Ashley Trenner never liked her pale skin when she was young, so she began using tanning beds as a teenager. She would get tanned year-round, but the constant exposure to UV rays would end up having dire consequences for her.
At the age of 33 she was diagnosed with metastatic melanoma. By age 40 she was terminally ill. Realizing the mistakes she made, Ashley spoke from her deathbed to warn others of the dangers of tanning salons.
In her final days, Ashley spoke with Seattle’s KING 5 news about the dangerous decisions that had ended her life. She reflected back on how wrong her thinking was before doctors found a lesion on her skin in 2003. “I don’t care if I die from tanning, as long as I die tanned,” she said of what she had thought as a teen but quickly added, “I don’t think that now.”
“I paid money to be in the position I’m in now,” Ashley said. “I literally paid to get this terrible disease that is killing me.”
After her story aired, she received thanks from people all over the world, telling her that her story opened their eyes to the dangers they were putting themselves in and they promised to stop tanning.
In Ashley’s last years she also worked to prevent teenagers from her fate and shortly after her death in 2013, Oregon and Washington states both introduced underage tanning bans.
“If there’s one person’s life I can affect, that’s a beautiful gift I can give to somebody,” Ashley explained in the interview. “I don’t want them to end up like me, it’s just not worth it.”
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