Love the skin you're in - Fundraiser for Ann's Hope Foundation

Hey friends!!! I’m so excited to have recently reconnected with the fabulous ladies of Artery Ink to collaborate and host a “skin related” fundraiser for Ann’s Hope Foundation from October 12, 2018 - October 26, 2018.  A portion of the sales from this fundraiser will be donated to Ann’s Hope Foundation.


Ann’s Hope Foundation, Inc. is a not-for-profit started in 2005 in honor of the co-founders loved ones who lost their battles to melanoma. The goal of the foundation is to raise funds for melanoma research, awareness and education. Since the inception of the foundation, the organization has donated $1.5 million in research grants for melanoma cancer. 

The foundation uses their fundraising events to educate the community about the deadly disease. Ann’s Hope Foundation’s goal is to seek ground-breaking research and clinical trials that will help find a cure for melanoma. The organization works to teach the community of the dangers of melanoma cancer and prevention. Learn more at 


Your skin is your largest organ It’s compromised of three layers: The epidermis; the top layer, the dermis; the middle layer that contains hair follicles and glands, and inner layer, the hypodermis, which is mostly fat and connective tissue that attaches the skin to the muscles.  

Skin color is determined by cells in the epidermis and those cells are known as melanocytes. The melanocytes secretes a pigmented substance called melanin and the more melanin in the cells, the darker the skin. Melanocytes can become cancerous and melanoma is that cancer. Most melanoma cells still make melanin, so melanoma tumors are usually brown or black. But some melanomas do not make melanin and can appear pink, tan, or even white. 

Having darkly pigmented skin lowers your risk of melanoma at these more common sites, but anyone can get melanoma on the palms of the hands, soles of the feet, and under the nails. Melanomas in these areas make up a much larger portion of melanomas in African Americans than in whites. 

Melanoma is the most deadly form of skin cancer. One person dies every hour of every day from the disease and the number of American’s diagnosised continue to rise every year. There will be about 91,270 diagnosed in 2018 and about 9,320 will die. 


Protect your skin! Wear sunscreen, everyday. Use broad-spectrum sunscreen that protects against UVA and UBA rays and has an SPF of at least 30. Wear sun protective clothing, a hat and sunglasses. Seek shade during the peak mid-day sun, and do not ever use tanning beds. Indoor tanning has been shown to increase the risk of melanoma by 75%. Protect your children, one bad sunburn in childhood or adolescence doubles your child’s risk of developing melanoma later in life.

Mara & Gloria started Artery Ink 5 years ago with the mission to encourage and inspire others to learn more about their bodies and take better care of them. Their unique and detailed line drawings bring out the beauty that lives in us all. Partnering with organizations like Ann's Hope is important to Artery Ink because artwork is a universal language which can bring people together, spark joy and foster learning. Wearing your Artery Ink apparel out is bound to start up many conversations which helps spread awareness and love for our bodies and the journeys we go through while living in them. 

For more follow Artery Ink on one of their social media platforms:  Facebook, Instagram & Twitter @arteryink 


I was and continue to be grateful to be Ann’s Hope Foundation 2018 Honorary Survivor. As the result of my diagnosis, I’m beyond passionate about raising awareness of Melanoma and protecting the skin we are in. If you’re new to me and my story, I was diagnosed with Malignant Melanoma in 2017. You can view my story here:

Thank you Mara and Gloria from Artery Ink for your time, talent, incredible Art and mostly for being part of this journey! 

Always, love and protect the skin you are in!

Shine on,

Jennifer Birney