Summer In the City


I recently started working as an intern at a non-profit and absolutely love it! I love taking the subway in to work (and finally have time to listen to all those TED talks I’ve been meaning to listen to! I definitely recommend Chris Hadfield’s talk! He’s amazing!) But with a new job and new commute comes all these difficulties about figuring out ways to protect myself without being known as the “skin cancer kid”. I don’t really want to tell my employer about my history and yet the other day when my boss took the team out to lunch they all insisted that we sit outside! I was completely caught off guard and spent all of lunch worrying that I was getting burned! SO now I bring this hat into work like basically every day, just in case . It seriously messes with the peripheral vision, yesterday I almost ran into a pole! But better safe than sorry right? Anyways, I’m off to yoga 🙂


xx Marissa



In the Summertime When the Weather is Fine….

My poor, dear, neglected blog! After promising myself repeatedly that I would update “tomorrow”, now that I finally am getting around to it, it’s been TWO MONTHS!! But never fear, I won’t take such a long break again! I’ll post every other day! I’ve set alarms! This is definitely happening!

So basically summertime sucks for people trying to protect their skin. From the copious amounts of sunscreen to the awkward questions that I always get whenever I venture outside (“Why are you so covered up?” “Aren’t you  too warm in that?”) as if I don’t realize I’m wearing long sleeves and pants in 110 degree weather.

My favorite way to beat the heat before it gets tooooo hot is to find an awesome jacket that looks good AND covers everything! I found this amazing military jacket off of Hautelook from Willow and Clay and I seriously wear it almost every day.  The best part about is it has an AMAZING HOOD! Jacket available here

Sorry for the crappy photo quality, I snapped these with my phone in terrible light haha. Anyways, stay protected sun rebels! Comments? Questions? Leave a reply!

xx Marissa

US Sunscreen technology is about a DECADE behind the rest of the world, and why that needs to change

Friday morning there was an article in the Washington Post about how US sunscreens are about a decade behind the rest of the world because new sunscreen technologies have gotten caught up in FDA red tape. Article here

After reading the article, I was so angry that I wanted to throw down the newspaper and rip it into a million billion pieces. Doesn’t the FDA realize that melanoma rates are rising? Didn’t they know how hard survivors have to work to protect their skin? Would I have even gotten melanoma if I had access to better sunscreen? Why don’t they understand???

Having to deal with people who lack understanding is something I think anyone with any medical condition can relate to. I remember I was traveling in England and a security guy at Gatwick threw out my expensive, French, La Roche Posay sunscreen. I remember being livid, I needed that lotion! It wasn’t just a bottle of over 3 ounce liquid, it was a life saving potion! Why couldn’t the security guy just let it go?

Raising awareness is key to getting the FDA to move faster on approving new sunscreen technology, which is why I’m writing this to you, dear readers. Even if only one person reads this, it’s one more person who is aware, and if you want to help out the PASS coalition is asking for people to write to their congressmen to implore them to help. If you’re interested click here for their website.

In the meantime, this sounds like a perfect excuse to go to Paris for a sunscreen shopping trip! Who’s with me? I’ll just make sure to pack my sunscreen in my checked baggage 🙂

xx Marissa

Can’t Travel? Take an instant trip to South Africa with this amazing curry!!

Screen Shot 2014-03-20 at 11.17.27 AMHey Sun Rebels! So last summer I had the AMAZING opportunity to run around the wilds of South Africa as an intern wildlife veterinarian! I was sooo stoked… until I realized that recent melanoma survivors don’t get to travel to fun sunny places. (What? It’s not like lions wear sunscreen and they seem alright) ANYWAYS I was super bummed and have had this really strong desire to go to South Africa ever since!!

So when I found this recipe for a South African dish called Bunny Chow (don’t worry it doesn’t involve actual bunnies!) I knew I had to make it. It was so yummy! And pretty easy to make, I substituted stewing beef for lamb because Trader Joes either didn’t have lamb or it was hiding somewhere I couldn’t see and it was still good. If you’re up for a little dinner excitement I definitely recommend it. Take that melanoma! you didn’t stop me from traveling gastronomically!! Recipe here

xx Marissa


Get Ready for Spring!! Or Winter/Spring/Summer whatever this weird weather is doing!

Get Ready for Spring!! Or Winter/Spring/Summer whatever this weird weather is doing!

I don’t know about you guys but yesterday was one of the first sunny and warm days we’ve had here in awhile! And while everyone else is getting excited for warmer weather all I could think about is how much I am NOT READY for spring. Spring means sun and hats and toting around my little bag of sunscreen everywhere I go (ok it’s not little… how am i supposed to know if I’m going to need waterproof or regular? what if I don’t feel like using neutrogena and want my la roche sunscreen? I NEED OPTIONS!)

Anyways! This spring I’m armed with a moisturizer that might make Sun Rebel life so much easier. My dermo recommended this amazing moisturizer with spf from Neutrogena! It’s perfect for sunny spring days, I just put it on before my makeup like a regular moisturizer and most importantly it has spf 50 (woo!). It’s pretty small so I can just throw it in my bag for any neccessary touch ups. Goodbye toting tons of different suncreens around!

xx Marissa


REI… Fabulous!

REI... Fabulous!

REI and fabulous… ok not two words you usually hear together but the great thing about REI is that a lot of their clothing has built in sun protection! And the best part? Their UPF clothing is actually wearable! All of these are available at

I’ve put together some of the coolest tops at REI right now, all of them have sun protection and look perfect for doing a bit of spring running or hiking!

1) Roxy Steamer Top- $68
LOVE the color! This would also be great for paddle boarding , if you’re lucky enough to live near some water (at the moment I have a broken ankle so I’m insanely jealous of anyone who gets to SUP)

2) REI Venturi Quarter Zip Top- $59.50
I already own one of these in orange and literally wear it all the time. Do I also need it in blue? Absolutely

3) The North Face Impulse Active Quarter Zip Top- $70
Okay a little bit pricey but it has 50+ UPF (awesome) and I love the color! I could definitely see this as being my daily running pullover

4) prAna Rory Rashguard- $60
As a crazy yoga person I seriously love all of prAna’s stuff and love how they’re getting into making things with UPF

Let me know what you guys think! Questions or advice? Leave a comment!

xx Marissa

Sun Rebel- About this Blog


Hey! My name is Marissa and I am a Sun Rebel. What’s a Sun Rebel, you ask? I completely just made it up, but I decided that it’s a young person who is trying to live a completely normal life despite being a skin cancer survivor. You can probably guess which one I am in the picture above, I’m the one with the hat, sunglasses and long sleeves on even indoors! I was diagnosed at 22 and was lucky enough to have had it caught early. I have spent the past two years trying to figure out ways to stay safe and lead a normal life!

In my experience with friends who have also had melanoma, young survivors can basically be separated into two groups. The first group is full of people who really just don’t care, they don’t wear any more sunscreen than usual, they still get sunburns, and basically they just figure that it won’t happen again. The second group is full of people like me who let their diagnosis run their lives, taking every single precaution to ensure as little sun exposure as possible. I can’t even begin to count how many opportunities I have turned down because an internship or trip was somewhere too sunny.

I’m proposing a third group, the Sun Rebel group. Sun Rebels stay safe while still living our lives to the fullest. This blog will be full of advice, tips, and tricks for Sun Rebels everywhere, from where to buy the coolest UPF clothing to the least smelly sunscreens. Melanoma isn’t like other cancers, we have to protect ourselves for the rest of our lives, and I want every young person to be able to live the life they want!

If you have any comments or questions or even advice, let me know! leave a reply!!

xx Marissa