Block the Blaze: Saving Lives Through Education


Here at the John Wayne Cancer Foundation, we take pride knowing that our programs are helping to win the fight against cancer. Our premier program, Block the Blaze, educates America’s youth on sun safety and skin cancer awareness, with an emphasis on skin cancer prevention and self-screening. We have educated over 220,000 youth in 12 states and pledge to continue the program until all youth know the importance of sun safety. From time to time, we receive feedback and want to share this particular story with you.  Program Director, Lauren Fraga, received an email from one such youth, Kennedy, letting us know the difference that the John Wayne Cancer Foundation and Block the Blaze made in her life. Keep reading below to see the fantastic impact our education has made!

Dear Ms. Fraga,

This email is LONG overdue, but I just wanted to send you and the rest of the team at the John Wayne  Cancer Foundation a huge thank you. 

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!



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