BOCA RATON, Fla. — Skin cancer is the most prevalent type of cancer in the United States but it is also the move preventable. A Boca Raton resident, mother of 4 and nurse, Fran Nachlas, has been working now for eight years to protect you and your skin.
"Pretty much anybody who asks us for help, if it's sun-safety related, we'll lend a hand," said Nachlas.
It's a helping hand Nachlas realized was so needed after she and her husband lost a loved one to melanoma. Not to mention, her husband, Dr. Nathan Nachlas, works as a facial plastic reconstruction surgeon and has seen firsthand the devastating effects skin cancer has on south Floridians.
"We wanted to do something meaningful for our community that we cared about," said Nachles.
So in 2012, Nachlas founded SafeSun. Ever since, she has worked to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars to help people protect themselves from the sun. It's a lesson, she said, begins in early childhood.
"When I'm talking to kids, I always say, 'Who brushed their teeth today?' And everybody's hands shoot up," said Nachlas. "Then I'll say, 'Who put on sunscreen today?' And everybody kind of like looks around."
Brush your teeth and put on your sunscreen should be the daily routine, Nachlas said.
Most recently, the foundation worked to install permanent sun shade structure over the playground at the Florence Fuller Childcare Center. It was a $25,000 project paid in part by a grant from the American Academy of Dermatology that Nachlas worked to obtain.
The rest of the funds came from donations raised through carious events Nachlas puts on each year such as "Martinis for Melanoma" and a race called "Run from the Rays." Next up is installing something similar at Aid to Victims of Domestic Violence, or AVDA, a shelter where up to 40 children live and play at a time.
"It may not be a difference that you see tomorrow, but as you get older, you're going to see those differences if you practice safe sun now," said Nachlas.
If you are out and about in south Palm Beach County, don't confuse a sunscreen dispenser for hand sanitizer. Nachlas has worked to install 12, free, reef-safe sunscreen dispensers at parks and beaches.
"One of our greatest joys is going to refill them and the entire thing is empty, because it's about 500 uses of sunscreen in each one," said Nachlas.
Sunscreen can be costly. It could be something you forget to pack or just need to reapply while out exercising. Nachlas wants to make sure it is something that is always accessible to everyone.
"Every Floridian out there, everyone, everywhere, protect your skin, protect you life," said Nachlas.
If you are interested in getting involved with or donating to SafeSun, you can visit their website by clicking here.