Brian Brown Nebraska Realty Ad

Support the population-we™ Movement here...

Monday, September 3, 2012

Baseball Blogger Offers Insight into his Skin Cancer Battle, Gives Kudos to MLB Play Sun Smart

Summer begins to wind down as the baseball season enters its final weeks. This summer players and fans have endured several days of record temperatures. There is one group of players that offers a message of additional caution needed for those out in the sun.

Dallas Braden of the Oakland Athletics was the spokesperson for Play Sun Smart in 2011 when I first heard of the program. Play Sun Smart is a joint effort between the American Academy of Dermatology, Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association. Their mission is to raise skin cancer awareness and to promote sun-safe practices. Braden had a close tie to the cause after losing his mother to melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer.

The 2012 spokesperson for Play Sun Smart is MLB Hall of Fame member Johnny Bench, who was one of my childhood heroes. Bench brings his own story to the cause after being diagnosed and treated for basal cell carcinoma, which is the most common type of skin cancer. In June, Bench was helping raise skin cancer awareness in New York while meeting with youth from the Harlem RBI program. It is very important to spread the message to all ages so being sun smart is part of every one's daily life.

The message Play Sun Smart has special meaning to me because seven years ago I was diagnosed and treated for melanoma. I was concerned about a growth on my right pectoral and my doctor at the time wasn't concerned about it. But I wasn't convinced and made an appointment with another doctor in the practice and got a referral to see a dermatologist. It turned out to be a melanoma and took two surgeries to remove all traces of it.

Initially I had follow ups with my dermatologist every four months and have had multiple moles and spots of concern removed over those first few years. Some had abnormal cells that were deemed to be precancerous. Luckily it has been a couple years since any biopsies have been necessary as I now see my dermatologist twice a year. The last check up was the last week of July and I gave a relieved exhale as I left the appointment.

My body is riddled with numerous scars that it looks like I was caught in the cross fire at the OK Corral. Yet I would trade any number of scars in exchange for more time with my daughters. In the meantime, I also try to be sun smart and where sun block and minimize my sun exposure as much as possible. I got a new straw hat for Father's Day and it was one of the best gifts ever.

Play Sun Smart is just one of many charities that MLB has ties to but it is the one that means the most to me. The importance of their message cannot be stressed enough. It may be fun in the sun but you have to be smart about how you do it.

- population-we blog post by John Bohan
© 2012 population-we, LLC
If you enjoyed this post, make sure to leave a comment, 'Pin' or 'Like' it.


  1. John: I know this week’s post is a very private topic. So, I wanted to thank you for sharing your skin cancer survivor story with our population-we™ readers. Baseball fans can check out your blog at Most importantly, we invite our readers to always "Play Sun Smart."

  2. Hello your blog is sharing great information. Coolangatta medical centre providing best Skin cancer Checks in Australia. Thanks for share this blog.