ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WIVB) — The head coach of the Buffalo Bills is sending a strong message about protecting yourself from skin cancer. Sean McDermott shared how he’s personally affected by the disease in a new video released by the Skin Cancer Foundation.
Sean McDermott recognizes his own risks. So he tries to protect himself in his job. McDermott said by being outside on the field a lot, he knows he’s exposed to the sun a lot.
So every morning tries to wear a moisturizer with SPF in it and keeps a hat in the car for wherever he ends up, whether that’s at a team practice or something outdoors with his kids. But even though he’s at risk, he said his biggest wakeup call was losing his mentor and friend Jim Johnson.
Johnson, who was the famed defensive coordinator of the Eagles when McDermott was there, died from melanoma at 68.
“To see a man struck down in such a short amount of time by skin cancer really sent a message at a young age to me, that, hey, I better pay attention to this,” McDermott said.
Having lost his friend, McDermott is a huge advocate for early detection.
He encourages everyone to check themselves visually on all exposed skin, and have a family member check the places you can’t see on yourself. That’s why he partnered with the skin cancer foundation so that he’s using his voice to try and save lives. He practices what he preaches, too.
Mcdermott says he sees a dermatologist regularly, even when those visits can be a pain in his schedule.
But it’s been worth it, acknowledging he’s had to have precancerous spots removed.