Tawny Willoughby, a 27-year-old mother and nurse from Alabama, spent her teenage years in and out of tanning salons. She wrote on Facebook she used tanning beds four to five times each week.
At the age of 21, Willoughby was diagnosed with skin cancer. Since then, she’s had had basal cell carcinoma five times and squamous cell carcinoma, reports Redbook.
Her current treatment has burned and blistered her skin, but she shared a photo of herself on Facebook to raise awareness about the dangers of tanning.
“If anyone needs a little motivation to not lay in the tanning bed and sun here ya go! This is what skin cancer treatment can look like,” she wrote. “Wear sunscreen and get a spray tan. You only get one skin and you should take care of it.”
The photo has been shared nearly 50,000 times. “Skin cancer is not always moles, only one of mine have been a mole. Get any suspicious new and growing spot checked out. Anything that doesn't heal, possibly bleeds on and off and crusts. The sooner you find it the less likely it will leave a disfiguring scar or grow deep enough to metastasize. Melanoma kills, non melanoma-disfigures (and can also kill),” she warned.
She added, “Learn from other people's mistakes. Don't let tanning prevent you from seeing your children grow up. That's my biggest fear now that I have a 2-year-old little boy of my own.”
Image via Facebook