Hal-le-friggin-lu-jah! Gee, uh, just how many years has this taken? Tanning beds have been in use regularly since the 80’s. To my friends that own businesses involving tanning beds, this is not a personal attack. At one time in my life I never gave a second thought to tanning, whether it was in the sun or in a tanning salon. That changed forever in July 2008. My husband had a golf ball size lump begin growing on his neck. It was melanoma. By the time of his surgery it was the size of a softball or grapefruit. It was a horrible long two year ordeal that ended in his death at age 37 in 2010. He grew up like most of us born in the 70’s did. He played outside all day until it got dark with his best friend. He played soccer, was in JROTC and marching band in high school. He served in the US Navy during the first gulf war. I don’t know how many sunburns he had throughout his life but he grew up in New Mexico. I applaud states that are restricting the use of tanning beds by minors under 18. I am not out to vilify anyone but “the only safe tan comes in a bottle,” according to the American Academy of Dermatologists. The number of young people being diagnosed with melanoma is staggering but the rate of death if not caught in time is certain. My husband lived two years and twenty days from the date of his surgery to remove the malignant melanoma on his neck. In the end it had spread to every organ and he began having personality changes once it had metastasized there. It was difficult as a RN to watch my husband suffer and fight, but still respect his wishes to continue extreme life saving measures. However, it was absolute torture to see my kids watch their dad go little by little and see him change before their eyes. We never lied or hid information. We told the truth on an age appropriate level. He waited too long to go get that funny looking spot on his neck checked. Now our world has one less soul in it.