Photo: ASDS member Ian Maher, MD, with soccer star John O'Brien
When I first moved from Southern California to Holland to enter the renowned Ajax youth soccer system, my father soberly stated, "Even if it doesn’t lead anywhere, at least your skin will be out of the Southern California sun!" See, my family, of Irish decent, is ghostly pale skinned. I was the kid who after taking his shirt off, would be told to take his shirt off, a classic locker room joke.
My family was well aware of the dangers of sun exposure after my uncle died of Melanoma, however awareness didn’t always lead to action. For me, after three Mohs operations for skin cancer I have sobered to reality. The sun is our greatest friend, but also a potential enemy. It is like soccer.
The world’s glorious game allows us to deeply know ourselves and others, but also quickly can cut with scalpel-like indifference in the form of aggression and violence.
Let the sun be our friend again. Let competition be our friend.
It is simple:
Before the game, Safety First, Sunscreen then Shinguards.
After the game, cool down and cool off in the shade. Then cover up with sun protective clothing!
Thank you & good luck!!!"