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I thought a small spot on my eye was just a blemish – but a Facebook memory left me terrified

FACEBOOK memories can bring up a whole host of emotions.

But one mum has revealed how the nifty feature on the social networking platform helped diagnose a deadly illness.

When Jennifer Pineirovigo first noticed the mark on her face she booked an appointment to get it checked out, but she soon cancelled it when it started to fade
Six months later a Facebook memory popped up on her timeline and it dawned on her that the mark could actually be a cause for concern

Jennifer Pineirovigo first noticed a small spot under her eye on the right side of her face but ignored it as a bit of a blemish.

But after a Facebook memory popped up from 2020, which showed her face with the same spot, the prison teacher, from Sopchoppy, Florida, USA, decided to book in for a dermatology appointment.

Then, two years later in March 2022, Jennifer was diagnosed with Basal Cell Carcinoma.

This is a type of skin cancer that most often develops on areas of skin exposed to the sun, such as the face.

Now Jennifer is urging others to wear suncream on a regular basis and is trying to raise awareness of skin cancer.

When she had first spotted the mark, Jennifer had booked in to see a dermatologist.

But she soon cancelled it as she thought the mark had begun to fade away.

She said: “Six months later, I had a memory pop up on my Facebook.

“It was a photo I had posted about two years before, and the spot was very clear on my face.

“It dawned on me that maybe it was something of a cause for concern, so I booked in for another appointment.

“That’s when I got my skin cancer diagnosis, it was crushing.”

Following the diagnosis, Jennifer was scheduled for a surgery which involved cutting away thin layers of skin.

Each layer is then looked at carefully in order to spot signs of deadly cancer.

This process, known as MOHS, continues until there are no signs of cancer left, removing layer and layer of skin.

She said: “I wasn’t put to sleep when the MOHS procedure was performed, I just had the area numbed with local anaesthetic.

“After they took the first three layers of skin, I started to get a bit worried as I could just see the damage it had left behind.

“The doctor even came in and told me that I would need plastic surgery in order to fix it.

“They then removed another two layers, where they were certain that there was no more cancer.

“The whole process was incredibly gnarly.”

Then, Jennifer said she was immediately referred to the plastic surgeon who wrapped up the area and booked her in for surgery.

“Thankfully, I was asleep for that one whilst they fixed up the hole in my face,” she added.

Jennifer’s face took around two months to heal and along the way she had to have scar revision surgery.

This, she said, was due to the fact she had a slight allergy to some of the ointment she had been using to help the scarring fade.

Besides that, she said she had been impressed with how fast she had healed up.

Another problem that Jennifer faced, she said, was that her smile line had been quite tight – as was the skin underneath her eye.

She added: “So, when I went for a plastic surgery check-up, the surgeon spotted it and booked me into surgery again to get it sorted.


“I’m sad that I do have to contend with slight scarring on my face for the rest of my life now.

“But I’ll be forever grateful to the fact I listened to my gut and actually went to the dermatologist, because if I hadn’t, I could be dead right now.”

Jennifer is now using social media to raise awareness about skin cancer, as well as warning others to wear suncream.

She said: “My biggest fault, and probably the cause for my skin cancer, was the fact I didn’t tend to wear sun cream if I was just running errands or going out and about for a few hours on hot days.

“Since receiving my diagnosis, I’ve applied sun cream religiously, and I’ve made sure that my family do too.

“I’ve been sharing my story on TikTok in the hopes to raise awareness that it can happen to anyone.

“Having a new face to contend with has also bought across some challenges, but I love exploring how I can cover my scar with makeup.”

Now, post surgery and healing Jennifer is trying to raise awareness of skin cancer

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