GREENWOOD, Ind. -- If you're going to be soaking up the sun for spring break or tanning for prom season, an Indiana woman has a warning for you.
Judy Cloud is sharing the intimate details of her battle with skin cancer in hopes of inspiring others to protect themselves.
"This last surgery I had 23 places removed. It was from head to toe. I had them on my face, my chest, my left arm and both legs," said Cloud.
It was her fourth procedure since being diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma 20 years ago. It started with just a small spot under her eye that wouldn't go away.
Cloud was 28-years-old and the diagnosis came long after her younger days of playing outside without sunscreen and using the tanning bed.
"Tanning made you pretty. The pretty girls were the ones who were tanning. And I could never get a tan I had lighter skin. And looking back on it, it's like that was really stupid," said Cloud.
After fighting the battle privately, she chose to share her journey with other people who may feel invincible or think this could never happen to them.
"Because I see too many girls who are tanned year round and I know what they're doing to their skin," said Cloud.
Cloud says parents and educators have contacted her saying they used these photos as a warning for others.
"You can talk until you're blue in the face about statistics, skin cancer and percentages. People aren't going to listen but if you put a face with it maybe they'll listen," said Cloud.
If the album inspires anyone to stop soaking up sun without sunscreen or going to the tanning bed, Cloud says putting her personal life on display was worth it.
"This is not a joke. It could be your life."
Indiana law prohibits anyone under 16 years old from using tanning beds. Those under 18 must get written approval from parents.
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