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Sunday, Sep. 25, 2016

Billie Jean had a tanning bed.

Posted Thursday, May 19, 2011, at 9:17 AM

Billie Jean Umbach was born Sept. 8, 1976, at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Sioux City, the daughter of Larry and Karen (Jeffrey) Wink. She was raised in Anthon, where as a youth she was a high achieving 4-H member of the Anthon Advancers 4-H club. She graduated from Maple Valley Anthon-Oto High School with the class of 1995. While in school she accelerated academically, was active as a cheerleader and was a member of the color guard, high school band and other school activities. After high school, Billie attended Omaha College of Health Sciences and Hawkeye Community College in Waterloo, Iowa,obtaining her degree in dental hygiene.

On Nov. 23, 2001, Billie married her high school sweetheart, Lincoln Umbach. On June 4, 2005, the couple were blessed with their only child, Keegan LaThomas. The couple enjoyed parenting, taking family vacations and every moment spent together.

Billie was a member of St. Joseph Catholic Church. She enjoyed scrapbooking, photography, golf, gardening, vacationing and bonfires with friends. Billie loved celebrating Christmas and the Fourth of July. She loved cooking and baking, especially decorating sugar cookies for all holidays. She treasured spending time with family and friends and enjoyed playing cards and board games. Above all, she loved her family, especially her beloved husband and young son.

Billie Umbach, 34, of Anthon passed away Tuesday, May 17, 2011, at a Sioux City hospital after fighting a courageous 5 1/2-year journey against melanoma. She was surrounded by her loving family and friends.

Survivors left to cherish their memories of Billie include her husband, Lincoln, and son, Keegan, and his puppy, "Paws

Billie Jean grew up with a tanning bed in her home. She tanned like many do for various reasons. Maybe it won't happen to you. Maybe she was just more susceptible to cancer than others. Maybe her son would have still have his mommy and her husband his soulmate if only tanning beds didn't exist. Sure it could've been a car accident, or another disease or maybe its just God's will and when its your time it just is. But unlike cigarettes or heavy drinking, the perception is that tanning beds make you more beautiful therefore they are allowed. The risks are underplayed. The warnings minimal. Make a choice to be there for your children, your spouse, your family. Its just one more healthy choice to stay away from obvious harm.

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As Billie's cosuin, I think it would be very polite of you to delete this post. The last thing people need to read, when Google searching Billie, is to find this article.

Perhaps you can take a different approach on this serious topic and use statistics rather than pin pointing individuals. Although she was taken away from us far too early, she accomplished so much in life that many could only hope to do. This year our Relay for Life Team, The Wild Angels, have hit the $85,000 fundraising mark over the last few years of fundraising.

I challenge you to come to the Relay for Life this year in Sioux City, and write an inspirational/positive "blog post" quoting the opinions that come from the relay participants about coming together and fighting for a cure. You can start by asking me, as I will be in attendace.

-- Posted by CodyUmbach on Tue, May 15, 2012, at 4:45 AM


-- Posted by Leah Cauthron on Thu, Jun 9, 2011, at 8:57 AM

Thanks for covering this subject.We lost our daughter 7 years ago to this desease and she also left behind loved ones including 3 young children.

Although she did occasionaly tan she did not blame tanning for her desease.She did however belong to an online support group and many of the girls in the group beleived the tanning booths were responsible for their condition.Ironically 6 months after her death my wife happened to visit this support group web site and someone was asking if anyone knew what happened to our daughter,she replied and we received many responses letting us know that our daughter had helped them with her upbeat blogs during her ordeal.

-- Posted by vikefan on Sun, May 29, 2011, at 9:38 AM

Thanks for posting Leah. The real lesson can be posed as a question: How much personal risk are you willing to take in order to look good or feel better temporarily? Too much tanning in a tanning bed obviously increases the risk of getting skin cancer. It's extremely disheartening to hear of this very young woman's death.

-- Posted by bighops85 on Fri, May 27, 2011, at 10:55 PM

I apologize and want to re-iterate that this was not written in any way to be disrespectful or to place blame on Billie Jean. This is about an industry that needs to be taken to task for harming a society in the name of a perception of beauty. The obituary was beautifully written and I felt that the only way to change people's perceptions was to make it personal. Help them to see themselves in Billie Jean and hopefully her story can still save lives.

-- Posted by Leah Cauthron on Fri, May 20, 2011, at 9:44 AM

Billie was a brave, courageous, amazing woman who not only fought this brutal disease with everything she had, she also educated others along the way and helped raise money for cancer research. She will be forever missed by those who loved her and were fortunate enough to have met her and see her infectous smile.

I understand you were trying to make a point and use Billie as point of reference on the affects of tanning beds and cancer, however I feel you could have taken a different approach to it. If you thought how her family would feel if they read this, you maybe wouldn't have gone about it the way you did. Posting this before they were able to say their final goodbyes maybe wasn't the most sympathetic approach.

-- Posted by cyfan on Fri, May 20, 2011, at 9:14 AM

This story breaks my heart.

With all the respect in me, I was horrified to find that the Google ad that came up to the right was for a bronzing serum, and it had photos of a pasty white leg next to a tan one to show its effects.

I do agree that tanning beds and tanning in general often get a pass because "of course you can't go through life pasty." The only skin cancer I had been familiar with was the kind that was fairly easily removed. It's only more recently that I've read that like any cancer it can move inside you and affect your lymph nodes, liver and lungs.

Even if it just ravages your skin, skin is your largest organ and it protects everything else. If it's compromised you're opened up to all kinds of infections.

I'm very sorry to the family and friends for such a great loss.

-- Posted by AmyPeterson on Fri, May 20, 2011, at 6:26 AM

I think the point of this blog was to point out the very tragic yet often overlooked dangers that can come from a product that is used quite regularly by people of all ages. The point of the blog is to encourage persons not to take unnecessary risks in a society that seems to believe, "It could never happen to me." This young lady died way to early. Hopefully someone else can learn from the tragedy.

-- Posted by randy cauthron on Thu, May 19, 2011, at 4:02 PM

Um, didn't mean to be disrespectful, just brief as possible. Calm down. That wasn't the point of my blog.

-- Posted by Leah Cauthron on Thu, May 19, 2011, at 1:37 PM

How disprespectful can you get! You didn't even copy and paste her FULL obituary here! You forgot to mention this KEY PARAGRAPH: (these was taken from her FULL OBITUARY in the Sioux City Journal)

After she was diagnosed with cancer, Billie began the Wild Angels Relay for Life team. Now, after 5 1/2 years, the team is more than 200 members strong. She cherished the hours devoted to raising money for the American Cancer Society to aid in the fight for a cure for all cancers. She and her Wild Angels team have raised $70,000 for the American Cancer Society. In 2009, Billie served as the honorary spokeswoman for the Relay for Life event.

-- Posted by GolfGal05 on Thu, May 19, 2011, at 1:27 PM

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M.O.M.: My Opinionated Mouth
Leah Cauthron
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My name is Leah Cauthron. I was born and raised on a farm near Cushing, Iowa. My parents still live there. I am a conservative Catholic. I have been married to Randy for 22 years and we have six children. I received my degree in Criminal Justice from Eastern Wyoming College and as a mother of six and a daycare mom, I have used probable cause, reasonable doubt, search and seizure, Miranda rights, submission, arrest and interrogation technique as a part of my daily life. I can also shoot a .357 magnum with deadly accuracy. I have lots of opinions on lots of things. I am not an expert on anything but I read a lot and will gladly share that information if I find it accurate. I have a sarcastic nature and for the most part I have pretty thick skin and most things don't bother me for long. I don't like mudslinging or name calling so keep negativity of the personal nature to yourself. Enjoy and welcome to my opinion.
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