Her husband passed away three years ago from skin cancer and now a local mom is doing everything she can to protect future generations from the disease.
He was a loving father of three, a husband and a retired first sergeant with the U.S. Army Reserve, but when Terrill Gates found out he had melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer, everything quickly changed.
“He had liver and brain tumors and 10 months after he was diagnosed we lost him. The kids were only 9, 10, and 11 at the time,” said Lori Gates, of Enfield.
Terrill passed just a few weeks after his 49th birthday. His wife Lori says he was quiet but tough, and extremely private, but not about his battle with this disease.
“As soon as he was diagnosed he said we need to go public with this because we could save someone’s life,” Gates said.
In the wake of her husband’s passing, Lori has made it her mission to change a current education law that only allows school nurses to apply sunscreen to children if they have a doctor’s note.
“I’m trying to make it so that anybody can reapply the sunscreen if the parent provides it and the parents send a note in saying please reapply to “Johnny” at noon,” she said.
Gates said it’s a common-sense approach that would still leave the choice to apply sunscreen up to parents, and wouldn’t cost school districts a dime.
“For those parents that are concerned about their children’s welfare and they just want them some to have some sunscreen on when they go out for recess, it seems like a reasonable alternative,” said Republican State Senator John Kissel.
For those who like this idea, Gates is asking people to reach out to their local senators before the session deadline, which is Wednesday at midnight.
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