About this event
One simple skin check changed John’s life
John was born and raised in Tasmania and is a family man with 2 children and 3 grand-children. John has always had strong ties to the community especially in Tasmania due to the family business, (Clennett’s Mitre 10) which has been in operation for over 3 generations. John also has a love for outdoor activities and in his early years played in the VFL (Victorian Football League) for the Melbourne Football Club (Demons) through the 1970’s, as well his love for the water with sailing.
John has an older sister who’s nearly 80 and a brother who is in his 70’s and mentioned they have never had any issues with skin cancer in the family, even though growing up they would be in the sun way too long and also sun tanning. “We wouldn’t really burn we would just go brown, you know how it was back in our day there was no such thing as sun safety, obviously when you’re growing up you’re conscious of the fact that perhaps you feel better, look better to others having a tan and now looking back you get into this misguided belief that you’re 10ft tall and bulletproof.”
It was while being in Airlie Beach, my wife (Dianna) said there is a (Mates Against Melanoma & The Flying Skin Cancer Doctors) skin check clinic in town as part of Airlie Beach Race Week 2021. “Yeah, and I only went because my wife said we should go and get a skin check, and as I have not had a skin check I thought it would still be a waste of time and even said going in. Well as it turned out my wife Dianna was clear, but I was a different story.”
Dr Alan (Flying Skin Cancer Doctor) didn’t like the look of something on John’s back. It was really quite small, to the extent that Dianna had not noticed it. Dr Alan decided to take a small biopsy.
A week later, after returning from Airlie Beach the doctor rang and he informed John it was an early-stage melanoma. At this stage of early detection taking action is paramount to preventing the melanoma’s spread.
He saw a plastic surgeon who took out the required wider margin around the primary melanoma site. Being a man that takes action, John booked into a skin specialist in Hobart in February 2022 and is scheduled to see him every three months to make sure the melanoma has been fully removed. This will change to 6 monthly intervals if the region is clear.
As John has never had an actual skin check until recently, especially after enjoying Australia’s outdoor playground and on the water he now has a different opinion due to his early stage melanoma diagnosis.
He says “people need to be made aware that booking a regular skin check, along with conducting regular self-examinations and using sunscreen and sun safety clothing apparel such as hats and shirts are the basic self-help steps to preventing melanoma becoming life threatening.”
John has offered to be a voice for Mates Against Melanoma. He has encouraged his employees and his customers to get regular skin checks. He is a strong ‘skin check’ advocate within his community and also by supporting Mates Against Melanoma, is spreading awareness across Australia via the Australian National Skin Check Day program.
John Clennett’s story highlights how a simple decision to have his skin checked saved him from a potentially protracted life threatening melanoma.