all orders sent via fast delivery dhl express

Your Story Series: Meet Karen

Solbari blog: Your Story Series: Meet Karen

What is your name?

My name is Karen St Ledger.

How did you discover your skin cancer / melanoma / skin condition and how long ago?

In my early 20s I developed a butterfly rash on my face that wouldn't go away. I was quickly diagnosed with discoid lupus and my specialist stressed that it was very important for me to stay protected from the sun. This was in the early 80s and I was living in Queensland, so it was a tough call.

I had to wear long sleeves and big hats whenever I went outdoors, and I avoided going outside altogether during the intense sunlight hours. Later I was also diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis (and other auto immune diseases) and I am on a medication that makes me sun sensitive, so my lifelong habit of protecting myself from the sun turned out to be a blessing.

Because of my conditions I have never been an outdoors sporty person, instead I prefer to go for long walks in the late afternoon and do indoor exercises like tai chi and pilates. But in Queensland it's very hard to avoid the sun throughout the year.

What is your attitude towards sun protection today?

I wear protective gloves for driving, a hat every day, and I always carry a sun protective umbrella. I also apply a good quality sunscreen. Solbari products are excellent - with beautiful, long lasting 50+ fabrics - they are classy and very good value for money.

It is so important to embrace sun protection, especially when it directly impacts your health. To do this you just need to allow a little bit of extra time each day to make sure you have everything you need in a bag - sunscreen, long sleeve shirt, hat and umbrella. I never leave the house without my sun umbrella, it the most essential accessory I own.

What would you tell your 16-year-old self about sun protection?

When I think of my 16 year old self, I remember how I would walk to and from school every day, refusing to wear my school hat, in the blazing summer sun. You can't undo that damage, but I feel very fortunate that I did learn about the importance of sun protection when I was in my 20s.

Thank you Karen 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

Your Story Series: Meet Jen
Your Story Series: Meet Jen

It's all about awareness really, and people are aware, they just need to take it seriously and notice it more. Knowing the consequences and being mindful of how easy it is to avoid, life in general, being out and about, is much easier, happier and less painful.
Read More
Solbari blog: Your Story Series: Meet Gary
Your Story Series: Meet Gary

I first discovered skin problems via a visit to a skin cancer clinic in our district twenty years ago and have had lots of varying treatments since, including surgery. The common reference was “this damage was done when you were in your teens and lived in the surf."
Read More
Which countries have the highest rates of skin cancer?
Which countries have the highest rates of skin cancer?

Australia is ranked 1st for melanoma incidence rates at 33.6 per 100,000 of population. This has equated to between 1,400 and 2,000 Australians dying from melanoma per annum in recent times.

Read more.

Read More