Mum shares shocking skin cancer snaps to 'inspire people to wear sunscreen'

Alice Sholl
·Contributor
Her dermatologist had said it was a liver spot [Photo: Facebook/Bethany Gambardella-Greenway]
Her dermatologist had said it was a liver spot [Photo: Facebook/Bethany Gambardella-Greenway]

Cancer, and particularly skin cancer, is one of those things that you tell yourself only happens to other people.

But one mum of two wants you to change that mindset, as what she once thought was just a liver spot soon developed into an aggressive form of skin cancer.

Bethany Gambardella-Greenway, 39, from Texas in the US was pregnant with her youngest child in 2015 when she noticed a dark spot on her skin.

Brushing it off as something hormonal at first, she eventually got it checked out – but even the dermatologist assured her it was just a liver spot.

But 18 months down the line, a painful mole appeared. And this time, a biopsy revealed that it was a desmoplastic melanoma – an aggressive form of skin cancer.

The mole was removed but, by then, it was too late and the cancer had spread to her bones and lymph nodes. So in 2016, she started immunotherapy.

And to educate others and tell her story, Gambardella-Greenway has documented her journey on a Facebook photo diary, through all the surgery, through all the radiation therapy, and through to her eventual recovery.

Whether it’s trying out new make up skills or becoming exasperated at the healing process, her bravery and humour has gained her many internet fans.

And it’s those fans she hopes she can encourage to wear sunscreen, and stay protected.

“I never thought I’d be an advocate or an activist in any way, but here I am,” she wrote in a recent post.

“I never thought of my story as inspirational, but people say it is.

“I’m glad that I’m inspiring people to wear sunscreen and get yearly skin checks.

“It’s weird to me these things are basic self care, like brushing your teeth or showering.

“I’m happy my message has a podium at the moment. Healing.”

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