Saturday, November 17, 2007

Redskin Cheerleader Cancer Free, But the Battle Continues 

Posted by James at 8:09 PM ET

From WUSA9.com
For Redskins Cheerleaders looking flawless is part of the job. But Brittany Lietz knows perfection can come at a cost.

"I never thought there was anything wrong with what I was doing. All my friends were doing it," said Redskins Cheerleader Brittany Lietz.

The former Miss Maryland calls herself an addict, but drugs or alcohol were never the problem. Brittany got hooked on the tanning bed.
Brittany, Redskins Cheerleader
"I went for 8 minutes once or twice, then 20 minutes, then 25 and at the end of 2 years I was going for 30 minutes, 5 or 6 times a week," explain Lietz.

Her "healthy glow" was anything but, Brittany's addiction was turning deadly.

"Everything changed when I was diagnosed with melanoma. As a teenager you think you're immune to everything. You think nothing's going to happen to you, you can conquer the world and so much more. I was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 20."

During her work on Sunday, Brittany's tan now comes in a bottle, including lots of sunscreen. Since her 2005 diagnosis, Brittany has had 30 procedures to remove cancerous lesions from her body. It's why the topic of skin cancer is close to her heart, and she'll lecture anyone and everyone that will listen.

"It's very scary to see her go through this. We try and watch ourselves and we never thought about it before she made the team," says Kelly Owens, Lietz's teammate.

"Skin cancer is something I will live with for the rest of my life. Regardless that my doctors have put me in a remission state," says Lietz.

When Brittany isn't seen on the sidelines, she can be heard in area classrooms.

"Skin cancer is the most preventable form of cancer and yet more people are diagnosed with it more than all the other cancers combined. I'm teaching teens learn from my mistakes. Learn from what I did wrong so hopefully you don't have to go thru the experiences that I did."

Watch the video for this story here.

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