COPIAGUE - With the mercury rising into the 90s and a greater number of people seeking refuge on the beach, health experts are sending out a warning about the dangers of skin cancer.

In Oct. 2005, after years of sunbathing, doctors told Donald Gleason he had melanoma and a 30-percent chance to live.

According to the American Cancer Society, one person dies from melanoma every hour, but Gleason was fortunate enough to survive.

Now, the melanoma survivor is using his new lease on life to educate others about the dangers of exposure to the sun. Today, Gleason volunteered at a free skin cancer screening event at Tanner Park in Copiague.

The event was sponsored by state Sen. Charles Fuschillo, Jr. (R-Merrick) with the help of Colette Coyne, who lost her daughter Collette to melanoma at the age of 29.

"A screening is a chance for a physician who knows what skin cancer looks like to look at your skin and make sure you don't have any," says dermatologist Dr. Jeffrey Ellis.

Doctors urge people to stay out of the sun in peak hours and use sunscreen.