SHADE has served as a tremendous resource for our family and in particular while dealing with our daughter, Jacqueline's, diagnosis of melanoma. Their support and educational input proved to be the lifeline we needed while navigating the ominous course of cancer. We will forever be grateful for the support we received and for the thoughtfulness, kindness and life altering education which they provided.
As a survivor of childhood melanoma, I know how important it is to educate children and families about how to prevent and detect melanoma. The SHADE Foundation is the only foundation aimed at decreasing melanoma through EDUCATION and that is HUGE--knowledge is the most powerful tool against preventable cases of melanoma, and no one gets the word out better than SHADE.
My name is Lorene Whitecross and our elementary school recently won a Shade Structure from the Shade Foundation and Neutrogena's Sunproof your Community contest.
The Shade Foundation staff is professional and very focused on making every dollar count. Using FACEBOOK for their contest, helped our community to become more aware about why we needed Shade on our playgrounds. The cumulative effects of Sun exposure starts in childhood. Our new Shade structure will help children at our school for many years to come to be more aware about Sun Safety and play safe in the sun!
To Whom It May Concern:
It was the 70s and I was on the beach every summer with my family building sand castles and jumping in and out of the waves. Despite my fair skin, my parents didn’t have much concern over the sun exposure and the shades of pink and red I would turn each July and August. Hawaiian Tropic 4 SPF oil in a brown bottle was sometimes put on to start the all day beach adventure, but never considered for soccer fields or playgrounds. Flash forward to the 80s, when I would go to great lengths to “get color” each summer. Lying out in the backyard as a teen with a bottle of baby oil – not sunscreen – to help enhance the process. The layers of skin I shed through those years is overwhelming to think about. Overwhelming, when the doctor first said to me in 1998 that I had malignant melanoma.
I was a new mom and had a 2 year old to chase as well. I found out that I needed some reconstructive work on my wrist from an old sport injury. I never thought the pre-op physical could save my life. The internist made me promise to see a dermatologist as soon as I recovered from the surgery. With a 4 month old and toddler at home, the thought of adding another thing to the list was frustrating, but the doctor made it sound serious. She was certainly right. It was melanoma. I poured through the internet to find information. I felt helpless and scared. Over the years, they continue to remove skin tags of concern. More melanoma was found in 2001 and this time it was deeper and lymph nodes needed removing. My life since 1998 has been about excisions and stitches and most of all SUNSCREEN.
To think that my parents and I were so uneducated on the dangers of the sun is uncanny. To think that this cancer can be reduced or prevented with such an education is unbelievable. What the SHADE Foundation is doing to help people not have to travel my frightening road is incredible. Helping youth see the dangers of the sun and tanning beds, helping diagnosed families have a place to turn for support, these services are invaluable.
The organization makes differences on playgrounds by providing shaded areas for kids to play, they encourage activities to keep children out of the sun during its most harmful times, they educate about early detection and treatments. It is exactly the type of resource I wish I had found during my darkest time. I wish it been around to teach me in school and teach my parents. SHADE does an outstanding job making a difference and saving lives. I hope they continue to have the resources to provide such services to us all. Thank you for considering the outstanding work they are able to do.
Heidi Johnson, survivor
As the executive director of the National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention and former board member of the SHADE Foundation, I am pleased to share my experiences with SHADE and highly recommend this foundation as a leader in developing sun safety awareness and an advocate for skin cancer prevention. The SHADE Foundation displays passion for educating our children about sun safety and are committed in spreading the message to prevent skin cancer.
I have worked with the SHADE Foundation for the past seven years and served on their board of directors for three years. During my involvement with SHADE they have demonstrated perseverance and determination, experienced growth, and narrowed their focus as an organization to capitalize on their resources and to best serve the public.
The SHADE Foundation is also an active member of the National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention. The National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention is the united voice of 45 organizations, associations, and agencies dedicated to reducing skin cancer morbidity and mortality in the United States. The National Council members represent some of the nation’s premier researchers, clinicians and advocates for melanoma and skin cancer prevention. The SHADE Foundation is one of the premier leaders within the National Council and has earned the respect of other members by their innovation and involvement in developing a national sun safety poster contest for children.
My duaghter was diagnosed with Melanoma a few years ago. At the time I was completely ignorant about the disease. I had nowhere to turn to find information and suffered extreme anxiety because of the lack of information available. Nt too much after diagnosis I was introduced to the SHADE Foundation of America. I have become a believer in educating ourselves and our youth about the dangers of extended sun exposure. The Foundation offers so much useful information concerning this killer disease. I was able to educate myself about the disease adn to educate otheres in the same situation I was in.
Just by word of mouth I have guided so many people to SHADE for information and guidance. One example is my neighbor was diagnosed with a rare form of Melanoma nd he and his wife, along with the 3 small children, were overwhelmed and scared. I guided them to the SHADE Foundation for information adn they were able to educate themselves adn proceed with a plan of action. He has now been cancer free for the last 3 years. They have thanked me for getting them to the site so many times. So many people have been guided to their site for support.
I am so impressed with the way SHADE is educating our youthso we might be able to eliminate or at least lower the skin cancer diagnosis. I feel they already have accompklished that to some extent They discourage tanning beds that have been proven to cause cancer. I reead recently that skin cancer in out youth has gone down. I feel it is more important than ever to continue educating our youth so we can keep parents from suffering what I went thru when my daughter was diagnosed. I feel if I had been better educated in the beginning I would have been able to help her mentally and physically. I feel it is imparitive we continue to educate about the dangers of sun rays and at the same time give alternative solutings for keeping our lives normal such as sunscreen, protective clothing, sunglasses, adn anything that protects our skin. I love to go on the website when they do their poster contest and see the children thru their pictures get the message.
I thank SHADE everyday for what they do and how they educate. I hope to see them continue their message about Melanoma for however long it takes to continue to decrease diagnosis of this preventable disease. I believethey can turn society from sunbathing without protectionto sunbathing adn living a normal life with sunscreen. thank you SHADE for all you do for others.
Until my daughter was diagnosed with malignant melanoma in 2000, I was totally uninformed about this most common form of cancer. Like most, I suspect, melanoma was thought of as the "If I have to get cancer, this is the one to get" . Only since her diagnosis, and the information I have received through the Shade Foundation have I truly come to understand the breadth and scope of this totally preventable disease. To learn that millions die every year because they lack the simple information of measures that can be taken to prevent melanoma.
I highly recommend everyone use the information found at the Shade Foundation website to guide their conduct to help defeat this terrible disease.
The SHADE Foundation works to spread the message about the importance of skin cancer prevention and early detection. Given that over two million Americans are diagnosed each year with skin cancer and one American dies every hour from this largely preventable disease, their work is exceedingly important. Skin cancer is more common than breast, prostate, colon and lung cancers combined. The small staff works tirelessly to get the message out. Their poster contest is a great example of the reach of their efforts - over 10,000 children submitted posters to the contest last year demonstrating that they have learned from SHADE how important it is to Limit the Sun, Not the Fun, and to not burn or tan by wearing protective clothing and sunglasses, seeking shade, using sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher, checking the UV Index and getting Vitamin D safely through food and supplements.
I have been involved with the SHADE Foundations since 2002. Since that time I have seen the tremndous impact they have had on educating the public with a focus on children. Skin Cancer is often dismissed as a "low-risk" cancer yet the truth is skin cancer will impact over 1,000,000 people in the U.S. this year alone. Through SHADE Foundations' educational programs lives are saved.
I am proud of their ability to use limited resources to reach millions of young lives. Perhaps with their programs we can soon see a major impact in the number of young adults disgnosed with skin cancer each year.