My name is Derek Givens and I am a Cancer Survivor of Malignant Melanoma. In 1998, I was diagnosed with an extremely poor prognosis two years after I got married. With my whole life ahead of me, I had no idea where to turn. I was scared, but I knew I wanted to fight this […]
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Youth educated to date through Block the Blaze, our national skin cancer awareness program.
A heartwarming testimonial...
Three summers ago, I was a Junior Lifeguard at El Segundo. One day, a representative from John Wayne came and spoke to us about skin cancer and sun protection as a part of the Block the Blaze program. Being very pale and covered in moles, this was not unfamiliar to me. I’ve been lectured on skin cancers and safety my whole life! However, I picked up a few new pieces of information that stuck with me; one being that melanomas can often appear in shades of blue or pink.
In the Spring of 2015, I noticed a pink mole on my forearm. At my routine dermatologist appointment, I mentioned it to my doctor. He said it didn’t look too bad, we could keep an eye on it. Because of what I learned from John Wayne, however, I knew something was up. I asked my dermatologist to remove it.
Last fall, I had a melanoma removed from my forearm at just 13 years old. Because of your team at John Wayne and your partnership with Junior Lifeguards, I was able to catch my melanoma quickly. All I needed was a few surgeries – I was lucky it was only Stage I.
I owe it all to the Block the Blaze program. That one little fact saved me from a much more dangerous situation. I can’t thank the John Wayne Cancer Foundation enough!