Louise Cooke, only 27, was the mother of 3 beautiful children when she discovered that she had melanoma, an aggressive form of cancer that was spreading quickly. It was a heartbreaking diagnosis, but she couldn’t believe that her life would be cut short because of her love of tanning.
Louise had always been pale, and at 24, she had started laying under UV tanning beds 3 times a week. She would get compliments whenever she visited the tanning salon, and so she kept going. But when she was 10 weeks pregnant with her third child, she noticed a mole on her back that was constantly itching and would bleed easily. At the urging of her new husband, she went and had it removed and tested…only to get the results that it was melanoma. She discovered a lump on her neck, which she had removed as well.
She underwent scans that revealed a tumor in her lung. They also discovered two brain tumors, and she had chemotherapy to shrink them shortly after having her third child. When doctors thought they had discovered an infection in her pelvis, they soon realized that it was another tumor and that her cancer was now stage 4 and spreading. She had just months to live, and she realized that she wouldn’t see her children grow up.
She had never considered getting life insurance – she was young and healthy – and hadn’t bought a house. She had nothing to leave to her children except for pictures and letters.
Louise Cooke wanted her story told as a warning to others to stay away from tanning beds. She is paying for her mistake with her life, but hopes that her story will prevent others from suffering the same fate. She passed away, but her story lives on as a warning that she hopes everyone will take seriously.