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Parenting SunAWARE

Wiseheart Saves the Dawn – A Sun Protection Book for the Tablet Generation

“Wiseheart Saves the Dawn” is a new e-book geared toward children that teaches sun safe habits. Available on iTunes and Kindle for free, this collaboration between the Environmental Protection Agency’s SunWise Program and the Children’s Melanoma Prevention Foundation is an innovative way to reach the tablet generation.

Wiseheart is the story of a curious and courageous boy from the Cahto Indian tribe in the land now known as northern California, who dared to confront his tribe’s dark secret and in so doing made a remarkable discovery. This story has been adapted from traditional tales to teach another important lesson – sun protection.

Coolibar asked the founder of CMPF, Maryellen Maguire-Eisen RN, MSN, to tell us more about the book, where the idea stemmed from and what these two prestigious organizations hope results from publishing this new e-book.

Tell us about yourself and CMPF.

Every year over half of American children experience sunburn and millions more go tanning indoors.  Sun protection education is needed to teach children about the hazards of overexposure to ultraviolet radiation. 

I have been a nurse for over thirty years working in the area of oncology and dermatology.  In 2003, I founded the Children’s Melanoma Prevention Foundation because I was concerned about the rising rates of melanoma and the association with overexposure to UV rays.  Our mission is to teach children and their caretakers safe and proven methods of sun protection and skin cancer prevention.  Our vision is to prevent skin cancer one child at a time.  Our foundation endorsed the SunAWARE acronym in 2007 and developed the SunAWARE school curriculum in 2011. We provide classroom programming in Massachusetts teaching over 25,000 students annually.  We have developed multiple resources for students and teachers to use in conjunction with this curriculum including books and videos. 

Tell us about the EPA SunWise Program.

SunWise is a free environmental and health education program that teaches children and their caregivers how to protect themselves from overexposure to the sun. Through the use of classroom, school, and community components, SunWise seeks to develop sustained sun-safe behaviors. This book is one example of how SunWise partners with organizations in the community.

How did this partnership with the EPA SunWise Program come about? Are you working with them in other ways?

The EPA SunWise Program provides a toolkit, free-of-charge, for educators that includes lesson plans and resources for classroom teaching. I really liked the curriculum and used many elements of it in the development of our SunAWARE Program.  I have promoted the SunWise Curriculum to other nurses nationally by inviting the SunWise team to speak at nursing conventions and meetings that I chaired. The Children’s Melanoma Prevention Foundation and the EPA SunWise Program are members of the National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention.  We convene biannually to strategize with other members on educational, legislative, and research initiatives.  CMPF has always found the SunWise Team to be loyal partners in our mission to educate children about sun protection.  

Why was this book created? Who is the audience and what’s the key message?

I have been writing children’s books that teach children about sun safety, along with Mary Mills Barrow, for the past five years. Two of our publications, Lake Vacation and Pretty Prom, won the 2009 American Academy of Dermatology Gold Triangle Award.  I thought that the Wiseheart tale, from the SunWise toolkit, would be a wonderful story to expand into a new book.  I started writing the draft and then handed it over to our Advisory Board member, Jane Shanny, an English teacher and writer, to complete. We then contracted an artist to create lively illustrations that depict the key elements of the story.  Once the draft was close to completion, we contacted the SunWise Director, Linda Rutsch, to see if they might partner with us on the publication and distribution of the book.  As always, they were eager to partner on this educational endeavor.  The audience is children ages 8-12 and the objective is to educate and motivate readers about the importance of sun protection for all people.  We chose to publish it electronically because of ease of distribution and ability to provide it for free.

Is this book different than other sun protection books for kids? How?

I think that the book is different from other sun protection books in that it touches on the imagination of children and provides a frame of reference that sun protection is important for everyone.  The hero can be a role model for all children in that he is resourceful, independent, brave, caring, and imaginative.  He tries to make the world a better place for his people. 

How long has this been in the works?

The book has been in the works for over three years.  A final draft of the story was completed in August 2012 and the illustrations, by Laurie Sigmund of Sigmund Design, were completed later that same year.   We hired Ugly Dog Publishing in 2013 to develop the electronic publication and to arrange for distribution.  They worked with Amazon, Barnes and Nobles, Apple, and Kobo to distribute the book. 

What are your feelings now that “Wiseheart Saves the Dawn” is finally available?

I am really pleased that we have yet another resource available to teach children about the importance of sun protection.   It is incredibly gratifying to see the hundreds of books downloaded each month and realize that this project is truly getting into the hands and minds of children. We hope that this posting will further help publicize the availability of our latest sun protection educational resource. 

Is there anything else you wish to share with us?

We hope to continue to develop resources for children and their caretakers that promote sun safety and help prevent skin cancer.   Please visit us at www.melanomaprevention.org to find out more about our organization, download a book, or donate to the cause.

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Wellness Warriors

Book: Help Me Live… As I Die, Cancer vs. the Power of Love

Joe Peterson, author of “Help Me Live… As I Die / Cancer vs. the Power of Love” shares his story about the creation of a book that demonstrates the true power of love versus melanoma. Kelly, Joe’s partner, passed away from cancer, but his story lives on through Joe.

From Joe:

I am the youngest of twelve and have always been creatively ambitious. Throughout the course of my life I dealt with suicidal thoughts, came to terms with my sexuality, built self-esteem through body and mind improvement, and always believed in love. Exercise, nutrition and creativity have been passions of mine for many years, and when Kelly was diagnosed they were very much a part of our daily life.

Only after writing daily updates on CaringBridge and receiving positive feedback from the readers (while building a united support system) did I consider sharing our journey via a book. I’ve always wanted to write a book, but I never suspected it would be inspired by a tragic circumstance. I contacted a publishing company months before Kelly passed away, and I believed it would be his and my success story against cancer… specifically, melanoma.

In October of 2011, I realized our physical time together was coming to an end and the story I had wanted to write was going to have an unthinkable ending. Kelly and I moved forth with the same amount of positivity and hope, despite the reality we faced.

Our journey, captured in “Help Me Live… As I Die / Cancer vs. the Power of Love” was completed and released almost one year after Kelly moved on. Reliving, over and over, the trials and tribulations we encountered during Kelly’s final nine months became a source of therapy I had not predicted.

Through my own personal growth, from rereading our united travels in 2011, and through the positive encouragement from others, I felt and still believe Kelly’s positivity will still impact others and potentially teach a better way to live, by living positively. Kelly and I also became aware that the relationship we had was very much respected by our straight loved ones, and our CB entries opened their eyes to the prejudices and safety fears we continually lived with. Our journey was as much about sharing as it was about learning.

–Joe

Joe Peterson, Author of “Help Me Live As I Die…Cancer vs. the Power of Love”

About the book:

This is not a story about death. It is a story about one couple’s journey of acceptance, love, and internal awakenings. Kelly and Joe met by chance, but were bound by fate. One morning in the summer of 2010, Kelly Boedigheimer, a thirty-nine year old man in good health, discovered what he thought was yet another ingrown hair on his chin. That was the first step on the life-changing journey he would share with Joe Peterson, his life partner since 1998.

Months later – following three surgical procedures, where each was more aggressive than the last – Kelly and Joe faced the inconceivable: Kelly was diagnosed with melanoma. In early 2011, Kelly met with a team of specialists at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. Another surgery, this one more wide-ranging than the others, removed a section of skin from his chin and a portion of his cheek. A graft from his arm provided new skin for those areas. Highly concerned about this aggressive melanoma, doctor’s proceeded quickly to save and protect Kelly.

Here, Joe lovingly and painfully recreates Kelly’s final nine months through journal entries, e-mails, blog posts, texts, and more. Their relationship was tested as too many are; in this visit back to those days, Joe unfolds an inspiring telling of the power of love, optimism, and hope. This is not a story about death. This is a story about love.

Enter to win a free book signed by the author. Share this story with your friends on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest and tag @Coolibar or comment below. (We will only use your email to contact you for purposes of this contest. One entry per person please. We’ll choose a winner via random drawing on December 6, 2012 at noon CST.)

Purchase “Help Me Live… As I Die / Cancer vs. the Power of Love” at HelpmeliveasIdie.com, www.Amazon.com, www.BarnesandNoble.com.

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Educate Others Events Inside Coolibar

Help Us Give the Gift of Sun Protection Education

Sun protective habits developed in childhood promote a lifetime of healthy skin. Giving a child the gift of sun protection education is as easy as ‘liking’ the Coolibar Sun Protective Clothing Facebook page. For every Coolibar Facebook page ‘like’ (a.k.a. fan) we receive in December, we’ll donate a SunAWARE book to the Children’s Melanoma Prevention Foundation

‘Like’ us now to give a child a SunAWARE children’s book and help support our cause! Just click the ‘like’ button below.

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School sun safety SunAWARE

Building a School Sun Protection Program

STOP THE BURN logo

The Center of Disease Control ranks Washington and Idaho among the highest in mortality and morbidity rates related to skin cancer, including melanoma. It is hard to pinpoint the reason for these statistics, but the need for sun safety education remains.

Advanced Dermatology & Skin Surgery, located in Spokane, WA, and Coeur d’Alene, ID, is taking steps to educate youth and ultimately the greater community. Kathy LejaMeyer, ARNP at Advanced Dermatology, shares how she and her colleagues are working to make sun protection a priority in local schools.

Advanced Dermatology wants to “Stop the Burn” by introducing hats into early elementary grades (K-2) of schools in the Spokane / Coeur d’Alene area to be worn during recess. Scientifically, it is widely regarded that peak exposure to UVA/UVB rays is between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Accumulation of these rays during recess, starting at young ages, can set children up for skin cancer down the road.

We piloted a Coolibar School Sun Hat Program in the kindergarten center in Spokane, WA this past Spring (2011) coordinating with skin cancer awareness month in May. Teachers, administrators and the school nurses embraced this outreach and wove in the SunWise curriculum, an EPA sponsored program, to increase awareness among the students. Our physicians and staff read “Skin Sense”, chanted our “Stop the BURN” song with the kids and smiled as the students repeated “3 things they can do to keep sun safe” prior to running out to the playground.

Raising money for a Coolibar School Sun Hat Program:

The hardest part of a good cause—even a great cause—is keeping it sustainable. Advanced Dermatology considers this a work in progress. This year, we teamed with the renown Coeur d’Alene Resort for a “gives back” golf tournament in which all sponsorship monies and $25 / participant goes back to our fundraising effort. The concept is great, but budget a lot of time and ensure you have a strong committee to reach out to the community, connect with your patient base and engage supporting physicians and providers. Again and again you will hear the first year is the hardest, but connections you make are significant. We are also considering other fundraising options, such as selling parents passes for a day in the park with a bouncy house, to include this target group (ages 5-8) and provide increased community education and involvement. Advanced Dermatology would also like to institute a “Hat Club,” providing an office fund and opportunity for patients to purchase a hat for a student.

From proceeds earned, we want to get hats into various elementary schools each year in both Spokane, Washington and Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. Our hope is to gain parental and community support that eventually, purchasing a Coolibar hat to be worn during recess is just as normal as purchasing pencils and erasers. Just as it is widely regarded to wear a helmet while riding a bike or clicking your seatbelt in the car, it is our goal to incite the value of sun protection and skin cancer awareness with a hat in place while running out for recess.

We have partnered with a respected company in sun protection, Coolibar, for the purchase of the hats and adopted the SunAWARE slogan highly regarded by the Skin Cancer Foundation, American Academy of Dermatology and World Health Organization. We count ourselves most fortunate to communicate this message to our community.

– Kathy LejaMeyer, ARNP, Advanced Dermatology and Skin Surgery

Sun Safe Song: Chant of sorts…kids repeat each line

Sunny or a cloudy day,
I will go outside and play.
With a hat upon my head,
Sunscreen on, I won’t turn red.

Sunscreen, yes indeed,
Helps me, keep wrinkle free.
Hat  on, I have learned,
Helps me, Stop the BURN!

If you are interested in learning more about Coolibar’s School Sun Hat Program or more on how Advanced Dermatology worked to get a school sun protection program launched, please contact us. 

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New Products Parenting SunAWARE Wear Sun Protection

Sun Safety for Junior Sailors

Danger at Graves Light

Adult sailors and junior sailors alike must be able to swim, wear a personal floatation device, and stay calm in an emergency. However, sun safety is often forgotten or left out when teaching children important sailing safety basics. 

The reflection of the sun off the water represents a significant skin cancer risk to sailors. One person dies every hour from skin cancer in the United States and melanoma is responsible for 90% of these deaths. Melanoma is associated with both childhood sunburns and recreational boating, which emphasizes the need for children interested in sailing to be educated about protecting their skin from the sun. 

This is why Maryellen Maguire-Eisen (Children’s Melanoma Prevention Foundation Executive Director) and Mary Mills Barrow (SunAWARE Executive Director) decided to write “Danger At Graves Light”.  “The book will empower adolescent sailors with current and reliable information about the dangers of overexposure to ultraviolet radiation on the water and will offer five easy action steps for sun protection,” says Barrow. 

The sun protection steps are described by using the SunAWARE acronym, which provides a useful and memorable way to get across all important information about sun safety. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More about Danger At Graves Light: 

“Danger At Graves Light” tells the story of five young sailors who don’t believe that bad things can happen on a calm, sunny day on the water. When their grandmother tells them the amazing story of a sunny day rescue at Graves Light, they finally understand that the sun can be just as dangerous as a storm at sea. 

“Danger at Graves Light” has been endorsed by US SAILING and features a personal introduction by Susan Epstein, US SAILING Director.  The book hopes to raise awareness of the need for sun safety and aid US SAILING in developing a skin cancer prevention education campaign.

If you are interested in more information or in obtaining copies of the book, contact CMPF or SunAWARE.

Danger At Graves Light” can also be purchased at Coolibar

 

MaryEllen Maguire-Eisen at the Release of "Danger At Graves Light" on Don't Fry Day 2011
Susan Epstein (US Sailing), Adam Lipson (Community Boating Inc.), Charlie Zechel (Community Boating Inc.), Maryellen Maguire-Eisen (CMPF) and Mimi Svenning (CMPF) at book release on Don't Fry Day 2011
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Educate Others SunAWARE

Books That Teach Sun Safe Habits

Sun Protection Books

If you’ve been seeking reliable sources of information on sun protection for yourself or tools to help teach children about the importance of sun safety, these books may be just what you’re looking for. Sun protection habits should start from day one. Experts believe that even two to three sunburns at an early age can increase the risk of skin cancer or health issues later in life.  Teach yourself all there is to know about sun protection – then teach your kids too. It could result in one less skin cancer statistic.

The following books promote SunAWARE, which teaches five simple steps to prevent and detect skin cancers.

SunAWARE

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

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Books for Parents and Educators:

Book Sun Protection for Life Sun Protection for Life by Mary Mills Barrow & John F. Barrow

Based on leading medical research and education programs, such as Australia’s SunSmart, Sun Protection for Life is a complete guide to a lifetime of healthy and beautiful skin. It describes the problems associated with overexposure to the sun, identifies those who are most at risk, and discusses the best approaches for effective sun protection.

(AAD Gold Triangle award winner)

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Books for Children:

Book Pretty Prom Pretty Prom; Your Skin is Pretty Too by Mary Mills Barrow and Maryellen Maguire-Eisen

Pretty Prom; Your Skin is Pretty Too is the story of Katie who finds out the sad facts of tanning salons while getting ready for prom night. The story is written for pre-teens and teens to alert them that tanning can cause premature aging and skin cancers.

 

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Book Lake VacationLake Vacation by Mary Mills Barrow and Maryellen Maguire-Eisen

Lake Vacation is the story of Hunter and Caitlin learning the importance of sun protection while enjoying a day of fishing at the lake. It teaches the five easy steps of SunAWARE in a story that will appeal to children ages 6-10.

 

 

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Book Skin Sense Skin Sense by Lori Gehrer-Glickman, Ed.M, MSW

“Written in the voice of a four-year-old girl, this fun and interactive narrative educates young children about the sun’s ability to hurt our skin and shows how easy it is to protect ourselves. It is a wonderful tool to open and encourage discussion between young children and adult s on the importance of sun-safety.” Effectively introduces the topic of sun protection to preschool/kindergarten age children.

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Book What Are These Spots On My SkinWhat are these Spots on my Skin? by Scott and Gus Naughton

Gus and Scott Naughton, a father and son team, created this book to encourage children to pay more attention to changes on their skin. “Spots appear as you grow older, and you should learn to keep track of them”, says eight year old Gus. “We wanted children to have a better understanding of how the skin works and why we develop spot’s on our skin.” It’s a great tool for preschool/kindergarten age children. This interactive book also contains two spot maps at end to help track skin changes over time.

Click on images of the books to purchase. Visit Coolibar’s Sun Protection Resources Webpage for additional sun protection resources.

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