I just wanted to share something that my friends did for me, and for us, over the weekend.
I realize that tattoos are not for everybody, but there are ALOT of misconceptions out there about people who are tattooed/tattoo artists and tattoo shops.
My friend Zaq owns a tattoo shop in St. Joseph, Michigan. I met him about 5-6 years ago when he was working in a tattoo shop in town, and a friend and I decided on a whim to get little cherry tattoos on our feet. I stayed in contact with him after that, and got another one by him a couple years ago on my birthday. Since then, he has opened up his own shop and hired 2 other artists to work for him, and he has quite a reputation in the tattoo community as a great young artist, and I'm very proud of how his work and his company has grown. When I was diagnosed last year, I contacted Zaq, and told him what was going on, and asked him to do a small lotus flower tattoo on the inside of my wrist, to remind myself to stay calm and try & relax as I was just getting ready to start chemo. He followed my updates & we talked through facebook throughout my treatment. After I was all done with chemo, and working on recovering, earlier this summer I got my half sleeve anchor tattoo that is my profile picture. It has been featured on quite a few tattoo magazine websites, and last month I entered it in the "Fight Like a Girl" websites contest for best cancer awareness/tribute tattoo, and I won first place. Upon completion of the anchor tattoo, Zaq informed me that he wanted to do some kind of fundraiser for breast cancer.
Fast forward to this past Saturday, Oct 8th. His shop held "Tattoos for a Cure" - they were doing $20 cancer awareness tattoos, and 100% of that money is going to the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk this Saturday in my town. They started at noon, and people could sign up for it until 8:00 p.m. There were 3 artists, and they promised to stay at the shop and make sure that EVERYone who had signed up would get tattooed. The last tattoo was finished at 5:30 a.m. the next morning. Three guys, 103 tattoos done, and over $2100 raised for Making Strides. I got a pink ribbon tattoo on the inside of my left foot, my husband got one on the side of his calf, my friend got one on her foot. I stayed there about 8 hours, helping out however they needed me to. I talked to alot of young women with bc in their family and the importance of self exams. I talked to alot of long time survivors. The oldest person getting tattooed was an 80 year old woman. This was an AMAZING event. These guys worked their butts off, not taking any break longer than 5 minutes to eat a snack or use the restroom. This isn't some dingy shop filled with thugs or bikers. It is cleaner than most doctor's offices. They are professional, and there is an art gallery in the front area of the shop.
I just wanted to share this with you - I was just blown away by the amount of support I've gotten from these friends of mine through this, and that they would do something like this for all of us <3