Protecting your skin from the sun should begin at a young age. Wills Lavin, 17, says it’s an important lesson to be taught and it could save your life.
Lavin spoke to a crowd of 7th graders at Marywood-Palm Valley School in Rancho Mirage last week. Lavin, a junior at the private school, is trying to teach to the kids about melanoma skin cancer.
“Spot a spot and save a life. Try to make a difference,” says Lavin of teaching kids the importance of detection.
Lavin is definitely doing his part to make a difference in these young lives. He started MAP, or the Melanoma Awareness Project of the Desert. It’s a nonprofit organization to raise awareness of the deadly skin cancer.
“There’s nothing like it here in the Desert,” Lavin says of MAP. “It’s sunny every day of the year and people should be aware.”
Lavin and a friend are teaching the middle school teens to wear sunscreen and shows what a melanoma skin cancer looks like.
Seventh graders Alhia Isbael and Sarah Chaffins took Lavin’s lesson to heart.
“We learned melanoma can affect anyone, even if you’re a kid. You can be an old person or a tiny kid and it will still affect you,” Isbael said.
Lavin says he lost a family friend to melanoma and that it’s important for kids to know about the dangers of the cancer and how to prevent it while they’re still young.
He says 80 percent of a person’s sun damage happens before the age of 18, so prevention at this age is key. So is education and awareness, at any age.
Lavin is trying to raise money for MAP. To find out more about it,visit www.desertmap.org.