We all do things every day that we know are not good for us. We eat foods that we know are not healthy, we drink too many sodas, and spend too much time sitting on the couch in front of the TV. For Ashley Trenner, her unhealthy habit will soon claim her life.
Like many young people, Trenner starting visiting tanning beds when she was just a teenager to darken her skin tone. As she became an adult, she thought of tanning as a way to help her keep her youthful glow. Now, at the age of 40, Trenner is suffering from terminal metastatic melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer.
Tanning is often marketed to young women as harmless, innocent fun with little focus on the potentially deadly consequences. “I used to say I don’t care if I die from tanning as long as I die tan,” says Trenner. “I don’t think that anymore.” Despite multiple rounds of treatment, Trenner’s tumors are now too numerous to count. She has made the decision to stop further treatment but is still fighting to make others aware of the dangers of tanning and tanning beds in the hopes they will avoid the same fate.
Although she is in constant severe pain and likely only has weeks to live, Trenner has found a positive in her situation. Her illness has given her the opportunity to mend her relationship with her parents.