Free & Fast shipping on all orders

Your Story Series: Meet Heather

Solbari blog: Your Story Series: Meet Heather

What is your name? 

My name is Heather Wilks.

Describe yourself.

I am an active 72 year old wife, mother of 3 children (1 deceased), and grandmother of 3. I am also a retired operating room registered nurse. I became ill at the age of 30, in the 1970’s with fatigue, joint pain, fever, and a painful raised rash on my legs.

After a year plus of blood work, x-rays, and finally a biopsy of the leg rash it was confirmed that I had systemic lupus erythematosis (SLE). Many treatments and medication were tried, eventually Plaquenil (Hydroxychloroquine) was prescribed. It helped and continues to help calm the lupus. Osteo, rheumatoid, and Sjögren’s syndrome round out my other health concerns.

I remain active even though I had a total hip last year and will have a total knee this year. The other hip and knee will follow. I am a member of a Fitness Team (I lead a free weights class 2 times a week) at South Gate, a membership based recreation centre for adults 50 +. To help my joints I also lead a range of motion class at a therapeutic pool 2X a week year around. In the good weather I golf 1 - 2 times a week, play shuffle board, bridge, euchre, and pepper.

In my youth I was a blonde, fair skinned person who covered up when outside. Occasionally red skin, but no blisters. When we were at the beach, towels, hat, umbrella, and sunscreen were required items.

Following the diagnosis of SLE, I started looking for other options for sun protection in Canada, and there were not many options in the 70’s and 80’s. Eventually I came across “Sun Veil”, a sun protection covering consisting of a jacket, pants, and hat. The material is thin, but was uncomfortable to wear in the humid weather and did work at protecting your skin.

In the 2000’s I found the internet and the sun protection clothing choices by Solbari. The fact that you can wear just the top and pants without a covering makes activities much more comfortable. This allows me to play golf freely, and without special coverage. The hat is beautiful, light, and covers my head, face, ears, and neck. At present I have 2 tops, hat, and sun shawl.

I also wear 50+ sun screen and makeup everyday. In 2016 I had microscopic surgery by Dr. Christian Murray at the Mosh Clinic, Women’s College Hospital in Toronto Ontario Canada, for a recurrent lower lip cancer. It started as a small pin point basal cell cancer and ended up as squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). I lost 2 mm of my lower lip, am cancer free and can still whistle.

I am very appreciative of the sun protection clothing choices by Solbari, making outdoor activities comfortable and safer. It is my intention to purchase other items.

Thank you Heather for helping raise awareness for skin cancer, melanoma and skin conditions, and sharing your story with us and our Solbari Community.

The Solbari Team



Also in Solbari Blog

Checking your moles & why you should do it now
Checking your moles & why you should do it now

Australians love the great outdoors and our sunny skies make the Australian lifestyle one of the most envied in the world. Notwithstanding, the extensive “Slip Slop Slap” campaign, many Australians are still exposing themselves to the severity and dangers of ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun.
Read More
Solbari blog: Fast facts about UV rays and skin cancer
Fast facts about UV rays and skin cancer

This blog explains that UV radiation is a type of electromagnetic radiation like infrared and visible light. UVA, UVB and UVC are distinct in terms of where they sit on the electromagnetic spectrum but also their potential impact on humans. UVA and UVB are both responsible for skin cancer and melanoma.
Read More
Solbari Blog: Who invented sunscreen?
Who invented sunscreen?

This blog confirms that Blake Milton, a chemist from South Australia invented the first commercially available sunscreen in the World. Milton developed a sunburn cream over a period of 10 years. His formulation was tested by a professor from the University of Adelaide and found to have sun protective properties.
Read More