Tawny Dzierzek, a 27-year-old woman sparked Google searches after she posted her selfie on Facebook.
You’d probably think that this lady would have wanted to gain publicity and hence decided to showcase her beauty. Flaunting a classically sleek face, waves of golden hair, and with skies trapped within her eyes, a woman like her would do numbers on Instagram but the reason behind her posting the selfie was something else.
Her journey to public fame is a bit more complex and definitely more significant. It was only when she posted the photo below that she gained nation-wide attention.
Perfectly sported in the above picture, in bright and radiant colors, is the after-effect of Dzierzek’s skin-cancer treatment. She wrote with the photo, “If anyone needs a little motivation to not lay in the tanning bed and sun here ya go! This is what skin cancer treatment can look like.”
Being a Caucasian Kentucky-native, getting a tan on her pale skin was a bit strenuous. In an interview with CNN, Dzierzek pointed out that in her time and area it was commonplace for houses to have their own personal tanning beds. She didn’t quite consider the fact that her excessive tanning could affect her future.
Sometimes, like before major events, Dzierzek would tan a staggering 4 times a week. But her usual pace was once or twice a week.
While in nursing school, one of her batchmates was diagnosed with melanoma, and that was enough to spook Dzierzek into getting herself checked as well. And sure enough, she had had skin cancer for a long time.
She since had basal cell carcinoma five times and squamous cell carcinoma one time. Her annual doctor’s appointments usually concluded with something getting scratched off her skin. Even still, Dzierzek courageously admitted that it could have been worse than this
She expressed her thankfulness for not being diagnosed with melanoma, which can be life-threatening. She also stated that non-melanoma usually disfigures, but can at times be dangerous.
Not only has the photo sparked interest among dermatologists, it has also caught the eyes of the common public. Within just a week of posting, Google reported a rapid increase in search terms related to skin cancer, and Preventative Medicine, a medical journal, attributed a 162 percent peak in interest solely to the selfie.
Dzierzek has since recovered drastically from her condition. She encourages others to learn from her mistakes and to not let the urge to tan stop them from enjoying their lives to the fullest.
Hats off to this brave lady whose daring action became the reason for saving countless people from this horrendous disease.
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