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. Learn more about Block the Blaze here.


The John Wayne Cancer Foundation has co-branded the TropicSport mineral facestick. The facestick is SPF 30, water resistant and Ocean & Reef Friendly! To purchase click here.


Leland J. Foshag, M.D

Medical Director, Clinical Cancer Operations and Program Development
Director, Young Adult Cancer Program
NCI designated Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center (CFCC) University of California, Irvine
Medical Director, Hyundai Cancer Institute
Division Chief, Oncology, Pediatric Subspecialty Faculty (PSF)
Director, Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Program
Medical Director Blood and Marrow Stem Cell Transplant Laboratory
Medical Director, NMDP approved Cord Blood Bank
Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Adolescent and Young Adult Oncology
President, Society for Adolescent and Young Adult Oncology

Trevan Fischer, M.D.

Head, Surgical Oncology, Co-Director Melanoma Program at The Angeles Clinic and Research Institute
Surgical Director, Experimental Therapeutics, Cedars Sinai Medical Center

Leonard Sender, M.D.

Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, Hematology, and Pediatrics



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

You folks rocked. Our program loved your presentation. We want you back every year. The Sunblock was the best. I had a kid wear it all over his body for days!! Great impact on our kids. -Avila Beach

- Avila Beach

Your efforts are greatly appreciated. Your presenters are always wonderful and the kids love the hats! Thanks for everything!

- Hansen Dam

The timing and execution of the presentations this year was spot on. Also, the sunscreen sticks were a HUUUGE hit with JGs and LGs alike.

- Newport Beach

Thank you so much to the foundation for what they have done to fight skin cancer. I can attest to having seen my students learn firsthand how to prevent injury and cancer. A million thanks!

- Port Hueneme

The presenters did a great job and I wish to thank them. They were personable and clear with their information. They were able to keep the large number of kids attentive.

-Greg Luttrell, City of Huntington Beach

Thanks again for all you are doing. We believe, as you do, in the importance of educating our youth to the dangers of sun exposure. Your presentations are important!

- Andrew Francis, Oceanside

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!