NEWS, EVENTS & STORIES
From our John Wayne Cancer Foundation community.
America’s favorite movie star, John Wayne, was stricken with lung cancer in 1964, and he beat it, and then he was diagnosed with stomach cancer 15 years later. In commercials, he asked Americans to join him in the fight against cancer when he said, “They may find a cure for cancer even without your help, but if I were you, I wouldn’t bet my life on it.” Before he passed away at age 72 from cancer, he asked his children to raise funds to give cancer doctors the resources they need to save lives and cure cancer. His children created the John Wayne Cancer Foundation in 1985 to help make their dad’s dream of curing cancer come true.
Today, more than 170 John Wayne cancer doctors called “John Wayne Alumni Fellows” are working to revolutionize cancer research and treatment worldwide. The surgeons are trained at the highest level to employ the most advanced techniques and technologies for studying and treating all forms of cancer. The John Wayne Alumni Fellows are leaders at cancer centers and academic institutions across the United States. John Wayne cancer doctors have created many breakthroughs including the standard of care for diagnosing breast cancer and skin cancer, pioneering immunology, creating the Fellowship training program, using A.I. to improve diagnoses, and the Block the Blaze program, a revolutionary program that educates the next generation how to prevent and detect skin cancer.
“We host the John Wayne Grit Series, a series of trail runs throughout the west, to fundraise for cancer research and keep Dad’s dream of curing cancer alive,” said Ethan Wayne, John Wayne’s son who is the Director of JWCF. “In addition, all proceeds from our online store go to JWCF to help fight cancer.”
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October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and we recently connected with Dr. Juan Antonio Santamaria on his latest research initiatives. His focus? Inclusivity. Here is what he had to say:
"Clinical trials can be the best way to treat cancer; however, minorities are underrepresented in clinical trials due to cultural biases, poor cancer literacy, financial/insurance issues, language barriers, geography, and lack of knowledge, trust, and access to clinical trials. Our proposition is that a culturally and linguistically adept breast cancer Lay Patient Navigation Program will increase Hispanic minorities participation in breast cancer clinical trials in the Omaha metro area. There will be a training curriculum for the lay navigators, social media engagement, community collaborations, and support groups. At the same time, women of minorities will increase the use of screening mammograms in our area. Our goals are to mitigate and eliminate this negative social determinant of health among our area minorities and pursue permanent funding for the programs long-term sustainability."
We're thrilled to be supporting Dr. Santamaria on this intiative and are grateful to have he and his team in the fight against cancer.
The University of California, Irvine today announced a gift from the John Wayne Cancer Foundation that will support advances in research, teaching and service activities in surgical oncology through the creation of an endowed chair and a fellowship in the School of Medicine. The donation will establish the John Wayne Cancer Foundation Endowed Chair in Surgical Oncology and also fund the UCI John Wayne Cancer Foundation Endowed Fellowship in Surgical Oncology.
“This gift leverages the unique benefits of an academic medical center like UCI, which offers clinical care, education and research. Our doctors have access to cutting-edge technologies, resources and therapies for treating patients and are also making groundbreaking discoveries in the lab. The partnership with the JWCF supports all of those efforts as we continue to make strides in the battle against cancer,” said Dr. Michael J. Stamos, dean of the UCI School of Medicine.
The JWCF was established by actor John Wayne’s family in 1985 and supports a nationwide network of John Wayne alumni fellows who are advancing research and treatment in a variety of surgical specialties. According to Stamos, many John Wayne alumni fellows have completed clinical rotations in surgical oncology at UCI Health.
“The team at the John Wayne Cancer Foundation and I are thrilled to partner with the amazing staff at UC Irvine’s School of Medicine. One of our earliest initiatives, Block the Blaze, was created on campus there, and it truly feels full-circle to be launching our latest surgical oncology fellowship program there too. We’re looking forward to years of continued research and progress in the fight against cancer,” said Ethan Wayne, JWCF director.
“This gift demonstrates our shared commitment to education and training,” Stamos said. “We are preparing the next generation of doctors who will shape the future of cancer care and revolutionize treatment.”
The chair holder will be either the chief of surgical oncology or a clinician research scientist in the field of surgical oncology.
In 2019, we asked, “Are you tough enough to hit the trails and help in the fight against cancer?” You responded to the challenge by running and walking in honor of those who have gone before us and those who are currently fighting cancer. The John Wayne Grit Series was born from your courage, strength and grit. The first 2 fun runs and walks were in October. The first one was located Lone Pine, CA and the second one was located in Ridgway, CO. There was something for everyone on the courses that were suited to all fitness levels. You ran and walked through the ranches and country where The Duke’s most famous movies were filmed. And, along the way you helped those fighting cancer, because every step you took benefited the John Wayne Cancer Foundation. You helped make it possible to give patients a fighting chance to beat the odds. We can’t wait to announce the John Wayne Grit Series 2020 locations, so stay tuned by checking our social media and website regularly. Thank You and Let’s make 2020 the year we end cancer.
JOHN WAYNE CANCER FOUNDATION ANNOUNCES PARTNERSHIP WITH TROPICSPORT!
JWCF has partnered with leading sunscreen brand, TropicSport, to provide a co-branded mineral facesticks to thousands of junior lifeguards JWCF’s Block the Blaze program educates youth about skin cancer awareness and the importance of prevention.
John Wayne Cancer Foundation (JWCF) is committed to fighting cancer through courage, strength and grit, and has announced a partnership with TropicSport, a reef-friendly sunscreen and skin care line, to provide co-branded mineral facesticks to youth across the U.S. while educating youth about the dangers of sun exposure through our skin cancer education program, Block the Blaze. Block the Blaze is a leader in youth skin cancer education and prevention, educating nearly 25,000 junior lifeguards every summer and another 50,000 youth in school presentations throughout the year.
“We understand that it’s not realistic to ask youth to avoid outdoor activities during peak hours of exposure, which is why it’s so important to teach sun safety and encourage them to take precautions while enjoying time outside,” says Ethan Wayne, Chairman of the John Wayne Cancer Foundation. ” With May being the official month of Skin Cancer Awareness, we take this issue very seriously and believe every child and teenager deserves to know how they can prevent and reduce their own risk of developing common types of skin cancer. It is wonderful to have TropicSport by our side, helping us to provide protective sunscreen to junior lifeguards along the coast.”
Block the Blaze is the official partner of the California Surf Lifesaving Association (CSLSA) to provide skin cancer education to CA junior lifeguards. Now expanded into more than a dozen additional states, the program educates youth through in-person presentations surrounding sun safety and skin cancer with the emphasis on prevention and self-screening. In addition, participants receive a co-branded JWCF x TropicSport SPF 30 facestick which is water resistant, non-toxic, and ocean and reef-friendly, as well as a JWCF Block the Blaze trucker hat to aid in protecting themselves from the sun. Throughout the school year, JWCF staff educate students by giving longer, in-depth presentations than those taught during summer. Participants of all Block the Blaze programs learn the 5 Sun Safe Tips to decrease their risk of developing skin cancer along with the ABCDE’s of Melanoma and how to go on Mole Patrol (self-screening) each month.
“May is also recognized as National Water Safety Month, so we felt that this partnership would be an excellent fit as the overall mission of Block the Blaze aligns quite well with that of our brand,” notes TropicSport CEO, Tony Palmer. “As a company founded by 4th generation Lifeguards, we understand the importance of safe and quality sunscreen; therefore, we were thrilled Block the Blaze chose our TropicSport ocean and reef friendly mineral sun stick to provide to youth during their summer presentations.” While Block the Blaze summer presentations remain. scheduled to take place in-person starting in mid-June, there may be changes to certain details and logistics due to COVID-19. With CA Beaches beginning to reopen, Block the Blaze is anxious to get out on the sand and continue to educate Junior Lifeguards. For more information about the Block the Blaze program, or participate in an upcoming presentation, please click here.
About TropicSport: TropicSport, part of X3EM Brands, manufactures in the USA a complete line of reef-friendly, non-nano, Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide mineral sunscreens, face and body cleanser, and moisturizers in a complete skincare system that protects, cleanses, and replenishes. TropicSport is one of the only sunscreens on the market that meets the U.S. FDA 80-minute and Australian 240-minute water resistance criteria. Learn more about TropicSport here.
John Wayne Cancer Foundation + John Wayne Stock & Supply Join Forces with Project Angel Food to Feed L.A. Cancer Patients During Pandemic.
Never on to back down from a fight for what’s right, John Wayne battled cancer twice – and made sure that his kids knew he wanted them to continue the battle, in his name. They’ve done just that at the John Wayne Cancer Foundation since 1985.
Now, the John Wayne Cancer Foundation team is saddling up and joining forces with Project Angel Food to fight on a new front – ensuring that cancer patients in Los Angeles continue to receive much-needed free meal deliveries during the COVID-19 pandemic.
John Wayne Stock & Supply, an online store that sells branded John Wayne merchandise, is now offering a special t-shirt to support this effort, with 50% of proceeds going to Project Angel Food (25% of the PAF’s clients are cancer patients). The “Quote Tee” is a unisex style and is available in black or white with one of John Wayne’s most famous and inspiring quotes — “Give the American people a good cause and there’s nothing they can’t lick.” — emblazoned on it.
“My dad would be proud of this campaign, as he was always a champion for cancer patients and those who needed help most,” said Ethan Wayne, John Wayne’s son and Chairman of the John Wayne Cancer Foundation. “Our tea, in partnership with John Wayne Stock & Supply and Project Angel Food, is ready to ride into this battle and fight for some of the people who are most vulnerable in the COVID-19 pandemic.”