Play Sun Smart™ history | aad.org

Play Sun Smart™ history

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Play Sun Smart™ brings together organizations and individuals dedicated to preventing skin cancer and promoting early detection and prevention tips. The success of the Play Sun Smart™ program is a direct result of the combined dedication and hard work of screening dermatologists and other volunteers, and staff from the American Academy of Dermatology (Academy), Major League Baseball (MLB), Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA), and the individual MLB baseball clubs. The significant commitment from these groups contributes to the program’s accomplishments and saves lives each year.

Since 1999, Academy member dermatologists have conducted more than 29,000 skin cancer screenings through the Play Sun Smart™ program. For the past several years, members of the MLB community have leant their voice to promote sun safety and help the fight against skin cancer.

2012

 
Play Sun Smart™ program launch: June 2-3
Play Sun Smart™ spokesperson(s): Johnny Bench, Baseball Hall of Famer and Cincinnati Reds legend
How skin cancer affected him:
Bench was recently diagnosed with and treated for basal cell carcinoma, the most common form of skin cancer, on both of his lower eyelids. With a unique skin cancer surgery called Mohs surgery, he has had a full recovery and is now committed to raising skin cancer awareness.

2011

 
Play Sun Smart™ Day: May 27 
Play Sun Smart™ spokesperson(s): Dallas Braden, pitcher for the Oakland Athletics
How skin cancer affected him:

Braden lost his mother, Jodie Atwood, to melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, during his senior year of high school. On Mother’s Day, May 9, 2010, he pitched the 18th perfect game in modern Major League history (since 1900) against the Tampa Bay Rays in Oakland, Calif.

2010

 
Play Sun Smart™ Day: May 28
Play Sun Smart™ spokesperson(s): Troy Tulowitzki, shortstop for the Colorado Rockies
How skin cancer affected him: Tulowitzki joined this initiative after experiencing firsthand how serious this disease can be. In February, Troy’s cousin, friend and mentor, Lexy Winters, died of melanoma. Lexy’s death motivated Tulowitzki to dedicate the 2010 season to his cousin and take the time to help raise awareness about skin cancer and its impact.

2009 – 10th Anniversary

Play Sun Smart™ Day: May 22
Play Sun Smart™ spokesperson(s): Dustin Pedroia, second base for the Boston Red Sox and reigning American League MVP
How skin cancer affected him:
Pedroia and his wife Kelli have been involved with the Play Sun Smart™ campaign since 2007.  Kelli was diagnosed with Stage-2 melanoma in 2002 and has since recovered. They are both active in spreading the message of taking proper precautions before being exposed to the sun.  

2008 – “10 years smarter, 10 years safer”

Play Sun Smart™ Day: June 21
Play Sun Smart™ spokesperson(s): Major League Baseball
How skin cancer has affected MLB: “10 years smarter, 10 years safer” was the overall theme for the 10th year of the Play Sun Smart™ program. As part of the kick-off effort, MLB generously placed a full-page ad in USA Today.  “Presenting 30 Ways to Fight Skin Cancer” featured a sun-safe message that highlighted all MLB teams and reached an audience of more than 2.2 million.

2007

 
Play Sun Smart™ Day: June 21
Play Sun Smart™ spokesperson(s): Johan Santana, pitcher for the Minnesota Twins
How skin cancer affected him: Santana experienced firsthand how deadly melanoma can be when, Lynn Greenberg the wife of his New York-based agent passed away at the age of 42 from the disease.  Lynne and Santana were close; she was present at family events to celebrate his successes and was considered part of Santana’s extended family. Lynne’s death inspired Santana to take time to help raise awareness about the seriousness of this cancer.

2006

 
Play Sun Smart™ Day: June 21
Play Sun Smart™ spokesperson(s): Mark Loretta, infielder for the Boston Red Sox
How skin cancer affected him: Loretta was personally touched by skin cancer and learned how important protection against the sun can be. As part of an annual Play Sun Smart™ skin cancer screening, he had a mole diagnosed as a Level 1 melanoma.

2005

 
Play Sun Smart™ Day: June 21
Play Sun Smart™ spokesperson(s): Derek Lowe, pitcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers
How skin cancer affected him: Lowe joined this initiative after being diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma.

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