free shipping on all orders over AUD$150
Checkout: 0

Your Cart is Empty

USD
AUD
NZD
GBP
EUR
CAD
HKD
SGD
JPY

Your Story Series: Meet Heather

Solbari blog: Your Story Series: Meet Heather

What is your name? 

My name is Heather Wilks.

Describe yourself.

I am an active 72 year old wife, mother of 3 children (1 deceased), and grandmother of 3. I am also a retired operating room registered nurse. I became ill at the age of 30, in the 1970’s with fatigue, joint pain, fever, and a painful raised rash on my legs.

After a year plus of blood work, x-rays, and finally a biopsy of the leg rash it was confirmed that I had systemic lupus erythematosis (SLE). Many treatments and medication were tried, eventually Plaquenil (Hydroxychloroquine) was prescribed. It helped and continues to help calm the lupus. Osteo, rheumatoid, and Sjögren’s syndrome round out my other health concerns.

I remain active even though I had a total hip last year and will have a total knee this year. The other hip and knee will follow. I am a member of a Fitness Team (I lead a free weights class 2 times a week) at South Gate, a membership based recreation centre for adults 50 +. To help my joints I also lead a range of motion class at a therapeutic pool 2X a week year around. In the good weather I golf 1 - 2 times a week, play shuffle board, bridge, euchre, and pepper.

In my youth I was a blonde, fair skinned person who covered up when outside. Occasionally red skin, but no blisters. When we were at the beach, towels, hat, umbrella, and sunscreen were required items.

Following the diagnosis of SLE, I started looking for other options for sun protection in Canada, and there were not many options in the 70’s and 80’s. Eventually I came across “Sun Veil”, a sun protection covering consisting of a jacket, pants, and hat. The material is thin, but was uncomfortable to wear in the humid weather and did work at protecting your skin.

In the 2000’s I found the internet and the sun protection clothing choices by Solbari. The fact that you can wear just the top and pants without a covering makes activities much more comfortable. This allows me to play golf freely, and without special coverage. The hat is beautiful, light, and covers my head, face, ears, and neck. At present I have 2 tops, hat, and sun shawl.

I also wear 50+ sun screen and makeup everyday. In 2016 I had microscopic surgery by Dr. Christian Murray at the Mosh Clinic, Women’s College Hospital in Toronto Ontario Canada, for a recurrent lower lip cancer. It started as a small pin point basal cell cancer and ended up as squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). I lost 2 mm of my lower lip, am cancer free and can still whistle.

I am very appreciative of the sun protection clothing choices by Solbari, making outdoor activities comfortable and safer. It is my intention to purchase other items.

Thank you Heather for helping raise awareness for skin cancer, melanoma and skin conditions, and sharing your story with us and our Solbari Community.

The Solbari Team



Also in Solbari Skin Health Blog

Solbari Blog: What fabrics are good for sensitive skin?
What fabrics are good for sensitive skin?

This blog outlines which fabric types are best suited to those with chronic skin conditions including psoriasis, lupus and eczema. Natural fabrics including cotton and bamboo are considered the best for irritable, sensitive skin. These fabrics are the best because they are soft and they help regulate body temperature.
Read More
Solbari blog: What is eczema?
What is eczema?

This blog describes what eczema is, what causes it, how it appears on the skin and how many people are impacted by eczema globally. Eczema is a skin condition which results in inflammation and irritation of the skin. Solbari has developed a sensitive fabric to help those affected by eczema manage their skin condition.
Read More
Is it possible to get sun burnt through clothing?
Is it possible to get sun burnt through clothing?

In this blog we explore if it is possible to get sun burnt through clothing. People don't realise that they are routinely exposed to the sun through their regular clothing. Dermatologists agree that the best way to protect yourself from the sun is to wear UPF 50+ sun protective clothing. UPF 50+ means that at least 98% of UV rays are blocked. UPF 50+ is the highest accreditation for sun protection achievable in the World.

Read More