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All aboard the Mole Mobile: Skin cancer screening on wheels launches in Vancouver


Editor's note: As of May 13, the Mole Mobile is no longer offering physical exams.

Melanoma Canada launched the Mole Mobile Wednesday at Olympic Village in Vancouver. It’s a skin care clinic on wheels that will offer drop-in services in communities throughout B.C.

“You will go in and see either our full-time nurse practitioner or a certified dermatologist, and they will do a full-body screening with you or a spot check for areas of concern you might have,” said Abbie Wiggin with Melanoma Canada.

The Mole Mobile will travel to communities both big and small this spring and summer, and take patients on a first-come, first-served basis.

“We make it really accessible, and when we travel into the more rural communities that don’t have dermatologists, people are able to hop on board and get a skin check done, and I think that accessibility is really key in our mission of early detection,” said Wiggin.

Seventy-five-year-old Bruce Ballingall, who has had five surgeries after being diagnosed with malignant melanoma, was on hand for the launch.

“This is a miracle machine, it’s going to save lives,” he said. “I had a hard time getting a dermatologist and so I had to wait and wait and wait. This is going to help speed things up for people.”

The Mole Mobile was partially funded by a non-profit founded by Brian ‘Red” Hamilton, the Vancouver Canucks assistant equipment manager. He was warned about a potentially cancerous mole by a fan sitting behind the team bench at a Seattle Kraken game.

“She was right, I ended up finding out a month later that I had a malignant melanoma and it was pulled out of the back of my neck,“ said Hamilton.

Inspired to give back, he and his wife started the Jess and Red Hamilton Fund, which partnered with Melanoma Canada to raise money for the Mole Mobile.

“It was a two-year plan, and we did it in a year thanks to amazing donors and amazing sponsors,” said Hamilton.

Red isn’t the only Canucks connection. Natalie Miller, who is married to forward J.T. Miller, got involved after losing her mother to melanoma four years ago at the age of 58.

“It’s a way of honouring my mom,” said Miller. “I’m involved in the community a lot and I feel like adding melanoma to that. I don’t want this to happen to other families.”

To find out if the Mole Mobile will be visiting your community, go to Top Stories

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