Watch her message below.
Video Credit: Today Show
We are living in a world where your physical appearance or your looks matter most, and people are trying so hard and going for surgeries that they forget to take care of their health.
Lisa Pace, a woman in her mid-40’s have gone through 86 skin cancer surgeries over the years, and she wants to advise people about her experience.
Lisa was a self-conscious teenager, who thought if she would change her pale, freckled, red-headed complexion it will boost her confidence and she will get acceptance.
She started tanning at the age of 17, but when she was in college at 18, she starts using tanning beds regularly to darken her undesirable skin tone.
More than 20 years and 86 skin cancer surgeries later, Pace shared a message for young people who wants to go on the same path.
“If I could go back and talk to my 17-year-old self, I would tell her that skin cancer is avoidable,” Pace told “Today” in a 2018 interview.
“Don’t get in that tanning bed. Wear sunscreen. Wear protective clothing. People are going to love you for what you look like on the inside, not on the outside.”
She is a star basketball athlete, and Pace played for Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond before becoming a coach of women’s basketball at the collegiate level.
During her teenage life, Pace regularly visited the tanning salon.
“I started tanning every day, or every other day,” Pace said. “It was addictive. People would say, ‘You look so good, you look tan,’ and it just encouraged me.”
She was diagnosed with her first skin cancer in 2000 when she was 23 after doctors biopsied spots on her legs, “Today” reported.
When the doctor advised her to schedule surgeries on her melanoma, she did not take it seriously and hesitated to make the appointment.
“I blew it off for weeks,” Pace said. “They kept calling me and eventually, they said, ‘You need to get in here now.’”
But Pace did not stop her addiction and she continued using tanning beds, and within one year from her first surgery, she needed a second.
This time, skin cancer was on her face.
“It was gut-wrenching and heartbreaking,” Pace said of her facial surgery. “This whole time I had been worried about how I looked, and now I have a huge scar on my face. It was a huge chunk out of my face.”
The facial surgery shook her, and she stopped tanning and started taking everything seriously. But, sadly it was too late.
The pace was in her mid-30’s, and she had 50 skin cancer surgeries on various parts of her body.
The number of skin cancer surgeries continued with her age, and Doctors told her that they believed her skin cancer is a side effect of her habitual tanning bed use.
“I’m a positive person and I try to be a light for everyone around me,” Pace told People. “But there were times … where it would take my breath away, ‘There’s another spot.’ I’d look at all the stitches or the scars and be like, ‘Why?’ It was hard to make it through the days.”
The pace cannot change her past, but she can spread a message to help people and young generations who gives priorities to outer look more than inner beauty.
“I want people to realize that it can happen to anybody. I’m adamant about young people knowing this before it’s too late,” Pace said.
“I would much rather be pale, white, covered in freckles than to have all of the scars that I have,” Pace told “Today.”
“You’re beautiful to those who matter most without a tan,” she said.
Appreciate who you are rather than change your look, and people will find you beautiful regardless of your skin tone.
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