Always Blocking the Blaze


Photo: Pictures from the 2020 Summer Block the Blaze program on the California Coast.


Schools might have gone virtual for most of 2020, however select junior lifeguard programs and camps were given the green light to have socially distanced programming throughout the state, and we are grateful for the out-of-state programs who presented on our behalf. Although some programs were smaller and looked different this year, over 9,000 youth were provided with Block the Blaze education, water resistance natural mineral sunsticks and Block the Blaze trucker hats. It’s important that Block the Blaze not only teaches sun safety, but provides the tools to implement sun safety immediately. Now that summer is wrapping up and schools are starting, Block the Blaze will pivot to virtual classroom presentations.



Here’s why we do what we do. Meet Derek



Derek Givens (pictured above with daughter Kennedy) beat Melanoma with the help of doctors at the John Wayne Cancer Institute. Here’s his story.


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 disease. I eventually found John Wayne Cancer Institute in Santa Monica. Dr. Morton was just starting a cutting edge therapy for people like me and developed taking actual melanoma cells and splicing them and injecting them back into the cancer to fight it. After a pretty invasive surgery, I have been over ten years clean. The foundation was strong then, and stronger now constantly searching for better ways to combat this horrendous killer. I am so happy and grateful for what the foundation has done not only for me, but others who are searching for help. I am now cancer free, still married to the love of my life with two amazing children. I take the “Block the Blaze” cause very seriously and do my best to spread awareness of how dangerous the sun can be. Wear Sunscreen, and reapply. Be active, Be healthy, and spread the word.


Thank you,

Derek Givens




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