Perth girl Amelia Davies-Wardell is one of many young cancer survivors who shared her story at Bunbury Cathedral Grammar School last Thursday.
The 17-year-old said she found out she had melanoma at just 12 years old.
“It looked like a pink spot that had grown really big just above my left elbow and it didn’t really look like anything they say melanoma looks like,” Amelia said.
“Two days before Christmas my mum got a phone call saying I had cancer and that I would be booked in for my first pep scan a day before New Year’s Eve.”
BCGS head girl Emily Anderson and head boy Patrick Reilly said they were shocked to see someone of a similar age diagnosed with cancer.
“It almost seems quite terrifying because we think it’s just older people that are usually diagnosed with cancer,” Emily said
“Its a bit of a shock and it really reinforces why we need to be mindful when in the sun and when our parents ask us to put sunscreen on it can seem like a nagging thing, but it just shows how important it is because it’s your life.”
Patrick said many students did not worry about the consequences of going without sunscreen.
“But having someone diagnosed at our age or even younger, it’s a bit of an eye opener,” he said.
Cancer Council South West regional education officer Shenae Norris said SunSmart at Cancer Council WA was happy to support Amelia’s visit to the school to share her experience with melanoma, and to highlight the importance of sun protection for teenagers.