J.C. Nichols fountain turns black for Melanoma Monday

Posted at 3:29 PM, May 01, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-01 20:45:18-04

Even when it's cloudy and rainy out, Lindsey Mills slathers on the sunscreen.

"There were several times where I have blistering sunburns that I can remember just peeling the skin away," said Mills, 32. 

The reason: three years ago she got the biggest fright of her then 29 years -- skin cancer.

"I was really scared," she said. "I have two little kids so thinking about their future without me. It is something you never think will happen to you."

But it did when melanoma threatened to rob her of her life, and her children of their mother. That's why on Monday morning, she and a couple dozen others gathered on the Plaza to turn the J.C. Nichols fountain black.

The goal -- to raise awareness for Melanoma Monday.

"Melanoma is a disease of the skin," said Dr. Gary Doolittle with the University of Kansas Cancer Center. "Certain cells in the skin become cancerous and the challenge with it is - it can be deadly. We lose about 10,000 people a year to melanoma. Today is all about melanoma awareness and screening - encouraging people to get out to get screened."

Dr. Doolittle said the best medicine for melanoma is prevention.

  • Get checked by your doctor.
  • Protect your skin with sunscreen, long sleeves and a wide-brimmed hat.
  • Avoid the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., even on dreary days.

He also recommends that you do self-checks a couple times a month and monitors spots that look suspicious.