Panelist: Kim Fahnley
Episodes in which Kim Fahnley appears
At the age of 29 Kim Fahnley was diagnosed with melanoma. She was fortunate to have required only surgical removal, although it was extensive and required a period of time off her feet. Once healed and advised by her doctor to resume her daily activities she found it was daunting for her and her family to live an active outdoor lifestyle without constant concern of sun exposure. Living in a beachside community an avid gardener and horsewoman, her mindset and routine was now at odds with the doctor's warnings about sun exposure. Within 5 years of her Melanoma, she was diagnosed with Squamous lip cancer. Once again her daily routine was put on hold. She underwent 7 ½ hours of Mohs surgery and plastic reconstruction to remove much of her lower lip. Several years later the cancer returned and she had laser surgery to remove the entire lower lip. Throughout this timeframe she was busy raising 2 children, and had adapted her lifestyle often dressing in her husband's big shirts and various layers, which made her hot and miserable.
While, for the doctors these cancers were all treatable and curable, her lifestyle and image was changed forever. Determined to find a balance and resume the activities that she enjoyed, she looked for solutions for her sun protection. In 1998 she started designing and manufacturing Sun Solutions clothing- a stylish, lightweight line of sun protective clothing. Her goal – to make sure, while people entrust their health to their doctors, they develop a healthy plan for their sun protection and not live in fear. Considering herself a survivor, she often speaks to the importance of learning one's own body and regular skin checks. Furthermore in her own healing she found it most important to find balance and knowledge that one does have options. She has been featured in Newsweek, on TV spots around the nation, NPR radio and other forums discussing her own story, and educating people as to the importance of skin cancer and her Sun Solutions clothing line.