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Krissa’s personal story

Krissa Leonard
Last year, August 2011, my boyfriend told me that one of what I thought to be my "cute freckles," seemed a bit abnormal and that I should have my doctor look at it next time I go in for a visit. Only so he'd get off my back about it, I did bring it up to my doctor. She said that it was probably nothing to worry about but she wanted to remove it just to be safe. It was a simple slice off the top and I only had a small scab to heal from. Later that week my doctor called me in to explain I had melanoma and she wanted me to have more of the surrounding area removed. I was completely taken away from the reality and seriousness of the situation. I thought melanoma was something that happened to more mature individuals; I was but 23. 

I am a red head, porcelain skinned, lightly freckled, and can't even comprehend the meaning of being tan; I burn. My childhood summers consisted of lathering in sunscreen and then aloe vera after getting sunburned anyways. (This was usually caused by swimming. However, that was the only time I remember my skin getting so much exposure—in a swimming suit).

I loved my jeans. To this day, rain or shine; I am more of a jeans girl. ;)  Over the years I learned to embrace my porcelain skin and how to avoid sunburns, and not that I am against them, but never showed too much interest in indoor tanning or using self-tanners either; even still, I managed to get melanoma. (The spot was located on my upper right thigh, a place that never had sun or tanning bed exposure.) All I know is that environmental toxins and damage can affect anyone, sometimes no matter the precautions. (Like second hand smoke to a non-smoker.) Now, at 24, I put in a lot of devotion to keeping up with my skin. I am also an Arbonne Consultant, and feel it is my duty to teach others about the amazing benefits of using skin care and cosmetic products combined with SPF; and how important it is to protect our skin from harmful environmental damage, as well as being cautious of the ingredients within the products being put in and on one’s body.  I think that it is smart to dedicate a day that focuses on self-examinations for melanoma skin cancer spots, teaching people what to look for and ways to go about preventing it. I also agree that teaching younger generations about the importance of taking care of your skin, should be just as mandatory as teaching about abstinence, birth control, and STDs within the health care classes in our public schools.  With appreciation to all those that took the effort to make that day, May 7, 2012, and every first Monday in May, I'd like to mention the Sun Smart Skin Safe bracelet, I found on website.  These are special silicone bracelets that start out white in color, but change color to blue when exposed to ultraviolet light from the sun. This way, you can have a fun visual reminder to protect you and your family’s skin all the time. And the fun doesn’t end when the sun goes down. These bracelet glows in the dark too!