What is your name?
Hi, my name is Kara De Candia.
Describe yourself in 3 to 5 words.
I'm a creative cat mom who loves all things outdoor! I'm born and bred in Queensland so have had plenty of sun since a young child.
How did you discover your skin cancer / melanoma / skin condition and how long ago?
I had a squamous cell carcinoma approximately 40 years ago when I was in my teens. There wasn't much info about skin cancers then so I had this odd thing on my face but didn't worry about too much. I was at my GP one day, for something unrelated and she happened to notice it and wanted it checked out. As soon as the results came back it was cut out, thankfully.
Very recently I was diagnosed with a basal cell carcinoma in the middle of my bottom lip which I'm waiting to have surgery on, ouch! Some years ago I received chemotherapy which left me with very sensitive skin so I now also have many sun spots and quite possibly more basal cell carcinomas.
What is your attitude towards sun protection today?
My attitude toward the sun now is very different. I'm always concerned about how much exposure I get. I'm conscious of always wearing a hat or umbrella as well as using sunscreen.
I have always spent a lot of time in vehicles and I still do spend a lot of time driving. This means my arms and especially my hands are constantly in the sun, which is a concern. I normally wear long sleeved shirts which are often very hot, bulky and very limited sun protection. Sunscreens are a problem for me as they are full of chemicals and very messy.
What would you tell your 16-year-old self about sun protection?
Thankfully as a 16 year old I didn't lie in the sun for hours baking! I would say do more than wear a t-shirt over swimmers and more than just some sunscreen on my nose but try understand the power of the sun and we can really enjoy but in a healthy sensible way, getting sunburnt really isn't a part of summer!
I am so happy to find your product and I want more! I recently purchased arm sleeves which I love so much, thank-you. They are comfy, they really do cool! You can't feel the sun sting through them and because they fit well they look really good! All this and UPF50+! This has made a big difference to my lifestyle!
Thank you Kara for helping raise awareness for skin cancer, melanoma and skin conditions, and sharing your story with us and our Solbari Community.