Shade Shuttle

Look out, melanoma. The Shade Shuttle is coming for you.

It’s not every day someone donates a school bus to your foundation, but in February 2017 that’s exactly what happened.

Tara Miller died of melanoma in October of 2014, just 6 weeks shy of her 30th birthday. Tara left behind an extraordinary legacy of strength and positivity, along with a melanoma foundation of her own which raises funds to support the research needed to effectively treat and ultimately cure melanoma. In a speech given in June 2014, she said, “Although we can’t change what the statistics on melanoma have been, we chose to make the best of it and try to help change where they are going.”

Tracy recently met with Tara’s dad, George Miller, at a meeting of the Melanoma Action Coalition. He and his business partner Joe Duncan own Integrity Transportation in Egg Harbor, NJ. During the meeting, he shared his plans to use one of their school buses to promote their event. After seeing Tracy’s excitement, he quickly made plans to donate a bus to Polka Dot Mama. We are grateful for their generous donation and we intend to put the bus to good use right away!

Fondly named the “Shade Shuttle” and wrapped in polka dots and sun safety infographics, the bus started its new life by embarking on a multi-state tour with stops along the way for melanoma awareness and sun safety tips.

In the spring of 2018, through generous donations, the foundation converted the bus into a mobile education unit offering free skin screenings and education on melanoma prevention. When not in use, the bus is kindly parked and cared for by our friends at Little River Ranch in Hillsborough, NC.

If you know of an event that the Shade Shuttle could roll up to, please fill out the request form below. If you’re curious about what goes on at a free screening, check out this blog post.

Get Involved


When the Shade Shuttle rolls into town, here’s what you can expect:
  • Free skin screenings by a dermatologist licensed by the American Academy of Dermatology.
    (Screenings are on a first come, first serve basis. No treatment or invasive procedures will be provided at the time of screening. They are intended to be used for the purposes of screening for skin cancer and are not meant to be used to assess rashes or acne.)
  • Participate in a UV camera demonstration illustrating the effects of UV damage from the sun and witness the protective effects of daily sunscreen.
  • Fun, sun smart giveaways including sunscreen, UV glasses, stickers and educational handouts.
  • Awareness presentations by melanoma survivors and local dermatologists.



The first step toward a world without skin cancer is educating others about prevention and early detection. As you can imagine, it takes a lot of fuel and maintenance to keep a retired school bus rolling. Show the Shade Shuttle some love so we can keep fighting melanoma one free screening at a time.

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