John Wayne Cancer Foundation: Continuing Our Work in the Fight Against Cancer

Photo by John R. Hamilton, courtesy of John Wayne Enterprises

Photo by John R. Hamilton, courtesy of John Wayne Enterprises

This summer, youth up and down the coast, including right here in Newport Beach, will head to the beach and take part in a time-honored SoCal Beach tradition – Junior Lifeguards! And, for the 5th year in a row, each child that participates will learn about sun safety and skin cancer prevention and early detection through the work of Block the Blaze®. Block the Blaze is a John Wayne Cancer Foundation (JWCF) funded youth skin cancer education program.

Not only is skin cancer the most common cancer, having just one blistering sunburn in your adolescence doubles your risk of developing melanoma; the most dangerous form of skin cancer, later in life!  Block the Blaze is grateful to be the official partner of the California Surf Lifesaving Association (CSLSA) to provide skin cancer education to CA junior lifeguards, a demographic who is at high risk due to the amount of time spent on a beach.  A local Junior Lifeguard credits Block the Blaze for saving her life:

“last fall, i had a melanoma removed from my forearm at just 13 years old. because of your team at john wayne cancer foundation and your partnership with junior lifeguards, i was able to catch my melanoma quickly. all i needed was a few surgeries – i was lucky it was only stage 1.

i owe it all to the block the blaze program. that one little fact (melanomas can be pink, blue or purple) saved me from a much more dangerous situation. i can’t thank the john wayne cancer foundation enough!”

— Kennedy

The Newport Beach Lifeguards were the first agency to implement Block the Blaze, and they have played a significant role in the expansion of the program. Today, the program has educated over 250K youth and is on track to educate 275K by end of summer.  Each child that participates is provided with a fun and informative Block the Blaze presentation, a free water resistant sunscreen stick and trucker hat.  Teaching youth to be sun safe is great, but being able to provide them with the tools to be sun safe immediately is empowering.

This year, the John Wayne Cancer Foundation is pleased to present a Newport Beach retail collection, with 100% of the proceeds going to support the Foundation. The collection includes shirts, hats and hoodies inspired by life on the water. To learn more about Block the Blaze, or the work of the other Foundation programs, visit or contact Lauren Fraga, Program Director, at To purchase the Newport Collection, and support the work of the John Wayne Cancer Foundation, visit