Woman Spends Dying Days Warning Others About Dangers Of Hobby That Killed Her

One woman who grew up in Washington State longed for that sun-kissed glow. With most of the year being damp and overcast in the Northwest, there was a small window throughout the year during which she could get out and soak in those solar rays.

Instead of going many long months looking pale, the woman took to tanning beds. She started going sporadically in her teens but quickly became addicted. It was a passion that she never let up until she learned it was killing her.

Ashley Trenner once said, "I don't care if I die from tanning, as long as I die tan."

After years of battling deadly skin cancer, however, she's come to regret those words, and admitted she doesn't think that way anymore.

Photo after photo of Trenner throughout her life show her with a deep, rich, bronze tan. It's the kind of tan you find in magazines that many fair-skinned people might envy. After all, that deep tan skin has long been a sign of health and fitness-- the mark of someone who spends a lot of time outdoors under the sun.

Trenner's naturally fair complexion made her self-conscious, so she wouldn't let much time slip between her tanning bed sessions. From the time she was 15 years old until the age of 33, tanning was a regular ritual.

After about 18 years of hitting the tanning beds, however, Trenner noticed a small lesion on her skin. She had the benign lesion removed but it turned out to be a warning sign. It returned, but Trenner ignored it, thinking it would be benign once again. She felt there was no big rush to run to the doctor to treat it.

The lesion grew larger and more painful, and then it began growing at a very rapid pace. The young woman couldn’t ignore it anymore. Trenner finally saw a dermatologist, but this time she wasn’t as lucky as she had been last time. She was diagnosed with melanoma, a deadly skin cancer.

Trenner had the tumor and some lymph nodes removed, but unfortunately the cancer cells had spread and were continuing to overtake her body. Three years after she had the first lesion removed, her cancer came back again, this time on her hip. This time her prognosis was even worse than last time.

At least one good thing came out of Trenner’s illness. She had been estranged from her family for years. Now that the end was near, she and her parents reconciled. She spent her last year with them, and they became closer than ever. It’s funny how the threat of death really helps people put life in perspective.

Trenner is also hoping more good will come out of her illness: she hopes that she can spare someone else the kind of pain she’s gone through. She’s spreading a warning message to all those people out there seeking a bronze glow: it’s not worth it.

Before her death, Trenner tried to raise awareness about the dangers of tanning beds. It's a warning she ignored for too long, and it cost her life. She passed away in 2013, but her family and friends continue to honor her memory by spreading the message. She may have been gone too soon, but hopefully her legacy will save others from her fate.

Source: Relay Hero
Photos: Relay Hero, Pretty In Pale, Skin Cancer Foundation, URBO

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