A mother-of-two, who was diagnosed with terminal cancer, has warned of the dangers of sun worshipping as she claims a Love Island “tanning craze” sweeps across the UK.
Shellie Clark, 38, was diagnosed with terminal skin cancer five months ago even though she never purposely tanned in the sun.
She has since issued a warning to young fans of the highly popular ITV2 show which she says encourages people to achieve a bronzed look all-year round.
Shellie worries the rising trend could increase the number of skin cancer cases, especially with the younger generation.
This comes after Love Islander Amy Hart revealed on ITV’s Loose Women that she and other contestants refused to wear sunscreen even though producers urged them to stay protected.
Shellie – mum to Ethan, 15, and Joshua, 14 – said: “All Love Island is promoting is to be beautiful, but you need to be tanned.
“The focus is you want to go brown. There is also the pressure on social media to be body beautiful. I can imagine skin cancer is going to rise profusely in the next couple of years and it is a worry.”
Former bar manager Shellie added: “I never sun-worshipped. I always kept covered up. I have such pale skin and I knew from a young age that all I did was burn.
“I never tanned, so I never bothered trying. I was never out there trying to get a tan.
“If it can happen to me, who has literally stayed covered up, then it can affect anyone, especially the younger generation.”
Former Islander Amy told Loose Women last month: “We are provided with sun cream, some of the girls don’t think they’re going to tan with sun cream so they use moisturiser.
“It’s alright you’re getting a tan now but what about skin cancer. And they were all ‘I will think about that later’.”
Brave Shellie, of Maidenhead, Berks was originally given just three months to live because her skin cancer had begun riddling the rest of her body.
She had spotted a mole on her calf had changed but didn’t know the importance of getting it checked out. Shellie, who also had a second job running self esteem groups for underprivileged children, also ignored other warning signs that she was getting unwell.
These included getting fatty lumps, a constant cold, struggling to walk downstairs and being unable to finish her sentences.
“When I was told it was melanoma, I had to look up the name,” she added.
“I didn’t know anything about it. I presumed all the signs would be on your skin and not inside your body.”
She now wants to help raise awareness of the dangers of skin cancer to prevent other families going through what her family is.
“Everyone has moles, I didn’t have the education and wasn’t informed enough about the changes to them.
“I really want to influence that.
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“If I had known that little bit of information it could have been 100 per cent curable.”
Sadly for Shellie her cancer had spread from her skin to her ovaries, adrenal glands, soft tissue, lymph nodes, lungs, chest wall, both breasts, neck glands and then her brain.
Shellie – who is getting Immunotherapy – said she is trying to remain positive and she gets her strength from her children.
Despite finding her new partner James, 36, seven years ago, she said her boys had to grow up for their early childhoods without a dad after their biological father walked out on them.
She has already been around for Joshua’s birthday in May and James’ last month which she didn’t think she’d see.
Doctors have been stunned by her living longer than first predicted and said she could “break the mould” by beating the cancer through her mind set.