Some people just can’t wait for summer and they want to get a head start on their tans. Many will turn to tanning salons to darken their skin.
Tanning beds have become hugely popular over the decades, and despite the warnings regarding skin damage, people still flock to the tanning salon to achieve that highly sought after bronze look. It turns out 30 million Americans use them each year, according to the Food and Drug Administration. Shockingly, 2.3 million of these users are teenagers! As mentioned, there are risks involved as tanning beds are linked to over 400,000 skin cancer cases each year! Here is a tanner that has a story you will want to hear, as her experience ended up costing her big time.
Like many women, Ashley Trenner was introduced to the world of tanning salons in high school. Usually it was a trip or two with mom before they would go on vacation.
The dark and rainy climate of Washington state made it difficult to achieve a tan the natural way. Tanning beds were the solution to this problem, and once Ashley was hooked on having that bronze look, she knew she had to maintain it.
Eventually she became addicted to tanning. Her mood was lifted when those UV rays hit her skin. While beautiful and having good friends and family, Ashley still dealt with low self esteem issues, as well as body image issues.
When she was in her 20’s, her mom began begging Ashley to stop using the tanning bed. But she was obsessed, and that obsession lasted 15 years.
Here’s what Ashley had to say: “I thought I was invincible and would never get skin cancer.”
She was wrong. A small, benign lesion was removed, but then returned a year later and Ashley decided to ignore it. But then it became large and painful, and she would eventually be diagnosed with melanoma at age 33.
She had an operation removing the tumor and lymph nodes. The next three years would be spent cancer-free. But then a black and blue lump bulge appeared and it looked like the melanoma was back.
Ashley wanted to inform others of the dangers that tanning beds have and why not using sunscreen can cause very serious health problems.
She was so adamant about getting her message out, that despite half her face paralyzed from the cancer, she still spoke out, warning others of the dangers as a TV station visited her in the hospital: “I paid money to be in the position I’m in now. I literally paid to get this terrible disease that is killing me.”
It could be a life-saving message, as Ashley very well may have spared hundreds of others from engaging in this dangerous behavior. Many have already responded to the news segment, saying they will never use a tanning bed again due to hearing Ashley’s story.
The end of her life was now near, yet she was going out hopeful that she was helping many others by saving them from going through what she sadly had to go through.
“If there’s one person’s life I can affect, that’s a beautiful gift that I can give to somebody.” It was seven years of battling melanoma. Ashley ended up passing away on March 15, 2013.
To this day Ashley is no doubt saving more lives. Her friend’s two teenage daughters motivated hundreds of students to sign a petition that said they would never use a tanning bed. Oregon and Washington have actually passed laws that now have strict regulations on using tanning beds, all in part thanks to Ashley telling her story.
This is sure an eye opener to the millions of people who use these tanning beds, and no doubt has caused a lot to stop.
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