Story 32

Fighting for a tan free prom

Kathleen at a Canadian Cancer Society awareness event

When Kathleen Murphy was in high school in Prince Edward Island, it bothered her to see that many of her classmates were tanning. She knew that indoor tanning could pose serious health risks and this motivated her to push for a tan-free prom at her school.

With information from the Canadian Cancer Society and her own research, Kathleen coordinated a week of activities to educate her classmates on the dangers of indoor tanning. Being exposed to ultraviolet (UV) rays – whether from the sun, tanning beds or sun lamps – increases skin cancer risk. Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer. Kathleen's hard work and effort led to a pledge from many students to make it a tan free prom.

The first tan-free prom initiative originated in British Columbia and is now carried out across the country. The lessons that Kathleen learned were shared with Society staff. She has continued her advocacy work and brought about the implementation of new legislation restricting the use of tanning beds in PEI.

Volunteers like Kathleen help create a future where fewer Canadians get cancer. Learn more about volunteer advocacy opportunities where you live.