Heather’s Story



Mesothelioma. You are familiar with the word, but are you familiar with what mesothelioma is, does, and what causes it?  April 1st-7th is Mesothelioma Awareness Week and I’d like to bring it to the forefront.

As of two weeks ago, I only knew that mesothelioma was linked to asbestos.  The only way I knew that much was from all the years of lawsuit ads that play regularly on television.  Nor did I know about the common products that may contain asbestos.

I recently was introduced to the Von St. James family, a family that are experts on the disease.  Heather Von St. James, was diagnosed with mesothelioma right after giving birth to her daughter.  She also was given a grim prognosis.  Those that are diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma rarely beat the disease and it is common to not pinpoint the signs of the disease during the early stages. On average, mesothelioma takes 35-50 years to appear after exposure to asbestos.  Heather was diagnosed at 36 years old, which is extremely young for mesothelioma.

Watch her story below, it has a happy ending. (hint: she is a survivor and is thriving)

Now being introduced to mesothelioma through Heather, I wanted to share her insight directly on Goddess Huntress.

GH/ Your story and outcome are so moving, Heather. It must be so surreal and blissful to have the life you have now.  Positivity is your greatest gift.  How did you maintain your positivity daily as you were going through treatment?

HVStJ/ It wasn’t easy but when it got tough, I would pray and pray some more, I would beg God to give me the strength to get through. Sometimes it was to get through the day, sometimes it was to get through the next minute. I would look at my daughter, this innocent little girl who didn’t ask for a sick mom. I looked forward to the future with her. I saw what she could become, and my attitude would play a big part in who she would develop into.. that right there was reason enough to stay positive.

GH/ Your exposure from asbestos was from your father’s work in construction.  If someone thinks they may have been exposed to asbestos, can they be tested for it?

HVStJ/ Unfortunately there is no test. I wish there was, as it would alleviate a lot of worry. There is such a long latency period between exposure and onset of symptoms that most people aren’t even aware they were exposed until it is too late. It is one of the many horrible things about mesothelioma.

GH/ What are some other common products that may contain that we may not know about?  How has your living environment changed?

HVStJ/ Duct tape, brake pads, joint compound and certain speckling pastes and caulking. It is also in some cement products and roofing products as well.  The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization’s web page has a good list of products.. www.asbestosdiseaseawareness.org

My living environment has changed a lot. We moved into an old house, and have done a lot of work to either encapsulate old asbestos or have it abated. We have done something to pretty much every part of the house from siding, and roof, to remodeling the kitchen and bathrooms. I know now that no asbestos containing products used on the new parts of my home.

GH/ You are so beautiful, I bet positivity is your biggest beauty secret.  Any way you can bottle that up and put it on store shelves? Ha!  Willing to share a clean beauty secret of yours?

HVStJ/ Aww!!! Thank you!!! My secret? Good genes and a GREAT photographer!! In all seriousness, I was a salon professional before I got sick, so I’ve always been interested in the beauty aspect of things. I’m a total make up and skin care junkie and love products!! I believe looking good; in turn it makes me feel good. I used to go to chemo dressed to the nines and in full make up. I might have been sick, but I was darned if I was going to LOOK sick!  It’s all in the attitude. :)

Sage advice…Positive attitude.

Learn more about mesothelioma and treatment at mesothelioma.com

This Email Stopped Me In My Tracks

Goddess Huntress | Dear GH

Late last week, I received an email from a Goddess Huntress reader that stopped me in my tracks and made Melanoma Awareness very, very real…

Hi I subscribe to your website. A week or so ago you put a contest about melanoma for Pinterest-of course I am trying to win :) but that’s not the reason I’m contacting you. Your email reminded me to go get my mole checked out on my upper thigh-I have been meaning to go to the dermatologist since my daughter was born in Dec 6, 2012. Needless to say time kept passing me by and I’d forget about it. I seen the pins and I called my dermatologist that day an got in right away. They performed a punch biopsy and he thought it was squamous cell caricinoma-fast forward today I got the call its melanoma. I went in today to get the rest cut out and pray it shows up clear. My scar is going to be 5″ long. Needless to say I’m scared, I’m 40 years old with 2 beautiful girls ages 4 and 6 months and a fantastic husband. I can’t but think of my stupidity when I was younger for tanning. They think we caught it early and I pray they are right. Thank you for posting this contest because it was a reminder for me to get my mole checked out.


On this last day of Melanoma Awareness month, let’s get on the phone and schedule our skin examinations with our doctors.  Samantha and I highly suggest it. Check your moles (don’t forget your ears), get healthy sunscreen, and get protected.

Samantha can really use our hugs and cheers right now.

Please leave her a comment below or on the Goddess Huntress Facebook Page (I will notify her of your FB comments).  Either her or I will be updating you on her status.

The GH Shop is donating 10% of each COOLA Suncare sale to the Melanoma Research Foundation in Samantha’s name during the month of May. Get protected!

Stationery via Hello! Lucky

EWG 2013 Sunscreen Report

Goddess Huntress | EWG 2013 Sunscreen Reportewg2

The EWG’s 2013 Sunscreen Report is here!

It is the creme de la creme sunscreen shopping guide. The EWG does extensive testing of hundreds of sunscreens each year to determine the most effective coverage without the photo-carcinogens (ingredients that transform into carcinogens when exposed to the sunlight such as oxybenzone and retinyl palmitate…so much for “sun protection”, eh?). They test for stability, UVB protection, UVA protection, and last, while going through the ingredients with a fine-tooth comb.

Here is the list of the BEST.

The GH Shop proudly carries COOLA Suncare Sport Moisturizer Classic Sunscreen SPF 45, one of the best on the EWG 2013 list!

Get the best sunscreens with the best coverage without the carcinogens.

The GH Shop is donating 10% of each COOLA Suncare sale to the Melanoma Research Foundation during the month of May. Get protected!

10 SPF-Boosting Superfoods

Goddess Huntress | SPF Boosting SuperfoodsHere are 10 superfoods that not only deliver delicious flavors and nutrients, they boost your skin’s natural SPF!  These foods amp up your skin protection from the sun’s harmful rays. Vitamin C, phytonutrients, lycopene, flavonols, omega-3 fatty acids, polyphenols, Vitamin E, and more juice up our defenses and become our cancer squashing boxing gloves.  (Note: This in no way replaces your daily sunscreen applications!)

Tomatoes/ Rich in lycopene, these juicy gems are best eaten cooked, which increases their SPF boosting potency. A study showed that eating 1/4 cup of tomato paste a day increases your natural SPF by one third.

Carrots/ Beta-carotene prevents sun damage and a study has shown it to also reverse sun damage with 30 mgs a day (about 6 carrots).

Sweet Potatoes/ Also rich in beta-carotene.

Green Tea/ Flavonols, specifically EGCG, combats free radicals and inflammation. Research suggests it reduces skin cancer risk.

Fish/ Rich in omega-3 fatty acids and selenium reduce the risk of sunburns. Be sure to eat fish that is less toxic, preferably wild. (Use this app as your benevolent fish monger guide)

Dark Leafy Greens/ Loaded in antioxidants, eating one serving a day has shown to reduce the risk of future tumors by 50% in those with a history of skin cancer.

Watermelon/ This fun, summer fruit is also rich in lycopene, a sunburn combatant.

Almonds/ Packed with Vitamin E, almonds can slow down cell damage as it protects from the sun.

Red Apples/ Apple’s red skin is loaded with triterpenoids, a chemical compound that has been proven to block or kill cancer cells.

Dark Chocolate/ Dark chocolate’s flavonoids shield skin from sun damage along with improving the appearance of skin.

And get this…

A Mediterranean diet rich in fish, herbs, citrus, and vegetables may reduce melanoma risk by 50%!

Which leaves me to ask…What’s for dinner tonight, Beauties?

The GH Shop is donating 10% of each COOLA Suncare sale to the Melanoma Research Foundation during the month of May. Get protected!

Pin It To Win It

Goddess Huntress | Melanoma Awareness Pinterest Contest

In honor of Melanoma Awareness Month, Goddess Huntress will be giving away a bottle of COOLA Suncare SPF 45 to a lucky Pinterest pinner of the Goddess Huntress Melanoma Awareness board!

To join this board, send your email to info@goddesshuntress.com, and we’ll send you an invite. Pin skin cancer prevention tips, facts, videos, infographics, etc. Think outside of the box and pin beautiful summer images with your tips in the text…cancer prevention should be beautiful! 

The pinner with the most “likes” will win a wonderful tube of COOLA Suncare protection!

Winner will be picked on June 1st.

May the best pin win!

*Pins subject to removal to maintain the integrity of skin cancer prevention safety (i.e. DIY sunscreen recipes, poorly performing sunscreens, etc.)

 The GH Shop is donating 10% of each COOLA Suncare sale to the Melanoma Research Foundation during the month of May. Get protected!

Kids + Sunscreen

Goddess Huntress | Kids + Sunscreen Application

My dear best friend of 30 years* has 3 uber cool children, aged 5, 3, and 1, who are all well-trained in being protected daily with SPF.  The other day she brought up a great question…

“Getting the kids ready in the morning for school or errands out can take so long because of sunscreen application, avoiding the white stuff on their clothes, and such.  I know you don’t advocate SPF sprays, but what will get them out the door in a more timely fashion and keep their clothes clean?”

Spray SPF. Yep, that is my answer. But, there is a caveat…


The key reason why spray SPFs are not ideal is the risk of inhalation. But, you can avoid all that by being creative…holding your breath and closing eyes during, then quickly walking away from the spray scene after and repeat.  This should definitely be done outdoors.  The kids will probably enjoy it better than hands vigorously rubbing away the white on their faces and it is easy to make a game out of it!

Now, I’m extremely picky when it comes to sprays (as I am with everything else!) and when I use them. You can say that I am sipping on the COOLA all that you want…their spray is my go-to for short spurt/light sun exposure.  (If I am going to have longer sun exposure, then I go with their cream Sport SPF 45).

COOLA Suncare was developed by surfers and surfers are avid users of spray SPF, so these guys made sure to create a highly performing spray.  COOLA Suncare developed sprays that give an even all-over mist providing good coverage.  Also, COOLA Suncare’s scents are divine and not synthetically derived…just make sure to smell them when the sunscreen is already on skin, not in the air!

Look for COOLA Suncare Spray to be carried soon by The GH Shop, in the meantime you can get your spray, hold your breath, and close your eyes HERE. Get their other good stuff HERE.

The GH Shop is donating 10% of each COOLA Suncare sale to the Melanoma Research Foundation during the month of May. Get protected!

*We have been friends since age 5…you do the math!

Yes, that is adorable Kelly Slater pictured above!

For Mom

Goddess Huntress | Mother's Day Gifts For Sun Protection

Mother’s Day is upon us.  It is also Melanoma Awareness Month, so what better time to shade your mom in chicness, right? Here are a few of my shade-for-mom gifts with a bubbly bonus!

1/Summer Straw Hat 2/Jane Iredale Powder-Me SPF 3/Leather Driving Gloves 4/Rosé Champagne 5/Sunglasses

What do you have planned for this Mother’s Day?

The GH Shop is donating 10% of each COOLA Suncare sale to the Melanoma Research Foundation during the month of May. Get protected!


May Is Melanoma Awareness Month

Goddess Huntress | COOLA Suncare Melanoma Research Foundation

May is Melanoma Awareness Month and a beloved month here at Goddess Huntress!

For the entire month of May, for every COOLA Suncare Sport SPF 45 sold on The GH Shop, 10% of each sale will be donated to the Melanoma Research Foundation.

Here is why I stock COOLA Suncare at The GH Shop:

  • COOLA Suncare is a superstar in sun protection and has received stellar ratings from the annual EWG Sunscreen Reports*
  • Easy to apply formulation
  • The formulation is light and non-greasy
  • Great for face and body
  • Moisturizing. Rich in Omega fatty acids.
  • Sheer.  No blinding white goop that doesn’t rub away
  • 70% organic
  • It is my go-to SPF for walks, hikes, bike rides, beach, pool, and oh, just about everything else

*COOLA Suncare Sport 45 Unscented Moisturizer is top rated in protection and less toxic formulation in the EWG’s esteemed 2012 Sunscreen Report. It rated a 2 in toxicity on a scale from 1-10 (10 being extremely high in toxins). Its active ingredients (avobenzone, octinoxate) may be controversial for some people. Advise yourself about these ingredients to make an educated decision on if this product is right for you. The GH Shop offers this sunscreen because it is stellar in SPF protection, performance, texture, and lower toxin formulation.

Skin cancer prevention is the heart of GH…and so is transparency.  

Earth Day Giveaway With Josie Maran!

Goddess Huntress | Earth Day With Josie Maran

In commemoration of Earth Day, Josie Maran and handsome Ian Somerhalder from The Vampire Diaries have created a limited‐edition, Honey‐Chamomile‐Lavender scented collection of Argan Oil‐infused beautifiers for face, hair, and body. The collection sales will help build the Ian Somerhalder Foundation and its Animal Sanctuary for abused animals.

Committed to providing a healing, educational journey for all living creatures. The Ian Somerhalder Foundation (ISF) believes in the interconnectedness of all living things. By collaborating with other like‐minded organizations, the foundation channels its efforts into transforming our planet for the better. The ISF focuses on initiatives that preserve natural habitats, promote “greener” technologies, and protect our animal population.

With the help of friends like Ian who want to better our world, Josie is inviting each of her customers to be model citizens: Ten percent of the purchase price of every limited‐edition set will be donated to the Ian Somerhalder Foundation.

The limited‐edition collection contains a trio of Argan‐infused bestsellers, scented with an intoxicating Honey‐Chamomile‐Lavender oils and enhanced with a radiant, luminescent shimmer: 100% Pure Argan Oil + Radiance,  Argan Oil Hair Serum + Radiance, and Whipped Argan Oil Illuminizing Body Butter.

And guess what? Josie Maran is giving away her 100% Pure Argan Oil + Radiance to 5 Goddess Huntress readers! Yes, 5 readers!

For your chance to win: Share your tip on how to be more mindful of the Earth in the comments below. (Home, gardening, charity, beauty tips, etc.) Commenters that are GH newsletter subscribers have double the chances of winning!

CONTEST CLOSED. Winners will be announced Friday, April 26th here in this post.

WINNER UPDATE: Caroline, Jean, Wendy, Menua, and Trista…CONGRATS! I will email you soon for all of your winning info.

(Extra thanks to Ian Somerhalder for being so easy on the eyes!)