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Tanning trauma: Parents launch worldwide campaign after daughter dies from skin cancer

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Glenna Kohl via YouTube video

Glenna Kohl from 2005 interview (Courtesy: ‘Glenna’s Gift/YouTube)

BARNSTABLE, Mass. — A young woman’s family is spreading the dangers of tanning, and demanding change in tanning laws, after their beloved daughter died from melanoma.

The UK Daily Mail reports, Glenna Kohl, of Barnstable, spent years as a lifeguard at Cape Cod and spent much of her college years using indoor tanning beds.

Her family told the Daily Mail she was diagnosed with stage III melanoma after she discovered a golf ball-sized lump in her groin back in 2005. Three years later, the 26-year-old was dead.

Doctors traced the cancer back to a mole Glenna had removed years earlier, but which doctors had failed to identify as melanoma.

By then, she already had stage III melanoma. But Glenna was prepared to fight.

“Whatever I have to do to fight cancer, I’ll do,” her father Bob recalls his daughter saying.

Because the cancer had spread to her lymphatic system, doctors removed 13 lymph nodes from her groin. Less than a year later, Glenna found a small lump in her abdomen and was told her cancer had progressed to stage IV.

To try and raise awareness, Glenna’s parents have launched the Glenna Kohl Fund for Hope in order to ‘increase awareness to the importance of early detection and prevention of melanoma and to support those fighting this deadly disease.’

Her mother told Cosmopolitan Magazine, “Glenna’s not here to inform people of the dangers, so we’re going to continue her work for her.”

Thanks in part to the group’s efforts, the state of Massachusetts in 2014 passed a bill banning indoor tanning for those under 16 and requiring express consent from parents for those aged 16 or 17.