This is one of those videos that just hits you. This powerful piece features ordinary people who all have one thing in common. That common denominator, however, is not the happiest thing in the world: it’s malignant melanoma, a dangerous form of skin cancer. While everyone in this video is a survivor of the skin cancer, the messages that they wish to send their 16-year-old selves are no less powerful because of it. They begin by addressing the camera with the very title of the video, “Dear 16-year-old Me.” From that point on, they tell the younger versions of themselves things they wish they’d known at that age, including when they get diagnosed with melanoma and what they should have done to prevent it. Some even flash the scars from their surgery to the camera, an image that makes their stories that much more meaningful.
According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, “[Melanoma] the most dangerous form of skin cancer, these cancerous growths develop when unrepaired DNA damage to skin cells (most often caused by ultraviolet radiation from sunshine or tanning beds) triggers mutations (genetic defects) that lead the skin cells to multiply rapidly and form malignant tumors.” The organization goes on to explain that, “If melanoma is recognized and treated early, it is almost always curable, but if it is not, the cancer can advance and spread to other parts of the body, where it becomes hard to treat and can be fatal.” This is why the urgency of this video is so important to the people starring in it. Their plea is to share this information with younger people in the hopes of preventing future melanoma diagnoses.
we believe in spreading the word about important issues like this. It’s hard not to feel moved by the testimonies of the people in this video, which means it’s working. We want to continue the success of this piece by sharing it with you. Tell us your thoughts in the comments below after watching!