What is Block the Blaze?

Block the Blaze is a John Wayne Cancer Foundation (JWCF) funded youth skin cancer education program. The Block the Blaze program is the official partner of the California Surf Lifesaving Association (CSLSA) to provide skin cancer education to CA junior lifeguards. JWCF has educated over 100,000+ California Junior Lifeguards and has expanded into additional states including: CO, DE, FL, GA, IL, ME, MS, NC, NJ, NY, OR, PA, SC, NC, SD, TX. To date, nearly half a million youth have heard a Block the Blaze presentation.

Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the U.S. with 3.6 million people diagnosed annually, and it is on the rise. 1 in 3 Californians will be diagnosed with skin cancer during their lifetime. 95-100% of skin cancer is curable if caught early and treated quickly.

Block the Blaze doesn't just educate junior lifeguards. We are excited that camps have also started implementing Block the Blaze on behalf of the John Wayne Cancer Foundation, bringing our message to even more youth!

Who do we educate?

The program educates youth about sun safety and skin cancer with an emphasis on skin cancer prevention and self-screening. To date, we have educated over 500,000+ youth in 16 states!


Explore using the links below

Remember to follow the 5 Sun Safe Tips with our themed coloring sheet, or you can practice your sun safe knowledge with our Block the Blaze crossword puzzle!

Summer Sanders

National Volunteer Spokesperson

At 1992 at the Olympic Games, a 19-year-old Summer Sanders won four Olympic medals, bringing home 2 gold, 1 silver and 1 bronze. The moment she hung up her Speedo, she embarked on a television career, hosting shows for MTV (Sandblast), the NBA (Inside Stuff), Nickelodeon (Figure It Out), and Fox (The Sports List, Skating with Celebrities), and acting as a correspondent for shows such as Good Morning America, Rachael Ray, and The Today Show. She has been a contestant on NBC’s “Celebrity Apprentice” and the Food Network’s “Guy vs. Rachael Celebrity Cook-Off”. Through her production company Sanders co-created and hosted “Find Your Fitness” on MSN, and The Summer of W on ESPNW. She is most recently the co-host of CBS Sports Net’s award winning sports talk show, “We Need To Talk” and was the host of HLN’s game show “Keywords”. A health and fitness realist, Sanders is a working mom who prides herself on living a hands-on active lifestyle and being a “life is perfectly imperfect” motivator. In October of 2014, her life changed forever when she learned she had a malignant melanoma. She would discover 2 more during the next year. She is cancer free after catching them very early. Her voice and passion for skin cancer are stronger than ever as the volunteer spokesperson for John Wayne Cancer Foundation’s “Block the Blaze” education and awareness program. She also serves on the board of Right To Play (her humanitarian love for 2 decades and counting) and The USA Swimming Foundation. She has two children, Skye (10) and Spider (8), with her husband Olympic skier Erik Schlopy.

By The Numbers

Quick statistics on our program and skin cancer


Youth & teens educated by Block
the Blaze to date


Million people diagnosed annually
with skin cancer


California Junior Lifeguards educated
to date


Percent curable if caught early
and treated quickly


What people are saying about Block The Blaze

The program provides a much needed message for my Health Classes. Teens need to be made aware of the dangers of overexposure to the sun, especially since we live in Southern California. The students have had a positive response to the program. They appreciate the message.

Jason Lynch

Newport Harbor High School

The program teaches kids about skin cancer and ways to protect us from the damaging sun exposure. They identify with the subject as we are all in the sun and the interaction during the presentation between students and is excellent

Tim O'Brien

Northwood High School