Ashley Trenner lived in the Pacific Northwest, not a region known for its bright sunny days. She thought having a tan made her look great and she wanted one year-round. So she started going to the tanning salon when she was just a teenager. “I used to say, ‘I don’t care if I die from tanning as long as I die tan.’ I used to say that. I don’t think that way anymore.” Unfortunately, Ashley Trenner was diagnosed with melanoma (skin cancer) at age 33.
Suntans are caused by invisible but energetic ultraviolet light. Within limits, exposure to ultraviolet light has health benefits. But excessive exposure can have very bad consequences: various skin diseases, eye damage, premature aging of the skin, harm to the immune system, damage to DNA, and worst of all, skin cancer.
Seven years into her battle with cancer, Ashley Trenner was interviewed by a local television news station. “I paid. I paid money to be in the position I am in now,” Trenner recalled from her hospital bed, “I literally paid someone to get this terrible disease.” And so now, she’s doing what she can to warn people of the risks associated with going to the tanning salon. “If there’s one person’s life that I can affect, then that’s a beautiful gift that I can give to somebody because I don’t want them to end up like me at all.”
We’ve posted the news story about Ashley Trenner below. You’ll see the emotional interview she gave and also find out how cancer has affected her relationship with her parents.
Were you amazed by this woman’s efforts at advocacy despite her battle with cancer? Have opinions about tanning salons? Let us know in the Facebook comments. Be sure to like and share; it’ll help raise awareness of this important issue.