As a fair and freckly skinned individual descending from a family of red-heads, I have always been aware that the sun and I aren’t the greatest of friends. I’m the girl that will wear nothing less than SPF 30 and will consistently re-apply sun cream throughout the day and annoyingly remind others to do the same.
But last summer, my awareness of just how dangerous sun damage can be to a human became even more heightened. Unfortunately my lovely Dad was diagnosed with and subsequently died from a malignant melanoma, the most fatal of skin cancers.
I knew about skin cancer of course. I knew to wear sun cream, I knew that you should check moles and I knew that skin cancer could be removed. What I thought I knew about skin cancer, was what I knew about Basal Cell Carcinoma, a common skin cancer that is terrifying for those who are diagnosed but can be treated if caught in good time. I didn’t understand malignant melanoma and I didn’t know that it was deadly. Not only was I upset about how ignorant I had been about the disease in general, I was upset about how ignorant everyone seems to be about the disease.
I was surprised by how little research has been done into any type of skin cancer and the lack of treatment choice that there appeared to be for my Dad and the type of skin cancer he had. Having so many friends and relations with fair skin, our family wanted to do what we could to make sure that this changes for the future. We raised money in memory of Dad for The British Skin Foundation’s Skin Cancer Appeal, which directly supports research into this ‘Cinderella’ (or poor relation) cancer. It is the only UK charity to do so. (I’m pleased to see that in the US there is more than one charity supporting skin cancer research.) Since supporting and following the British Skin Foundation, I have far more appreciation for their cause. They are getting some good exposure across the national media, but they rely on others, like my family, to help them spread the word too.
Sun safety is more than just putting on sun cream. It’s about raising awareness of the dangers that can come with exposure to too much sun. If we all know how to act, what to do and how to protect ourselves from the heat, perhaps cases of skin cancer will be reduced and the more support there will be for finding a cure.
Thank you to Laura Farrar for sharing her story of why sun safety is important to her and her family. This post is a part of an ongoing series here on A Well Crafted Party in honor of Skin Cancer Awareness. I’d highly recommend checking out Laura’s great blog Farrars Further Afield for updates on her fabulous adventures including her home updates and recipes.
Connect with Laura on Instagram and congratulate her on her brand new baby!
If you would like to be featured in this series please email me the reason you care about sun safety to jenni[at]awellcraftedparty[dot]com!