Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Where it all started....

This long weekend I traveled back to my hometown, Laguna Beach, CA. It was an amazingly beautiful sunny weekend. Can you imagine living somewhere like this? Well, it was amazing. A HUGE part of the culture was to go to the beach. We all owned at least 3 bathing suits. It was something everyone did. From a young age I spent all my free time on the beach. I would lie down and instantly fall asleep. My back side usually fell victim to a sun burn.

As a teenage girl, the pressure to be thin is still there, and in addition to this, my generation had a pressure to be tan. I might not even call it a pressure to be tan, but we all wanted to fit in for sure. SO, I took my white skin and would spend hours on a towel. I think what sealed my fate was the hours oin a tanning bed. It was not a lot, but I thought I could keep a tan going in the winter months by working at a tanning salon, and I received free tanning priveleges. If only I knew what hell I would pay with a stage IV diagnosis.

Teens today have so much more knowledge and we know the dangers of tanning. We know the dangers of UV rays. My teenage daughter is proud of her pale complexion. She urges her friends to not tan. YET, there is still some pressures to tan. When I was in Laguna I saw tan people everywhere. I wanted to shout, "don't you know that could kill you!!"  I didn't. But I wore my Melanoma Survivor shirt proudly.

With so many young people (younger than me, and I am young :) ) getting melanoma, like Jillian, and to our deepest regrets and sadness, passing away from this ugly disease I pray and hope that all people can truly become happy with the skin their in.

1 comment:

  1. I couldn't agree more!!!! Tanning kills!!!! Love your melanoma mission and I think it is awesome to wear your pale skin and melanoma shirt proudly everywhere to send the message to everyone you encounter as walk along:) I am so pleased that your daughter is choosing to be sun smart and love her skin:) Since I got your book I have found your blog and are reading every posting:) Writing is your definitely one of your God inspired gifts:) Blessings to you:) Donna Piunt aka The Cancer SPOT