I was 18 when tanning beds became well known for giving a person a beautiful bronze in 20 minutes. I knew that the first time I laid down in the tanning bed that something just wasn't OK with this! But, my desire for dark skin surpassed any warnings from my soul. I didn't tan every day, but maybe one to three times per week. Every now and then, I would tan outside. I only did this for a total of one and a half summers.
One summer, I had a freckle appear on my chest/neck area. Over time, it turned black and the edges became rough. Often it would bleed, but I didn't think anything of it. Several months later, I was at my OB-GYN appointment and my doctor told me he was concerned about it.
Once I had my little boy, I had the dermatologist remove the freckle. A week later I got a call saying that I need to meet with a surgeon ASAP. I had melanoma and it was spreading. Thankfully, the surgery went well and I'm still living and able to care for my two beautiful children! If I would have gone one month longer, the doctor said I wouldn't have made it.
This changed my life. I made it my mission to tell others about skin cancer prevention.
I went back to school and graduated two years later. I work at a local medical spa educating my clients about prevention! Love and protect the skin you're in!