Melanoma-Me Foundation

Supporting Patients and Their Families Affected by Melanoma and Skin Cancer

Tel: 0191 4922211 or email

Supporting Patients and Their Families Affected by Melanoma and Skin Cancer Tel: 0191 4922211 or email

Your Stories

Sophie’s Story

As a 20 year old I was conscious about my body and enjoyed a tan. I was never a massive sunbed user but before going on holiday I thought I would get a ‘base tan’.
As I stood on the sunbed and swiftly looked down at my body, a dark patch on my arm caught my eye. It hadn’t really bothered me before but I just brushed it off as ‘skin cancer would never happen to me’.
In august 2015 I went on holiday to Crete with my family and remember laying on a sun lounger and looking down at my arm thinking that the previous dark patch/mole looked a little different to a month before. Once again I brushed it off as nothing.
Upon returning home I mentioned the dark, asymmetric mole to my Mam, who told me if in doubt, check it out.
I never made a specific appointment, but just by chance when I was at the nurses office for a prescription for my pill I mentioned it. “I’ll just get the doctor to have a check, that mole is a tad funny looking” she said.
After a dermoscope check and two weeks later I found myself at Darlington hospital for what I thought was going to be a a quick check. He referred me for mole mapping and a biopsy of the mole. I came away with a referral form stating ‘suspected melanoma’.
Once again I brushed it off thinking it was just precautionary procedures and didn’t think about it again. Two weeks later I had the mole removed- a procedure which was quite painless and a lot less dramatic than I anticipated.
This was in November. A week later I was told my appointment to find out the results was pushed back- no worries I thought, if it was anything sinister they would’ve had me in by now.
How wrong I was.
December 4th 2015 I went for my appointment to be told I had stage 1a melanoma. At 21 years old I had skin cancer. I was numb. Without my family, boyfriend and friends I don’t know how I would’ve made it out of that dark place. Two days before Christmas, 23rd December 2015, I had my wide local excision. The surgeon took away an extra 1 cm away from the original scar and I was warned I would be left with a ‘mini shark bite’.
At first I was devastated at such a large scar due to the impact of cancer. It took over my life for a time and the mental effects were worse than the physical.
I would rather have had 10 nasty scars than the emotional and mental scars it has left me with.
Luckily it doesn’t look as bad now. I am now 1 year and 5 months no evidence of disease and I plan to keep it that way.
I am running the race for life in July to raise awareness and celebrate kicking cancers fat backside! Please stay safe in the sun and remember- factor 50 doesn’t mean you won’t tan, it just means your skin is safe for being 2x as likely to develop skin cancer. 🤞🏻
Thanks so much Sophie for sharing your story this could just save a life!

Online Training

Melanoma-Me Foundation’s ‘Skin-cancer Prevention in Families (SPF) 5* Awards’ is an online course designed to educate people in the beauty, health and wellbeing industry on how to recognise the signs of skin cancer.