Skip to content
#GetReal: Supporters & Survivors

#GetReal: Supporters & Survivors

Founded by a melanoma survivor, we understand firsthand the importance of prevention and are driven to design stylish ways to protect you with UPF 50+ clothing & swimwear. In April, we asked our amazing community to share their skin cancer story in any way their lives have been impacted.

During May, Skin Cancer Awareness Month, we share these stories as part of our #GetReal campaign. Through these powerful & personal accounts, we aim to ignite awareness, inspire action and foster a community united in the fight against this prevalent yet often preventable disease. With 1 in 5 Americans being diagnosed with skin cancer it's time we #GetReal.

Join us as we illuminate the personal journeys, triumphs and challenges of those impacted by skin cancer, empowering each other to prioritize sun safety and early detection. Together, let's shine a light on skin cancer and work towards a future where prevention is paramount and every story ends with hope.

Below are stories from supporters in the Cabana Community whom have had friends diagnosed with skin cancer. 


"Two of the closest people in my life have battled melanoma. My mother was diagnosed and had successful surgery 8 years ago, and one of my best friends was diagnosed last year. Additionally, I am passionate about supporting women owned businesses and women leaders. Originally from New York, and now living and working in Gainesville, Florida, I am one of Cabana Life's biggest fans! My children love your swimsuits and rashguards, and I love your prints, your suits, shift dresses, cover ups, and sport shirts. The cabana shift dresses are one of my work wardrobe and vacation staples, and I recommend the brand to everyone that I know!"

- Amanda H.


"I come from a family that are fair skinned with blonde/ strawberry blonde hair. Both of my parents have experienced melanoma. Unfortunately my father passed away from the result of this skin disease spreading. I had my first diagnosis last fall and was very fortunate to catch it early before it spread. Learned my lesson that preventative care is the best course of action. I share my story with many sun worshipers because a small pencil eraser head spot turned out to be a three inch incision. I was a lifeguard in my teens and I guess baby oil and iodine were not a good 'sunscreen.' I came across Cabana Life a couple of years ago while buying for the golf shop that I work at. I was drawn to them because the owners of the country club/golf course lost their sister to melanoma at a young age. I am honored to partner with Cabana Life and support their mission for early detection and prevention of skin cancer."

- Deborah W.

Wearing the Amalfi Coast Smocked Waist Dress


"I was in my early 30s when I was diagnosed with melanoma for the first time. My mom was also diagnosed with melanoma around the same time. We both endured our respective surgeries are were given the all clear. Almost 10 years later, my mom was diagnosed with tumors in her brain that were later identified as melanoma. She fought hard with radiation and chemo, but ultimately lost her battle after 3 months. 1 year after my mom passed away, I was again diagnosed with Melanoma. Another surgery and I was again given the all clear. With my family history, protecting my skin, and the skin of my 3 children, is more important than ever. I'm including a picture of myself with my beautiful mom."

- Carol Z.


"I would love to share this story about my daughter. She is a cancer survivor of 21 years and doing quite well. She was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease at the age of 19. Needless to say our lives went into a tailspin – Drs visits, chemo and radiation became all too familiar to us. Moving ahead 16 or so years I noticed a dark spot on the back of her neck which she couldn’t see. Long story short she had melanoma! Never stop looking out for your loved ones. She is doing well – Please wear Sun screen and protective clothing!"

- Cheryl D. 


"My Grandmother had a long history of sun exposure growing up on an Iowa farm. As a child, I remember lots of talk of skin cancer and my mom taking her to the dermatologist. As a young nurse, I became her escort to the dermatologist for a number of Mohs procedures to scrape layers of cancer off her nose. She would then endure skin grafts to her nose with skin harvested behind her ears. At each appointment, she would male me promise to wear my hat and sunscreen, so that I wouldn’t have to endure what she did. She has since passed away and every time I put on my hat to go outside, I am reminded of my promise to her. And my goal to keep myself and my children skin cancer free."

- Erica S.


"I'm so very fortunate that I personally haven't had skin cancer but many of my girlfriends have. Several of us are over 50 and take extra steps to protect us. I Iove Cabana Life clothes. They are cute, fashionable, feel good and most importantly protect. I always get compliments when I wear something. Nice job ladies. Keep it up."

- Mellanie L.


"One of the strongest female influences in my life was my Aunt Lorraine. She was beautiful and glamorous and would come up to town and make everything exciting. She did not have any daughters of her own so she always gave me special attention and any time I was told I held a resemblance to get it was a great compliment. My Aunt Lorraine died of skin cancer at age 43 back in the 80's when far less attention was given to prevention. This loss caused me to take my own health seriously. As a fair haired and fair skinned person I began to use sun screens more and be more aware of my time in the sun. Cabana Life has been a great recent addition in my sun protection efforts. Your beautiful styles have allowed me to be safe and stylish, thank you."

- Maryjean T.


"My mother-in-law developed melanoma below her eye. It was so close to her eye they were afraid she lose her vision, which did not turn out to be the case. She let this dark spot go so long that the roots were very deep and required a skin graft from another part of her body. A skin graft on your face is above your normal facial surface and doesn’t totally blend in with your skin tone either. My caution to you is if you see a spot, don’t be afraid to get it checked. Ignoring this spot could develop into something more serious, and invasive, which it did in this case. She survived the cancer, however the grafting never looked right. My husband had melanoma on his nose twice; he has one nostril that is more raised than the other. In both of these cases, the melanoma was cured. Early intervention is key!" 

- Judy B. 


"When I was a child, my mother was diagnosed with skin cancer. I remember being so scared to see the bandage and scar on her face after having the cancer removed. I’ve been a life long advocate of sunscreen and sun safety ever since! Be sure to get your annual screenings, use sunscreen, and be safe!"

- Jessica J.

Wearing the limited-edition Napa Tassel Wrap Romper that has since sold out


"My mother was a survivor of skin cancer - melanoma. She was diagnosed while in her late thirties and lived the rest of her life - until age 83 - being very vigilant of sun exposure. She would have loved having Cabana Life clothing back then to give her additional coverage from the damaging rays of the sun. I am blessed to have several Cabana Life pieces of clothing that I love to wear. They are both protective and beautiful in style! Thank you Cabana Life!"

- Mary Anne K. 


"My close friend was diagnosed with melanoma at age 20. She had a wide excision to remove the melanoma. It later came back in a different area. She is now cancer free and always makes sure to wear sun shirts and hats year round."

- Shari B.


"My father was the strongest and kindest man I’ve ever known. He loved the sun and could soak up rays and develop a tan so rich and dark that really set off his emerald green eyes. One day he looked in the mirror and found a nasty patch of skin on his nose. That was the beginning of a cancer journey that left this very handsome once strong man into emotional chaos. He survived only to succumb to cancer again a few years later. He became the greatest advocate of sun protection telling all he knew of the pitfalls of unprotected sun exposure. I miss him everyday. Above is a photo of my parents." 

- Rita G. 


"My FIL had squamous cell carcinoma 2 years ago on his ear that spread to his lymph nodes. Sadly he had his left ear entirely removed along with his parotid gland and lymph nodes from his neck." 

- Kristin H.

Wearing the Roadmap Sleeveless Shift Dress


"My mom who’s 83 had two spots on her ankle while vacationing in Florida at her condo. The condo association has a dermatology bus that makes stops at the development where people can get themselves checked. She took advantage of this wonderful service and found out when she gets back home she needs to have them taken care of because the biopsy came back positive. She is so thankful for this service and I think it’s wonderful for people!"

- Kim P. 


"So many of my friends and family members are skin cancer survivors (from my former college roommate who was in her 20s to my grandma). Prevention is important, but I struggle with wearing sunscreen while golfing. I have always hated the feeling of whole-body lotion and sunscreen. Cabana Life's long-sleeve options are my go to!"

- Jenna L. 


"All four of my grandparents and many aunts and uncles have had skin cancer as well as many of my friends. Yes, we are all fair-skinned people. And, yes - we have all been mindful in our lives to protect our skin. But, burns can and will happen regardless of how diligent we are in our lives to protect our skin. I apply an SPF every day, but I still worry about the realities of acquiring skin cancer. I've had several severe burns in my life - one happening when I was just ten years old. It was my first time out of Minnesota and my first time visiting the ocean in Florida. My SPF was not strong enough – and after a full day at the beach I had a burn so severe I had a 103 temperature for a week and had to miss school. Doctors told my parents that this burn would increase my risk of developing skin cancer at some point. With this knowledge I have been mindful throughout my life, but also paranoid with every spot and mole I develop." 

- Rachel M. 


"My father had skin cancer and I was told to wear SPF 50 for the rest of my life by my doctor as I'm a redhead. I'm really scared of not applying my sunscreen properly (or not enough of it) so I turn to UPF clothing for help! The problem is, I always have a hard time finding elegant or even cute UPF clothing, so finding Cabana Life was awesome for me! Now I can be protected and look good too! Thank you Cabana Life for making feminine and lovely clothing for women who have to be careful when it comes to sun exposure!"

- Julie B. 


"In November of 2022 my beloved Dad passed away from Melanoma. He was diagnosed with Stage 4 in October and 6 short weeks later, he passed due to complications of the cancer. The melanoma had spread to 90% of his bone marrow. Since that time, it has been my mission to help share awareness of this cancer and continue the fight in honor of my Dad. Melanoma is aggressive, fast moving and it can be silent. Awareness and education is key to fighting this cancer. It is with awareness that we can be screened sooner. It is with awareness that we can push for biopsies. Awareness allows us to be armed with the knowledge to be able to advocate for ourselves and loved ones. Being aware of the signs of melanoma, early prevention screenings and biopsies are crucial in fighting this cancer. Melanoma has taken away my amazing Dad and left an empty space in my heart. However, I will not let Melanoma win. I will continue this fight and help share AWARENESS in memory of my Dad."

- Megan M. 


"For May Skin Cancer Awareness Month, I’d like to nominate my mother – Jeanne – who is a three-time skin cancer survivor. My mom is an incredibly strong person both physically and mentally. In 2009, she was diagnosed with melanoma on her left forearm. After a 4 hour surgery and 66 stitches, my mom lovingly refers to her scar as her 'shark bite.' She takes time out of her day to educate local high school biology students on the importance of sun protection and shares safety moments at work by instructing her coworkers how to use the ABCDE method to self-identify suspicious moles. In more recent years, she was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma on her back and basal cell carcinoma on her hairline. Instead of letting this break her spirit, she took every dermatology appointment in stride, even joking with her doctor that she’s survived the 'skin cancer trifecta' and now she feels unstoppable.

In addition to being a cancer survivor herself, my mom has also played the role of caretaker several times. Most recently, when her husband of just one year – Marty – was diagnosed with leukemia last summer, my mom moved 1.5 hours away to be near the hospital Marty was admitted to, and she came out of retirement to ensure he would have proper health insurance as he went through chemotherapy. Prior to that, my mom took care of her father, who battled dementia, for 5 years. Each day she would bring him breakfast, manage his Meals-on-Wheels lunch delivery, and make dinner with him at the end of her workday. And if you asked her if she found it overwhelming to provide round-the-clock care for her dad, she would smile and say it was the biggest privilege of her life.

My mom has worn many metaphorical hats in her life: cancer patient, cancer survivor, caretaker, breadwinner, wife, mother, and most recently Grandma 'GiGi.' While some these roles were easy, she has always maintained her optimism which I think is very admirable. For all of these reasons, I think she deserves to be recognized!"

- Holly W.  

Wearing Sanibel 1/4 Zip Sport Top & Cabana Girl Trucker Hat


"My father had basal cell carcinoma and went through multiple surgeries on his head and face to remove the lesions, which took months to fully heal. He's currently cancer-free, and I've encouraged him to wear sun-proof clothing in addition to hats and sunscreen. We've both gotten into better sun care habits and support each other and encourage our family to stay covered, safe, and protected." 

- Erin A. 



"My Mom developed Merkel cell carcinoma at the age of 86, a rare form of skin cancer brought on by sun exposure. We grew up in New Jersey going to the beach as a family all summer long practically every single day when I was growing up. This was in the 50's and early 60's. We had a summer home at a lake in North Jersey and a beach home on the Jersey shore and I will be honest, we used very little sunscreen at that time of our lives. Baby oil was our go to product for a great tan. Anyway, to make a long story short, when Mom developed Merkel cell we had no clue as to the devastating affect it would have on her. It appeared as a lesion on her neck. She spent the last year of her life here with us in Ormond Beach, Fla. having radiation to no avail though, as the merkel cell had spread to other parts of her body. I have become a huge advocate of wearing clothing such as Cabana Life and using sunscreen and forms of makeup with a good UV factor. Ironically, Mom passed away in May of 1997 just two years after her diagnosis. It seems fitting that May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month and I hope to honor my Mom with this message. Thank you for letting me share." 

- Sharon B. 


"My childhood friend, Jessica, was diagnosed with melanoma during the COVID pandemic. She had a spot on her back that she did not have looked at in a timely manner due to the lockdown. When she finally went to the dermatologist, she was diagnosed with stage 3 melanoma. At first the cancer responded to treatment. However, she it spread to her neck and she required radiation. Immunotherapy did not work for her and she developed stage 4 melanoma. She was put into a clinical trial at University of Pennsylvania but her results were not optimal. Her oncologist was able to get her into a clinical trial in Pittsburgh. Jessica began the process of having t-cells removed so they could be reproduced and eventually used to treat her cancer. Unfortunately, she began noticing a weakness in her right arm, and after scans, they found two large brain tumors. She was underwent brain surgery and the tumors were removed; however, they found 25 other tumors. She just finished eight rounds of radiation. Unfortunately, her clinical trial was halted by the FDA. Hopefully, it will resume soon. Throughout this nightmare, Jessica has remained her sweet and optimistic self. She has handled herself with more grace than anyone I have ever known. She is married with two teenage children and we are praying for a miracle. The picture attached was taken at a rehabilitation center following Jessica's brain surgery. She looks so good I feel that I have to identify her as the one with the blonde hair!" 

- Elizabeth F. 


"My husband is a skin cancer survivor. We’ve been together for 46 years now (42 married) and we both have always been sun worshippers! We are now paying for the sins of our past not only with the ugly sun spots, but skin cancer. We are now having dangerous spots carved out of our skin and thankfully my husband caught them in the nick of time. Over time the damage does add up!"

- Kim S. 


"Be aware when applying sun block or protection to protect your ears. So many folks forget their ears! My dad was a baseball umpire. Never laid out in the sun a day in his life, but his ears had to be treated for melanoma & pieces of his external ears had to be removed. He wore a bb hat to protect his face & head from the sun, but never occurred to him to put sun block on his ears for the 40 years he umpired lots of bb games!" 

- Manon Y. 


Melissa, Cabana Life Founder & Melanoma Survivor

From all these impactful stories, one truth resonates: skin cancer doesn't discriminate. It touches lives in myriad ways, reminding us of the importance of sun protection, regular screenings and advocating for our own health. Let these narratives serve as your friendly reminder from the fellow Cabana Community. Read more #GetReal stories here

We're honored to help protect you & your family with our UPF 50+ fashion. We strive to make you feel empowered to prioritize skin health. Let's continue to share, educate and support one another in this fight. Together, we can make a difference. As always, 100% of the proceeds from our Meaningful Merch Collection are donated to the Melanoma Research Foundation. We are proud to support this amazing organization and their fight to eradicate skin cancer. 

Thank you for joining us on this journey of raising awareness and fostering hope in our #GetReal series. As always, stay sun safe & stylish!