Dear Editor,

I have been thinking a lot lately about a dear family member who I lost to skin cancer several years ago. He was only 30 years old, and one of my favorite people in the world. The reason I have thought about this is I recently spent six weeks working at the local hospital training for a career in health care. I witnessed a lot of skin cancer being removed. Here in Moab, it is sunny almost all the time, and there is plenty of sun-damaged skin everywhere you go.

My hope is to convince some of your readers to be more aware of their own skin, to help them be aware of any changes with their skin, to convince them to follow up with a physician to have any suspicious lesions checked, and to get a full skin check. I hope they will use this link,, and learn about the ABCD system to check for suspicious lesions. I only need one of them to have a cancerous or precancerous lesion caught early by a physician to make this letter a success. I urge them to follow up on that suspicious mole or bump they have been wondering about with a physician. Stop putting it off. It will be worth your time and your peace of mind. Do not let skin cancer kill you and rob you of all that you have left to contribute to the world. Stop cancer before it progresses by getting your skin checked; don’t wait until you will be disfigured and scarred from having it removed surgically after it grows.

Be smart and cover your skin from the damage of the sun’s UV rays. Wear a hat, sunglasses and a long sleeve shirt or use some sunscreen. Don’t worry about looking funny. After all, it’s Moab and people will probably just think you are another crazy tourist here to hang out! If you choose not to cover up, at least do your children a favor and protect them from the sun’s damage. Getting a blistering burn now as a child is one of the greatest risk factors for them developing skin cancer later in life. Please, I implore you, go to a doctor somewhere for a skin check, and go to the link listed above to learn more about what to look for. We will both be glad you did. More importantly, someone you love will be glad you did.