Little miss sunshine: Teen’s book promotes sun safety
Although the sun’s powerful rays may not seem to be as much of a threat in winter, sun safety is a year-round job. And it’s one that Episcopal High School senior Arden Koschel is passionate about.
In an effort to raise awareness of skin cancer and sun safety among children, Koschel has partnered with the LSO Foundation to create Dottie’s Sun Survival Guide, a book that follows Dottie the Dalmatian as she navigates the ABCs of skin protection.
Koschel said she wanted to create a fun way for kids to learn about sun safety while also benefiting the foundation’s work.
“I was struck by the effect cancer can have on our communities, families and friends,” Koschel says. “Public health is one of my passions; I have an innate desire to serve others. Thus, I sought to understand how I might aid in making a difference in this issue.”
Koschel secured sponsorships from dermatologists and skin care companies, with an original goal of raising $5,000. In the end, her total topped $11,000.
She says the process of writing the book was challenging but rewarding. “It required me to find and work with an illustrator, raise the funds, find a publisher, market the book, manage social media pages, visit classrooms, meet deadlines and change my title several times,” she says. “Through the trials and successes of Dottie’s Sun Survival Guide, I never allowed myself to forget the goal and quality of life for which I am fighting.”
Koschel plans to pursue pre-medicine in college. Her long-term goals for the book include working with dermatology groups and partnering with sunscreen companies to teach more young people about sun safety and early skin cancer detection.
To promote the book, LSO Foundation director Sarah Lomax Gray and Koschel will visit local schools together and read the book to kids in first to third grade. They will also engage students in activities to help them look for moles and practice sunscreen application.
For book-related events, visit the LSO Foundation’s Facebook page. Buy a copy at lsofoundation.org.