Friday, August 17, 2007

I have joined the SunSavvy Geek Club!

Where is Danielle when you need her? I too have now gone over the edge and joined the SunSavvy Geek Club!

Two of my sisters from Chicago and three nieces came to visit. They have not been here for a few years and have a very nice RV. They stayed at a camp resort in Falmouth, Ma. not too far from my home. The camp resort had a couple of nice pools and a pond. Another sister who lives locally with 2 of her children and I planned to visit them at the campsite. We had planned to visit with them and stay for a cookout. (a cookout is the East Coast word for Bar-Ba-Que)

I spent the early afternoon watching them all swim and play in the pool, and after a few moments I realized...I did not see either of my sister 's apply ANY lotion to any of the kids! Five children under the age of 16 (my three nieces from out of state and two others from here) were jumping in an out of the pool and NONE had any sunscreen.

My first response was "Do you want to end up with cancer like your Uncle Kevin?". They looked at me like I had two heads. "Where is the sunscreen?". At this point I really didn't care if it was one of the best protecting or not, as something was better than nothing. I got there about 3 pm and had them apply sunscreen, however they had been in the pool for some time before I arrived. Clearly sun protection was not forefront on their minds. Later at dinner I explained how important it is to protect the skin you are in. I thought I had made my point.

Clearly I today we went to a beach, again around 3 pm, and again all 5 children are out running on the beach, looking for shells, and NO ONE had applied sunscreen. One of my sisters from Chicago; the mother of the three girls is very fair, burns like crazy and has a thousand moles, PLUS she is blue eyed! I ask her ..."do you use sun lotion on a regular basis?" Her response was .."sometimes". SOMETIMES!!!! I then went on a SunSavvy tirade!

What will it take to change a culture to realize the sun is the enemy of our largest organ..... our skin!!! I did not know when I was growing up the dangers of over exposure to the sun. I knew the dangers of smoking cigarettes, but the sun was my friend at that time. We know better now, the sun is the "smoking gun" cigarettes used to be in the 70's. We know better now, but how do we change the culture! Tans and sunning bred fertile feeding grounds for Melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer!

We need to help young people realize that NOT tanning is "IN". Not tanning will keep your good looks and have less wrinkles longer into life. We need to find a way to encourage these actions! Maybe we need to start a campaign...."Invest in your future, spend more now on sunscreen, less for plastic surgery in the future". Pale is in, tanning it out. What ever the answer is we need to stop letting young people succumb to this deadly disease so easily and without a fight. Fight back now, use sunscreen and protect the skin you are in!!!


Danielle said...

This is hilarious! I LOVE it! We're SunSavvy Sisters!

Thanks for all you're doing, Chris. You're making a difference in the skin cancer community, and even helping save lives.

Thank you, again and again.

Your SunSavvy pal,

Danielle said...

PS: I find myself with my head spinning when I hear youngsters talk about tanning and when people aren't using sunscreen, too.

In January 2006, there was a public forum in Northern Utah about tanning (in preparation for the tanning legislation we passed in January 2007). There was a 15-year-old who said (and I quote) "It's my right to die beautiful!"

Needless to say that comment still has me rocked.

For your readers who need convincing about the dangers of tanning and whether young women are really affected by it, I have several stories on my Blog -

At any rate, keep up your wonderful work Chris! I enjoy your Blog.