It’s now so popular that 69-year-old Reg McKay – who has spent years battling skin cancer - is taking his Sunshader Chair Australia-wide.“Initially, I was surprised at the level of interest, but then, who wants skin cancer? People love the fact it is easy and convenient to use andprovides cover to the head and neck.”
The Canberra inventor says it all started as a 10-year-old when he would lather
a mix of olive oil and vinegar onto his delicate white skin and lay under the burning Australian sun. “Unbeknownst to us, we were frying our skin,” says Reg. “And I’m paying dearly for it now.”
His first skin cancer was discovered in
1976 at age 27. Since then, he has had
14 operations, over 600 stiches and multiple skin grafts. At one point, a six-inch tumour was removed from his jaw and last November surgeons cut out 10 moles and one tumour on his back.
“For the past 10 years I’ve been unable to go anywhere in the direct sun. I’ve gone from a GP to a dermatologist to now dealing with plastic surgeons,” says Reg. “It was only after I semi-retired that
I realised I wasn’t bullet-proof. I realised
I’m not ready to sit on the veranda on a rocking chair. I have grandkids who I want to be out on the beach with.”
But with nothing in the market, Reg took matters into his own hands and began modifying a recreational chair to provide added protection from the sun. Soon,
he was liaising with the manufacturer to create the Sunshader - a comfortable, light-weight, sturdy outdoor chair with side and rear covers and a waterproof canopy. Weighing just five kilos, the Sunshader is easy to carry and even has built-in pockets for personal items like sunglasses, wallets and phones.