Woman Spends Final Days Warning Others About Hobby That Will Kill Her

One woman knew that it was too late to fix her own mistakes, so she decided to dedicate herself to making sure that it might not be too late for others.

A woman from Washington State got into the habit of using tanning beds as a teen, and quickly became addicted. Fifteen years later, she realized that hobby was the biggest mistake of her life.

As she was dying of skin cancer, her only hope was that she would get a message out to others: it's just not worth it.

Ashley Trenner was a fair-skinned teen growing up in the northwest. When she was 15 years old she was introduced to tanning beds. She felt that the instant sun-kissed glow she could get made her look healthy and fit, so she kept using them throughout high school.

At first, Trenner would only go to the tanning salons once in a while, such as when she had a big date, or when she was getting ready for vacation. After a while, she became addicted.

She started heading to the salon a few days per week to keep her skin a deep bronze.

Trenner's mother begged her to stop when she was in her 20's, but she dismissed her mom's pleas.

“I thought I was invincible and would never get skin cancer,” Trenner said on her blog.

She was wrong. At the age of 33, after ignoring a skin lesion for a while, she went to the dermatologist. She was told that she had melanoma.

At first, Trenner thought she was going to beat it. She had the tumor and the lymph nodes removed.

For three years, everything seemed fine, until she noticed a lump on her hip. A trip to the doctor confirmed that her cancer was back.

Once again, Trenner fought it, but this time she was fighting a losing battle. When she realized her fate was sealed, she turned her energy toward a different purpose: warning people about tanning salons.

“I paid money to be in the position I’m in now,” she said in an interview with King 5 TV. “I literally paid to get this terrible disease that is killing me.”

Ashley passed away after fighting melanoma for seven years. She died on March 15, 2013. Friends and family say her deathbed wish was, "If there’s one person’s life I can affect, that’s a beautiful gift I can give to somebody, ‘cause I don't want them to end up like me at all.”

Her loved ones are trying to help fulfill that wish by continuing the efforts of warning people about tanning beds. They've helped push Washington and Oregon into passing more stringent laws regarding tanning.

Teen daughters of Ashley's close friend sparked a campaign as well. They took petitions to their schools and warned other teens about tanning, encouraging the kids to sign a vow that they would never go to a tanning bed.

"It's just not worth it," Ashley said in her interview in heartfelt plea. She may be gone, but that plea remains a poignant reminder of her story. "I cannot stress that enough. It's just not worth it."

Source: Relay Hero, Little Things
Photos: YouTube, Skin Cancer.org, Providr

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