Destination Healthy Skin October 2021 Update
It’s been a fabulous fall for the Destination Healthy Skin free skin cancer screening and education program. During October, we traveled to the west coast and back, with more than 750 free screenings in the books this year.
From August 1 to October 31, our amazing volunteer dermatologists screened 780 people and identified 167 potential skin cancers and precancers, including 8 suspected melanomas.
Providing this vital public health service has undoubtedly saved lives, especially during a time when many people have been putting off doctor visits.
“Healthy Skin Means Joy!”
At every event along our route, participants have told us that they wouldn’t have gotten a screening this year if we weren’t in town. One young woman summed it up nicely by saying “Healthy skin means joy!”
These heartfelt comments motivate us to do our best to reach as many communities as possible. Here’s just a bit more feedback from the wonderful people we met during October:
It can take months to get a dermatology appointment — this opportunity feels like a relief and a good checkmark to be safe!
“This is something great, especially for those that can’t afford it. I thank you very much.”
“Glad I found you. This was quick, easy, professional and informative in a relaxed setting.”
“My mom had skin cancer, so I’m very interested with keeping up with skin screenings.”
“Everyone needs to pay close attention to their skin and the sun.”
Highlights: We got some great news coverage in Arizona and Florida. And representatives from our top sponsor, Elta MD, visited the RV at several locations along the route.
Phoenix: Hope in the Desert
This sunny desert city was a popular destination. Fox 10 News arrived bright and early to interview one of our volunteer dermatologists, Carsten R. Hamann, MD. The television and radio news coverage attracted a crowd of participants!
The first group to arrive were three people, very eager to get some suspicious spots examined by a professional. Each of them will require a follow-up biopsy. One couple told us that they heard about the event on the news, hopped in their car and traveled more than 100 miles to get a free screening. Another participant told us that their dermatologist books out appointments months in advance. And yet another said that her dad drives two hours to see his dermatologist. They were all very happy to be able to get a chance to be seen and screened.
Los Angeles: Luck in La La Land
It’s no surprise that in Los Angeles, a city famed for its film, a participant found us through a skin cancer documentary on YouTube. At the end of the documentary there was a link to our website, SkinCancer.org, and he decided to follow us on social media. When he learned about Destination Healthy Skin, he marked his calendar for our Los Angeles event. He was relieved to get screened, especially after learning that he needs a follow-up biopsy for a spot on his scalp.
Tampa: Halloween in the Sunshine State
We closed out October with a busy Halloween weekend. One man who got screened on the first day in Tampa returned the following day with his daughter. He wanted to teach her about the importance of preventative care. A young woman arrived wearing a festive pumpkin T-shirt, energized about doing something good for her skin health. She learned about the event through an Instagram post from our partner, Elta MD, and drove 45 minutes to get screened. We also heard from a man with a family history of skin cancer. He lost his sister to melanoma and his both parents had skin cancer. Because of this, he gets checked regularly and has had a few spots removed. He firmly believes that early detection saved his life.
One of the last to get screened on Halloween were a couple who also traveled a long way to the event. Both had spots that they were concerned about, and both need follow-up biopsies. They heard about Destination Healthy Skin through social media posts by the Emily Rose EMpwr Foundation, an organization established in memory of a young woman who lost her battle with melanoma.
Grateful for You
Every mile we travel makes a difference in the fight against skin cancer. We couldn’t do it without your help! Thank you for following us as we travel around the country, sharing our updates and supporting the program. Today and every day, we are grateful for you.
Into the Home Stretch in November
We’re heading up the east coast during the first three weeks of November. Our final events include Washington D.C. and Philadelphia, where we will close out the season on November 17.