Donna’s personal story
I am the fairest person alive. I have always avoided the sun. I was never able to sunbathe with my friends while growing up in the 60s and 70s. I was laughed at and made fun of. As I grew older, I hid my skin under my clothes because people laughed and called me "Snow White." I used to cry.
When I turned 30, I began using sunscreen because I was reading that it would keep me from ageing. I became adamant about using it. I read and I studied. I learned which sunscreens were better and I studied day and night about the benefits. I discovered that I need "physical sunscreens" and not chemical ones. I began to use them religiously.
When I turned 48, I suspected that I had been bitten by a spider. I went to the dermatologist. He laughed at me and said that I had skin cancer. I laughed at him. I said, "No, way. I use sunscreen everyday." I told him that I was addicted to sunscreen and I never went without it. He said that because of my fair skin, sunscreen was not always enough. He sent my specimen off.
He called me three days later. I had squamous cell skin cancer. I was shocked. I had always avoided the sun and I had worn sunscreen since I was 30. I underwent surgery and now I have a scar. Thank God it was not on my face, it was my arm. I have continued to wear sunscreen, and I have continued to educate my family and friends about the danger associated with tanning. No one listens.
I am an advocate of sunscreen. I have studied about sunscreen by reading many publications of Paula Begoun, the Cosmetics Cop. I have five of her books and I consider myself to be a knowledgeable reader. It is my goal in life to educate anyone who crosses my path about the danger involved in tanning. Although I never tanned, I still had skin cancer.