“No-one’s safe from skin cancer. When it happened to me I couldn’t have been more shocked. Let’s stop skin cancer in its tracks. Together we can!” Stephan Brink, CANSA Active National Manager
“I never, ever, thought I’d get skin cancer. But how wrong can a person be?” Stephan told us.
Most skin cancers are caused by over-exposure to UV rays and sun damage can build up over many years without us knowing a thing about it.
Only in recent years have the dangers of working and playing outdoors day-after-day, in the sun, become more widely known.
Did you know that just five sunburns increases your risk of melanoma by 80%?
“South Africans have the second highest incidence of skin cancer in the world,” Stephan said. “So our SunSmart programme involves everything we can possibly do to help people protect themselves from becoming a victim!”
If we succeed, our children and grandchildren won’t have to worry about losing their lives to it. Being SunSmart – and educating people to detect cancer early – can definitely save lives.
This is Stephan’s story:
“One day I was driving to work and my wife asked me ‘What’s that mark on your nose?’ I must have scratched myself in my sleep, I thought. I wasn’t worried. But she wasn’t happy and dragged me off to the doctor.
I have a lot to thank her for, because if I had delayed treatment I could’ve died.
The fear of not being around to see my beautiful 15 year old daughter and my 17 year old ‘rugger-bugger’, gave me cold shivers. Now as Christmas approaches I’m so thankful I’ll get to spend another year with them.”
Stephan’s minor surgery ended up a major operation. To gain a clear margin around the deep malignant growth, most of his nostril was removed. A skin flap was made with his cheek to rebuild his nose. It wasn’t pleasant!
Now more than ever before, Stephan knows it’s clever to be SunSmart and with this awful experience under his belt, he’s putting his heart and soul into our summer campaign!
And with your help and online donation, we’ll be spreading the SunSmart message far and wide this summer – and saving more lives in the future.
“It’s especially important to teach our young ones to be SunSmart so there’ll be far fewer cases of skin cancer in the future. My kids and their friends have taken the message on board – they’ve seen first-hand what skin cancer can do.
And our CANSA Active campaign strives to make every sportsman and lover of our wonderful outdoor life aware that they must use skin protection every day.
I’m promoting the use of CANSA Seal of Approval sunscreens and UV protective clothing and we’re running regular screening clinics at beaches and sports events to catch early cases.
And remember, it’s never too late to be SunSmart!” Stephan said.
Your gift made online here, will give our SunSmart activities a real boost. Without doubt you’ll be helping to save more lives than we can measure!