Skin cancer survivor’s great debt of gratitude

A FORMER sunbed user who developed skin cancer has vowed to complete a charity walk for a Suffolk hospice.

Julie Bushnell, 41, began using sunbeds eight years ago and was even set to buy her own sunbed salon until the sale fell through.

Mrs Bushnell, of Fornham St Martin, near Bury St Edmunds, began using the booths daily when she helped out in a sunbed salon.

But after a mole on her arm began to itch, the mother-of-two was diagnosed with a malignant melanoma before Christmas last year.

“I wish I’d taken care of the sun’s rays and not used sunbeds,” she said. “I feel it contributed to my skin cancer.”


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Mrs Bushnell had the 0.8mm cancer removed from her arm, leaving her with an 8ins scar which is 1cm deep, but she is now cancer free.

To show her gratitude for the care and support she has received at West Suffolk Hospital, Mrs Bushnell and her daughters Sharna, 14, and Mlayne Frost, 16, will take part in the Girls’ Night Out in aid of St Nicholas Hospice Care in the town.

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The trio will join hundreds of women to walk 11.2 miles around Bury on Saturday, September 18 to raise money for the vital centre.

“I feel I have been really cared for and this is my way of giving something back,” Mrs Bushnell said.

Gary Lipman, chairman of the Sunbed Association, said recommended use of sunbeds was no more than 60 sessions a year.

“Anything in excess is dangerous,” he said. “A professional sunbed, used in accordance with the sunbed association code of practise, is safer than bathing in the sun.

“There is absolutely no link between malignant melanoma and the use of sunbeds.”

For more information about the walk, visit www.stnicholashospice.org.uk

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