, and social disorder has hindered economic development. Coolibar’s friends at OneVillage Partners, a Minneapolis, MN based non-profit, have been working with people in Eastern Seirra Leone since 2006 to provide assistance to rural villages and stimulate growth within these deprived communities.
Last Saturday (8/27/11) my family and I attended the first ever SunAWARE fundraising event at Panino’s Sports Bar in North Oaks, MN. The event raised money to publish “Connor’s Right Field Save” book for Little League players and their families about the five simple, universally recognized steps to prevent and detect skin cancers. I wasn’t sure what to expect, it was after all, the first SunAWARE event.