I grew up in Southern California, and I would take my shirts off the whole summer.
We didn’t wear shirts. We were outside all day long.
My sun exposure when I was younger was outside to play all day every day.
From sunrise to sunset.
Growing up I was outdoors a lot. I played a lot of sports from a very young age.
My Scandinavian background gave me a very light skin.
I’ve always had a fair complexion.
I was always a child with a lot of freckles and spots on my body.
My hair was very, very white blonde at that time and fair-skinned. So, I remember having sunburns that blistered and peeled.
I was prone to sunburn and blistering.
I’m fairly dark complected so didn’t really think about getting my skin checked a whole lot.
And as a child, you know, we didn’t have sunscreen back then.
We had no sunscreen in the 50s and 60s when I was a young girl.
I was always the lifeguard in my summer high school days.
My dad built us a pool.
I don’t really remember using a lot of sunscreen with a lot of protection.
We just spent hours out there in the pool.
As I moved into my teenage years, it was important to have a good tan. So, we literally, you know, would put the baby oil and iodine on and literally lay out in the sun.
So, I spent my career flying fighters, so glass bubble cockpits.
I always got burned. Everybody got burned.
I remember playing softball and just getting my nose really burnt.
And real exposure to sun and did not do a whole lot of preventative measures during at that time.
I do have family history of skin cancer.
My mother did have skin cancer.
My siblings who all had skin cancer as well and so now I try to do everything I can to prevent skin cancer in the future.
The sun did a number on my skin.
I wish I had known then what I know now.