As I marched through my twenties I thought I was off to a good start. Well, to be honest, I thought I was invincible. I had already lived through jumping out of an airplane and willingly harnessed my ankles to jump off one of the highest bungees in the world.
Then one single phone call stopped my heart. I remember everything about that phone call.
No one thinks they will get cancer at least I sure as hell never thought I would (especially at 26!), but once you have had it your perspective about living totally changes. Everyone processes the information differently, but for me, those feelings of panic, fear, and the unknown ate me up inside. I am pretty sure I did everything you aren’t supposed to do, and worst of all I shut down from everyone.
Melanoma is the second most common form of cancer in females age 15-29.1
As a fairly well-educated 26-year old (at least in my mind), I had no knowledge about skin cancer. As I quickly learned more, the one thing I decided was that I was going to fight this cancer. Not just fight for myself, but fight to spread awareness and educate about skin cancer, the only type of cancer actually INCREASING in diagnoses. Unreal.
More people are diagnosed with skin cancer each year in the U.S. than all other cancers combined.2
So, I started spreading the word. I shared about my skin cancer experience in hopes that other people would be a bit more aware. The more I talked, the more I researched, the more I learned, the more I strived to find ways to keep myself sun safe. The problem was, I could not find things I liked to keep me protected, while still looking cute! So these past 10 years I’ve dedicated myself to making UPF 50+ swimwear & clothing that people want to wear.
When detected early, the 5-year survival rate for melanoma is 99 percent.3
Sun protection needs to start the day you are born, but it can't stop there! Whether it's tightening that chin strap on your toddler's sun hat, or the constant reminder for your teen heading to the pool, please, please make sure you’re keeping that education going!! They might not want to wear that rash guard, but I beg you – make them wear it and they'll thank you later down the road.
Having 5 or more sunburns doubles your risk for melanoma. 4
And today, we launch a brand new line of women's sun hats to keep fulfilling our mission of providing you with amazing sun-safe products. It's never too late to start practicing smart sun protection!
I can only hope for a healthier, brighter future for all of us!
- Betsy Johnson
Founder. Fighter. Survivor
1 Skin Cancer Incidence Rates. American Academy of Dermatology
2 Cancer Facts and Figures 2020. American Cancer Society
3 Skin Cancer Facts & Statistics. Skin Cancer Foundation
4 Skin Cancer Facts & Statistics. Skin Cancer Foundation