Sasha Suncare - The awareness and involvement of adolescents in sun protection is essential
October 07, 2021
We interview Sasha Marmur, a New York teenager recognized with the "JUNIOR AMBASSADOR AWARD FOR HUMAN RIGHTS" promoted by Beyond Suncare
Despite her youth,Sasha Marmurhas spent years raising awareness andinvolvingadolescents in the protection and care of their skin to avoid sun damage.This sixteen-year-old daughter of New York dermatologist and skin cancer survivorEllen Marmuris the visible face and driving force behindSasha Suncare.A line of solidarity sunscreen that allocates 100% of the profits obtained from sales to support projects for people with albinism that Beyond Suncare develops in sub-Saharan Africa.
Several months ago, Sasha contacted us to let us know about her project and her involvement with people with albinism in Africa. Her effort and values have led her to be recognized with the“INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS JUNIOR AMBASSADOR AWARD”that we promote from NGO.
Now, we have had the opportunity to chat with her to find out what her motivations have been for putting the focus from the US on our projects in Africa.
Why did you decide to collaborate with Beyond Suncare?
Greatly influenced by my dermatologist mother, Dr. Ellen Marmur who is also a skin cancer survivor, skin cancer is a point of topic when it comes to addressing skincare regimens in our home. I wanted to raise awareness of the effects of sun damage to my peers while also raising funds to help less fortunate people who are heavily affected by skin cancer. I became an advocate for Beyond Suncare not only because it is a charity dedicated to the highest population who are at risk of skin cancers, PWAs (people with albinism), but also in underserved communities of Africa. Beyond Suncare provides a holistic approach to the treatment of skin cancers by providing; workshops to teach local healthcare providers how to screen for skin cancers, teach PWAs how to keep their skin safe from the sun, all while helping communities become self-sufficient by producing their own sunscreens.
What motivated you to start helping(raising awareness for the HR of people with albinism in Africa?
During my research on albinism I noticed how people were treated differently with this condition vs. how they should be treated, and the many common misunderstandings about albinism. I had a wonderful chance to meet Kristlyn Abreu who has albinism and also lives in New York City. She explained how it is a hard lifelong battle against the sun and how stressful and tiresome it is to live in constant awareness for the sake of body and skin health. I knew that raising funds would be extremely helpful and lifesaving to supply this necessity and ease the conditions surrounding albinism in underserved communities.
What did it mean for you to meet Kristlyn Abreu, a young woman with albinism, in New York?
I was always curious about what it felt like growing up with such a life defining condition. Would it be a burden or a gift? Kristlyn described living with albinism in an accepting and embracing tone. I could tell her albinism defined her identity. She described the struggles she faced in the past and present; time limits under the sun, being treated differently by her peers, and the ritualistic sunscreen steps before engaging in any outdoor activities. Seeing albinism through Kristlyn’s eyes helped me better understand how I could help others with this condition. YouTube Link Sasha & Kristlyn
"There is a big difference between how people with albinism are treatedand how they should be treated."
What did you learn from this experience?
Becoming an advocate for suncare was a rewarding experience. I had the opportunity to speak locally to my peers about sun care and learn more about the effects of sun damage. Meeting Kristlyn was an eye opening experience where it helped me understand albinism from a personal perspective. Meeting the Beyond Suncare Team in Malawi via a zoom meeting was fun and very informative. These interactions made me feel my contributions were more meaningful to Beyond Suncare because I finally understood how important their work is and how it reaches across a lifespan for people with albinism. Meeting with Beyond Suncare, Malawi
"Meeting the Beyond Suncare team in Malawi made me feel that my contributions were more meaningful because I understood the importance of their work, and how it extends throughout the lives of people with albinism."
Would you advise young people your age to get involved in a cause similar to Beyond? Why?
Beyond Suncare is a cause close to my heart because skin cancer has affected close loved ones, like my mother.Getting involved in this great cause has been a very rewarding experience.I recommend to my colleagues that they become part of any opportunity to help others and expand their knowledge of the world, to find a useful cause that is meaningful and makes a difference.These powerful moments teach us how small contributions are appreciated locally and around the world.I am grateful for the experience and I look forward to continuing to spread knowledge about proper sun care through Sasha Suncare.