At age 16, Joel was first diagnosed with melanoma after his mother recognized a changing mole on his neck. The melanoma was removed completely, and it did not appear to have spread outside the skin. Joel graduated high school, and decided to pursue a medical degree. In 1998, Joel began his time as a medical student at the University of California, Irvine College of Medicine. He completed over two years at UCI and had begun a Fellowship of Pathology when he noticed a lump on his abdomen. The same doctors who were his teachers and role models were heartbroken to discover that the lump represented a metastatic focus of the original melanoma from so many years ago. Unfortunately Joel passed away on March 7, 2001 following a courageous and prolonged battle with melanoma.



John Wayne Cancer Foundation’s Block the Blaze program is the official partner of the California Surf Lifesaving Association (CSLSA) to provide skin cancer education to CA junior lifeguards. To date, JWCF has educated over 100,000+ CA JG’s and look forward to continuing this partnership and providing lifesaving education to CA Junior Lifeguards for years to come. 


Each Medical Advisor graduated from a John Wayne Cancer Foundation Surgical Oncology Fellowship Program establishing them as a John Wayne Alumni Fellow.

Trevan Fischer, M.D.

Trevan D. Fischer, M.D., is an Assistant Professor of Surgical Oncology at Saint John’s Cancer Institute at Providence Saint John’s Health Center. He is the Assistant Program Director of the Complex Surgical Oncology Fellowship program at Saint John’s Cancer Institute. Dr. Fischer began his medical training at the University of Oklahoma for both medical school and his undergraduate work. Prior to becoming a Surgical Oncologist, he completed his General Surgery residency at the University of Florida. In 2015, he came to the John Wayne Cancer Institute as a Complex General Surgical Oncology Fellow and transitioned to faculty after graduation.

Dr. Fischer’s clinical interest are melanoma and other skin cancers, breast oncology and soft tissue sarcomas. He also believes in advancing the science of minimally invasive surgery and innovative surgery and uses these interests to advance the training of the surgical oncology fellows.

Dr. Mark Faries

Mark Faries is Professor of Surgery and Co-Director of the Cutaneous Oncology Program at the AngelesClinic and Research Institute and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. He received his medical degree fromCornell University and completed general surgery residency at the University of Pennsylvania. His surgical oncology fellowship was at the John Wayne Cancer Institute.

He conducts clinical and translational research focused on melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers and serves national and international guidelines panels for the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the Society of Surgical Oncology, and the European Society of Medical Oncology.

Dr. Lucci

Dr. Lucci currently is a Professor of Surgery with dual appointments in the Departments of BreastSurgical Oncology and Surgical Oncology at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

Dr. Lucci completed his residency in General Surgery at the Mayo Clinic, and subsequently completed the General Surgical Oncology Fellowship at the John Wayne Cancer Institute, where he had the opportunity to work closely with Dr. Donald Morton, a pioneer in the contemporary management of melanoma.

Dr. Lucci’s clinical focus is on treating patients with breast cancer and melanoma, but he also maintains a laboratory and clinical research team looking at circulating tumor cells, circulating tumor DNA, and extracellular vesicles in the blood of cancer patients. He has published over 235 peer-reviewed research articles and is frequently invited to lecture nationally and internationally. Dr. Lucci works with students, residents, and fellows on a daily basis, and has received numerous teaching awards. Dr. Lucci has also been a Press Ganey Top 1% and Top 10% performer in patient satisfaction ratings over the past three years.

Dr. Lucci has interest in melanoma prevention and increasing knowledge about melanoma in children and young adults, and is excited to act as an Academic Advisor for the Block the Blaze Program.



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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!