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Last Updated: Thursday, 5 July 2007, 13:50 GMT 14:50 UK
Mother dies after daily sunbeds
Phil Burtwistle and Zita Farrelly
The family say sunbeds ruined their lives (photo: MEN Syndication)
A 29-year-old mother died of skin cancer after using sunbeds twice a day for seven years.

Zita Farrelly started using sunbeds at 14 and gave up when she was 21 - but was diagnosed with melanoma last year.

Ms Farrelly, of Salford, had treatment at the Christie cancer hospital but specialists were unable to save her.

Now her family are urging other people to stay away from the machines, with boyfriend Phil Burtwistle saying they had "destroyed the family's life".

He said: "Zita told me days before she died that she wished she could make a documentary about the dangers of using them.

"She said if only one person was saved by seeing what had happened to her, she'd be happy.

I see young girls coming out of tanning salons burned and looking like lobsters
Tina Farrelly, aunt

"People need to know that they can be so dangerous. I've basically spent the last year watching my girlfriend die before my eyes.

"I don't want any family to go through what I went through, and I think people should avoid sunbeds at all costs."

Ms Farrelly's family say she stopped using sunbeds when health warnings came out about over-use.

In August last year - eight years after she stopped using them - she found a mole on her leg and was diagnosed with melanoma.

Zita Farrelly (photo courtesy of MEN Syndication)
Zita Farrelly's funeral takes place on Friday

Doctors told her the cancer was caused by the amount of time she spent on sunbeds.

A fund-raising party will be held on 18 July - which would have been her 30th birthday - in aid of St Ann's Hospice, where she spent her final days.

Her aunt, Tina Farrelly, is now appealing for others to stay away from sunbeds and learn from her niece's death.

She said: "I see young girls coming out of tanning salons burned and looking like lobsters.

"I feel like grabbing them and telling them what can happen. If they knew the pain Zita went through, I'm sure it would make them stop using them."

Ms Farrelly's funeral will take place at St James RC Church on Friday, with a celebration of her life.

Sunbed cancer risk 'increasing'
30 Jan 07 |  Health


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