Monday, October 17, 2011

Glenna Kohl

 *I like to think that the warriors
who have been taken from us
are up above, 
smiling down on us,
proud of how determined we are to educate.*

I believe the internet has been a wonderful thing for the cancer society. It allows warriors to connect to other warriors, it allows warriors and family members to do their own research to guarantee that they are receiving the best treatment possible, and it allows us to connect to others we would have never heard of before.

Sometimes there are stories that hit me harder than others. Glenna's is one of them. Here is this beautiful, YOUNG, spunky girl who had the world at her fingertips. Then, all of a sudden, she is diagnosed with skin cancer, melanoma to be exact. Realizing that my story closely resembles one of another young lady who has lost her battle makes me sad...It hurts my heart to see and read how dramatically her life changed in such a short amount of time. After feeling a huge amount of sympathy and admiration for Glenna, my own fear hits me. My story could end like Glenna's.

Let me introduce you to the beautiful Glenna Kohl. Glenna Kohl was, by everything I have read, a friendly and upbeat 22 year old girl who received a huge shock when she was diagnosed with stage III melanoma. Not only did Glenna have a great personality, she was also very health-conscious. She ate the right foods, exercised at the gym, but she also used the tanning bed. Why? Well, who thought of the tanning salon as being a real threat? Not us.

When Glenna was diagnosed with melanoma, she was in shock. She went from being healthy to having stage III melanoma. (See why I feel nervous now? This is my story!) Cosmo published an article about Glenna that describes her battle with melanoma. In the article it says that Glenna had actually had a mole removed a few years before being diagnosed that was determined to be irregular. When he tested it again, it was positive for melanoma. Had Glenna received the accurate results of an early stage melanoma, it is very possible that would have been her only scare. (See....EARLY DETECTION IS IMPORTANT.) According to The American Cancer Society," The 5-year survival rate is around 97%. The 10-year survival is around 95%." Only a short time after being diagnosed with stage III melanoma, Glenna found another lump. She was officially stage IV which, according to The American Cancer Society, has a 5-year survival rate for stage IV melanoma of about 15% to 20%. The 10-year survival is about 10% to 15%." (Cough Go-Get-That-Funky-Mole-Checked-Now Cough.)

In 2008, the beautiful Glenna lost her battle to melanoma. She was only 26 years old. Determined to honor their daughter, Glenna's friends and family have a wonderful campaign aimed at melanoma awareness. They are determined to share with others how dangerous suntans--real or fake--actually are.  No tan is worth a life. Skin cancer--no matter how harmless it seems--can kill you.

Please think twice before you step foot in a tanning salon.

Remember people like Glenna and Tina.  

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