Strength in a person is one characteristic that I’ve always admired. The strength to endure hardships with positivity and grace because not all things in life come easy and there are times when things are taken away from us. It’s hard to say why we encounter certain losses or hardships in life, but the true story lies in what we do with them. It has been close to eleven years since Rhonda’s late husband, Darren Lee Farwell, passed away from Melanoma. Even after so many years the wounds are still fresh. Melanoma is preventable. He could have been spared. Yet it was from his loss that UV Skinz was born. Recently, Rhonda was interviewed by Woman’s World and the article was published in their June issue. The story of how and why UV Skinz was started is told in a few short sentences here and there, but this article brings up the real human emotion behind it and will touch your heart. The image below is a little hard to read so I wanted to highlight some the article for you…

Darren was diagnosed with Melanoma when he was 27. His scans were clear for two years when the news came that the Melanoma was back. Rhonda thought, “How do I tell him he may not see his boys grow up?” They both decided that they would do whatever it took to fight the cancer. After undergoing surgery to remove the lymph nodes in his neck, he started on the then experimental drug, Interferon.

The cancer wasn’t responding to the drug. Realizing time was running out, Darren made each of the boys a special memory box filled with his favorite clothes, CDs, pictures, and he told Rhonda, “Let’s get married again.”

The day of their second wedding they vowed their eternal love for each other. When Darren passed away Rhonda’s heart was shattered.  The grief was magnified by the thought that his cancer had been preventable.

After being diagnosed, Darren had even batted around the idea of creating a line of protective beach shirts to keep kids safe in the sun. Rhonda made his idea reality when she founded UV Skinz in 2005. The first year, she sold 3,400. The second, 25,000! Today UV Skinz has sold more than one million shirts!

“I know Darren would be proud to know he’s responsible for keeping so many people safe. And I can’t think of a better way to honor his memory.” ~Rhonda Sparks

*Pass the Kleenex!*

The lovely pictures of Rhonda and her family were photographed by a Diane Conn from Diane Conn Photography. Here are a couple more photos of Rhonda and her family!