Your Story Series: Meet Laura

5 min read
Your Story Series: Meet Laura
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Tell us who you are, what you do, and where you’re from.

My name is Laura and I live in Chicago with my husband and dog, Aspen. I am a speech-language pathologist and yoga instructor.

 

Tell us a bit about your experience with melanoma.

In January 2022, I made an appointment with my dermatologist due to concerns about a changing mole under my right breast. I noticed that the centre was starting to get darker and knew something wasn’t right. Despite seeing a dermatologist annually for full-body skin exams for 10+ years, I had very unhealthy skin habits (including outdoors tanning and use of tanning beds) over the years. I decided not to wait and went 3 months prior to my scheduled yearly exam. Not long after my biopsy, my dermatologist called me on my drive home from work. When she said the word “melanoma,” my world started to spin.

A week later, I went to my follow-up appointment for the melanoma to be treated with wide excision. It took about a half hour to complete and several weeks for my body to feel normal again. Fast forward almost 2 years later and my life looks a lot different for the better.

 

What does sun safety mean to you? And what is your attitude towards sun protection today?

Sun safety means continuing to live my life but making conscious decisions each and every day to protect my skin. My sister (who is a Dermatology P.A. and fellow melanoma survivor) and I started an Instagram page (Sun_Safety_Sisters) to educate and promote sun safety. We have made it a passion of ours to share our story and knowledge, in hopes of encouraging others to prioritise their skin health. Today, sun protection is a priority and non-negotiable for me. I invest in sunscreen that works for my skin type so I wear it daily. In addition to sunscreen, I wear comfortable and stylish UPF clothing (Solbari is my favourite!), a hat and sunglasses when outside. I seek shade and try to limit sun exposure when the UV index is the highest. 

 

What are your best sun protection tips?

Limited time outside in the sun when the UV index is the highest, wear daily sunscreen (and re-apply every 2 hours!), seek shade, wear a hat, sunglasses and UPF clothing to maximise your protection.

 

What would you tell other women who aren’t aware of the risks of UV exposure and the importance of sun safety?

I would share my melanoma story, educate them on the importance of sun safety and risks associated with tanning, and encourage them to act on their skin health. If someone enjoys being tan, I would recommend that they consider safer alternatives to tanning, such as lotions, gels, sprays, drops and airbrush. I would also remind them that pale is healthy and beautiful!

Your Story Series: Meet Laura 

Thank you, Laura, for helping raise awareness of melanoma and the importance of sun proctection, and sharing your story with us and our Solbari Community.

The Solbari Team

Laura is pictured wearing our Vacation Cotton Linen UPF50+ Sun Hat.

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