What is your name?
Hello, my name is Gary Hobbs.
Healthy, surf and fishing enthusiast, I have been outdoors all my life, I am 64 years old.
How did you discover your skin cancer / melanoma / skin condition and how long ago?
I first discovered skin problems via a visit to a skin cancer clinic in our district twenty years ago and have had lots of varying treatments since, including surgery. The common reference was “this damage was done when you were in your teens and lived in the surf.”
Yes that would be right, I used to get so sun burned on my face, arms and back I even when to hospital once where they sprayed a plastic type of skin on my shoulders and was told to stay out of the sun for a month, WHAT in the school holidays, fat chance. Stupid me.
What is your attitude towards sun protection today?
Today I still go surfing and fishing but cover up and use 50+ waterproof block out, plus a hat and sometimes a buff. Years of driving in my professional life also damaged the back of my hands so I now apply block out and sometimes were gloves.
What would you tell your 16-year-old self about sun protection?
I tell my kids and to “don’t do as I did and cover up” they seem to listen. And there are no current problems, they get checked annually. They certainly took notice when I started treatments and was diagnosed with life threatening skin cancers.
I treat myself under doctors advice with a heavy duty cream that “burns off” the developing cancers on my face and hands every second year and this had made a positive difference.
Sun protection is vital for all people and education is the key, examples are the best methods of convincing people to cover up. While some sun is necessary with proper precautions and suitable sun protection clothing, I can still surf and fish safety. I am now wearing a broad brimmed hat. ALWAYS.
Thank you Gary for helping raise awareness for skin cancer, melanoma and skin conditions, and sharing your story with us and our Solbari Community.