Woman battling skin cancer uses story to warn others

LOCKPORT, N.Y. (WKBW) - Elise Hilton never imagined at just 21-years-old, she would be diagnosed with cancer.

"I had a lump on my head, and I thought that it was maybe a birthmark or mole," she said. "When the doctor told me I had Melanoma, I didn't even know what that was."

Elise was diagnosed with a progressive stage three, which quickly spread. After numerous treatments and surgeries to get rid of the cancer, doctors recently told her she has six- to eight-months to live.

"It's hard to see the end coming," Elise said. "You can't change a thing about it."

Hilton says cancer doesn't run in her family but she got it because she never wore sunscreen outside.

"I never would have gone tanning or tanned knowing that this would happen to me," she said.

Elise says she's so self-conscious about her scars and her tumors, that she wears a wig and often a scarf to hide behind.

For our cameras on Friday, she bared it all because she wants to use her story to warn other young girls, who like her, may just tan because they think it's cool.

"Skin cancer is not cool," she said. "It's taking my life; it's not pretty."

Elise married her fiance, James Schunk, on Saturday.

"My fiance said he will always stand by my side no matter what," she said. "To me it seems selfish, because the one thing I don't want to do is hurt my friends and family."

UPDATE: This story was originally posted on May 29, 2015. We are sad to report that Elise passed away from skin cancer on September 24, 2015. She was 24-years-old.




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