What started as a simple idea to protect himself and others from skin cancer, is rapidly blossoming into an entire product line for Canberra inventor Reg Mckay.
Mr Mckay, who has suffered from skin cancer due to his extreme worship of the sun as a young man, pioneered the ''sunshader chair'', which completely protects the sitter from the sun. But he soon realised there was a great unmet need from sporting clubs and schools for a modified version of his original design and created a multi-seat version for use on the sidelines.
Mr Mckay said a lot of his time as a boarding school youth was spent playing sport on local council ovals with no shade.
Mr Mckay blames the lack of UV protection in his youth for the considerable agony he has felt since his first diagnosed skin cancer at the age of 30.
''I've had some horrific operations for their removal and in fact another one's coming out pretty soon,'' he said. ''I've got plastic surgery all over me.''
While Mr Mckay said while the ''Slip-Slop-Slap'' campaign and public education had been great for getting the prevention message across, he worried people didn't think about the consequences if they chose not to comply. ''What they don't know is if they don't listen to the advice, later on in their life can be horrific, terrible,'' he said.
The two sunshader interchange benches - a four-seater and a six-seater - will be demonstrated in Canberra schools and sports clubs to gauge interest.
Mr Mckay said his first sunshader invention had been very popular since it was launched last November.
And this year Cancer Council ACT teamed up with Mr Mckay to stock the chair.
SunSmart Services co-ordinator David Wild said the products were good inventions to protect Canberrans from the sun, but seeking shade was just one part of UV protection.
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