Dying Woman Spreads Awareness About Her Deadly Habit
Though many people know the dangers of cancer, it is common for many people to think that their chances of getting cancer are infinitesimally small. However, one common hobby increases cancer risks so much that it eventually becomes almost a certainty. This brave woman was dying of cancer, yet she used her last few months to spread awareness about this deadly habit.
Ever since she was in high school, Ashley Trenner had loved the tanning salon. It started out as just a few trips to get a tan before she went on vacation because the weather in her Washington hometown was always too cloudy to achieve a tan. However, Ashley eventually started going to the tanning salon more and more. She felt like she looked more beautiful when tan, and laying in the powerful UV rays helped her to relax. For the next 15 years, Ashley tanned regularly, even though her mother begged her to stop before she got skin cancer.
The first warning sign was a small lesion that appeared when she was in her late twenties. The doctor told Ashley it was benign, so she just got it removed and continued tanning. When the lesion returned, Ashley assumed it was still benign, and so she ignored the lump. However, the lump continued to grow, and Ashley’s doctor told her she had a melanoma when she was 33.
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After an operation to remove the lump and the surrounding lymph nodes, Ashley thought she was finally cancer free. Sadly, three years later, a lumpy, bluish bulge showed up on her skin. Unfortunately, this time, surgery could not cure Ashley’s cancer. Attempts to get rid of all of the cancerous areas left her face half-paralyzed, but it still kept returning.
When Ashley realized that she would not be recovering, she began appearing on local news stations to share her story. As she sat in her hospital bed, she warned others against tanning, especially as a teenager. Ashley explained that “I paid money to be in the position I’m in now. I literally paid to get this terrible disease that is killing me.”
Other people began to listen to Ashley’s message, and she was relieved to hear countless messages of people who had realized how deadly tanning is. Just using a tanning bed once increases skin cancer risks by almost 60 percent. Though she passed away in 2013, Ashley’s activism helped to get laws in Washington passed that regulate tanning booths.