My friend Ashley! Melanoma patient's last wish includes warning about tanning beds…please watch and share ~ her message needs to be seen by all!

by JEAN ENERSEN / KING 5 News Bio | Email Posted on February 22, 2013 at 11:52 PM Updated Wednesday, Feb 27 at 6:52 AM
Washington, Oregon and Idaho are all considering bills that would make it illegal for minors to use tanning beds. Meet a young woman who regrets the day she first walked into a tanning salon and why she's making a special appeal now. Ashley Trenner used to think a bronze glow made her look younger. That's why she was so determined to keep it year round.
“I used to say that I don't care if I die from tanning as long as I die tan,” said Ashley. “I used to say that. I don't think that way anymore."
When we first met Ashley back in 2011, she was already on her third clinical trial, battling melanoma, the most deadly kind of skin cancer. She was traveling to and from Portland every week, desperately hoping that this time she'd finally beat it for good.
Last May 16, a major milestone:  Ashley celebrated the big 40 with her parents Bob and Karen and a crowd of friends.
“I think there were about a hundred people there,” said Ashley’s mother Karen. “They just had a grand time as we did celebrating her 40th year, thinking that she may not make 41st.”
Nine months later, the tumors are too numerous to count.
“Head to about right here - that's where most all of my pain is. All the tumors are in pretty much that area,” said Ashley.
It’s the end of a journey.
“So as far as treatment right now, done,” said Ashley.
Ashley has called a truce with cancer, but not with tanning beds. She wants to warn everyone who will listen.
“I paid. I paid money to be in the position I am now,” she said. “It wasn't just like I wanted to be tan. I was literally paying someone to get this terrible disease that's killing me. That is killing me. Terminal.”
Even the standard “one day at a time” no longer applies in Ashley’s household.
“Half a day at a time. When we met with the doctor before we brought her home, which was three weeks ago, he says she has weeks to live,” said Ashley’s mother.
Ashley's now hooked up to pain medication and confined to bed. Tumors have paralyzed the right side of her face. But she's hasn't given up on style.
“Wonderful people that come do my nails and toes,” said Ashley.
In typical Ashley fashion, she insists it's not over until it's over. Besides, she still has her will to finish. She says it’s hard, but not for the reason you might think.
“I want to be fair to everybody,” she said.
Also typical Ashley. And don't get her wrong. She's grateful too. If not for cancer, she might not have mended her relationship with her parents.
“Through that blossomed a beautiful relationship that I wouldn't trade for anything. Anything,” said Ashley. “So yes it took cancer to get us to where we are, but I wouldn't change that.”
“So a sad time but a special time. It's kind of a bittersweet time for us and our family,” said Ashley’s dad, Bob.
As for Ashley, she only has one last wish.
“If there's one person's life that I can affect, then that's a beautiful gift that I could give to somebody ‘cause I don't want them to end up like me at all,” said Ashley. “It's just not worth it. I can't express that enough. It's just not worth it.”
Ashley was first diagnosed with melanoma more than seven years ago at age 33. She started tanning as a teen.


Thank you for posting Ashley's story...there are so many people out there that need to see this. I hope she is not in pain and I will be sure to say a prayer for her today.

. said…
Very sad story, my heart breaks for her! I know I've spend so a good portion of my life tanning in the sun not worrying about the effects until the last several years.

I have said a prayer for her and wish her peace and little pain for days she has left. :(

I remember a while back your sharing about Ashley...right?!
Posting this on FB...praying for her and her family!
Victoria said…
Thank you for updating us on her story. I'm sorry it doesn't have a happier ending but how wonderful that she's spreading this important message. Prayers for her and her family!
God bless that amazing friend.

I am praying for her to be a peace - and hope God is merciful and she doesn't suffer anymore.

We all did the beds in the 80s. I didn't do it much because I didn't have the money....but my little sister sure did, as well as my two daughters.

Why are these salons even still in business? I wonder! Sheesh.
Unknown said…
there are now words my friend. NO words to describe how heartbroken I am for you, ashley...her family and friends. this is so very sad and you KNOW how much i think of you all every day!!!my only hope and wish is ashley's dying wish..that even ONE person out there is saved because of her message. ...and her courage. God bless you all! here for you....
This is just too sad for words, Tracie. I do hope people, especially young girls get this message. I have gone tanning for the scars that my eczema has left, I really battle with those decisions. Ashley's story really moves me, I hope she lives her final days pain free and at peace.

Theresa said…
My provincial government just introduced legislation to make it illegal for minors to use tanning beds. It needs to happen everywhere.

What a heartbreaking story. What a plucky women Ashley is too, to be facing her own demise and yet thinking about how she can help other people. Just seeing her talk, shows what a lovely lady she is. She is in my prayers. Sally x
my good friend died from melanoma, she was addicted to tanning in the tanning beds...she left behind three beautiful children xo
My Grama's Soul said…
Oh I am so sorry to read of Ashley's passing. I know she was a special friend to you. Ashley and her family as well as you....are in my prayers.


Cindy said…
Such a sad story and I know young women right now who tan all winter long! Oh my! When they believe all of the warnings!
Thanks for posting this.

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