John Wayne Cancer Foundation Partners with Summer Sanders for “Block The Blaze” Campaign

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Renowned Olympian and sports commentator joins forces with foundation for youth skin cancer education

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“We are thrilled and deeply appreciative that Summer Sanders is graciously dedicating her voice to our Block The Blaze Skin Cancer Prevention Program”

John Wayne Cancer Foundation (JWCF), whose mission is to bring courage, strength, and grit to the fight against cancer, today announces a new partnership with Olympic champion swimmer, sports commentator, and melanoma survivor Summer Sanders for its “Block the Blaze” campaign. Sanders is donating her time and will serve as the campaign’s national spokesperson. She will lend her personal experience in fighting melanoma alongside her world-renowned swimming credibility to enhance the organization’s efforts to educate young people in skin cancer prevention.

Statistics show that one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in the course of their lifetime, with 3.6 million people diagnosed annually, and Block the Blaze seeks to teach prevention tactics to sun-exposed youth. Established in California and expanded to New Jersey, South Carolina, Texas, Florida, Virginia, New York and Delaware, the initiative has educated tens of thousands of young people so far with a goal to reach more than 200,000 by the end of 2016. Sanders will support these objectives by serving as an advocate, spokesperson and active participant in the strategic direction of the program.

“We are thrilled and deeply appreciative that Summer Sanders is graciously dedicating her voice to our Block The Blaze Skin Cancer Prevention Program,” said Ethan Wayne, chairman of JWCF. “As an elite athlete and melanoma survivor, she understands our goal to provide this education to the youth of America in hopes of preventing a skin cancer diagnosis later in life.”

Sanders is a two-time Olympic gold medalist and World Champion swimmer, sports commentator, TV personality, and contributor for Yahoo Sports and CBS Sports. She also serves on the Board of Directors of the USA Swimming Foundation, supporting and contributing to the training and personal development of the next generation of competitive swimmers. In 2013, she was diagnosed with a severely atypical malignant melanoma on her leg, and she now works to raise awareness for skin cancer and its dangers. She will continue that work as spokesperson for Block the Blaze.

“I am delighted to join forces with the John Wayne Cancer Foundation’s Block The Blaze program,” said Sanders. “Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer affecting many US citizens, and I’ve learned that early education is key to prevention. As a skin cancer survivor, I am proud to join JWCF in broadening their efforts, and I look forward to furthering the mission of this campaign to educate young people, swimmers and beyond.”

To learn more about John Wayne Cancer Foundation and its Block the Blaze campaign, visit

About John Wayne Cancer Foundation
Founded in 1985, the John Wayne Cancer Foundation was created in honor of John Wayne after his family promised to use his name to continue his fight against cancer. The John Wayne Cancer Foundation’s mission is to bring courage, strength and grit to the fight against cancer. Fight cancer with GRIT at

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Anna Schwarz
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