Kari Cummins from Lake Arrowhead, California has a lot to be thankful for. She has five great kids, she loves her job as a natural health and wellness coach and she recently stopped two different types of skin cancer from spreading. But getting to the point where the now 35-year-old was aware enough to care about her skin took some time. Despite being fair-skinned and knowing how much her mother advocated for sunscreen, Cummins rarely wore it when she was with her friends, and if she did, it was low SPF.
“As a teen, I spent many hours in the sun and at the lake near my house with my friends working on our tans,” she told The Mighty. “Unfortunately, I was more concerned about my tan and never thought much about getting skin cancer.” Fast forward to yong adulthood, right after having her first child; all of a sudden, she saw life with a new set of eyes and her family’s health became a priority. She would spend hours researching health-related topics like sleep, diet, natural remedies, nontoxic cleaning products and skin health. That’s when she became concerned about her mother’s skin.
“I noticed my mom had some skin lesions that, after I researched, I knew were cancerous, and I kept urging her to get them taken care of,” Cummins said. “But she didn’t have good insurance and she had to wait until she did. They continued to grow and ooze and it scared me!” Then, in 2013, a few years after noticing her mother’s skin lesions, she started noticing some red spots on her forehead. They started to become raised and would bleed after showers. When they didn’t heal, she knew they were skin cancer.