This My Story features Amy and her beautiful daughter. I met Amy through our Facebook page and she was so sweet and willing to share her story. I hope we all keep in mind that sun protection is a lifestyle and needs to be taught to our younger generations. Remember May 1st (Saturday) is the beginning of National Skin Cancer Awareness Month and the UV Skinz “I Saved A Baby’s Skin” campaign. Be sure to come back to grab the button and help spread awareness about skin cancer!
Here is her story:
Was tanning or sunbathing a significant factor in your developing melanoma?
Yes, I think both played a big role, but especially tanning beds. I started using tanning beds at age 14 used them until I was 17. I started again in my early 20s and used them till age 30.
How has your life changed since you were first diagnosed?
I no longer tan, and I always use sunscreen. I am extremely careful with my children’s skin. For that I consider my melanoma a blessing because if nothing else I know they will be better protected. We also use sunscreen and sun protective clothing. I also do not take life for granted. I am extremely blessed to be here, and I thank God for that. I try to warn others about the dangers of sun exposure and tanning bed usage. I do not want them to go through the same thing that I did.
Is there an inspiration quote or song that gives you strength?
I can not really think of one, but I do know that prayer got me through this. Prayers that I said myself and so many of my family and friends that were praying for me.
What is the best advice you can give to someone who thinks that skin cancer can’t happen to them?
I never thought skin cancer would happen to me. I was young, and I thought it was something that only happened to older people. I also thought if it did happen someday that I would just need it removed and that would be it. I did not know that skin cancer can be deadly. I would tell them that it is not worth risking your life and not being around for your children to grow up for something so vain as a tan. Yes, we all take risks every day and we can not live in a bubble, but tanning is not one of those necessary risks. It was the worst feeling knowing that I caused this.