A three-time cancer survivor has revealed a tattoo of fairies and butterflies in the place where her breasts once were.
Kelly Davidson submitted the candid snap to Facebook’s Why We Ink page, which hosts images of those marking their own battles with the disease or honouring loved ones who lost theirs.
In the caption that accompanies the post, Davidson writes her "tattoo symbolises a transformation, my metamorphosis, like a butterfly I changed on the outside but remained the same on the inside."
"It is my badge of honour and strength, a piece of beautiful art that I wear with pride because it represents how I kicked cancer's ass and how breasts don't define who I am as a person or a woman."
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The 34-year-old was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma at the age of 11, the Toronto Star reports.
At 28 she contracted breast cancer and had a double mastectomy, and two years ago she beat thyroid cancer.
Explaining why she opted for a tattoo instead of reconstructive surgery, she told City News: "I went to a seminar in regards to reconstructive surgery I decided that I wasn’t going to have reconstruction.
"I thought about it and talked to my parents and thought there’s more to me than breasts so that’s kind of how the whole tattoo was born.
“I have this beautiful piece of art that I get to look at every day and it doesn’t bother me to think that I don’t have breasts.”
Casting director Jules Fitzsimmons set up the Why We Ink page last year and is creating a coffee table book of images shared, with all proceeds going to cancer support groups.
Kathy Hunter wrote:There are some people that you meet in your lifetime that you can literally see their soul through their eyes, my mother was one of those people. She had the most expressive eyes that would warm your heart in just one look, you always knew exactly how she was feeling and how she felt about you. It was truly remarkable. That being said, she passed away suddenly, without warning, on September 9th, 2007 at the age of 53. It was the most difficult time in both of our lives; my sister had just turned 25 and I was 26; losing our mother, our mentor and our best friend. We had mentioned shortly after the loss that we were interested in getting a memorial tattoo done, something that we could both share, that would always remind us of what a truly exceptional mother we had. We were very fortunate that we had so many close friends around us at that time and It just so happened that one of my sister’s close friends gave us his 4 hour time spot with his personal tattoo artist. We both went downtown to New Tribe tattoo’s in Toronto to his tattooist whom specializes in portraits. 4 hours later both my sister and I were graced with two of the most beautiful tributes to our mother. We both have her eyes portraited on our back, so that she is “always watching our backs” and she is watching over us wherever life takes us.
Nathalie’s husband Owen was always the “green thumb” in the family. When he passed, she was given the difficult task of taking care of the beloved garden her husband left behind. She proved to be a horrible gardener as every flower died except for one, her husband’s favorite, The Morning Glory. The flower kept growing back every year, so as a tribute to her husband, she got a tattoo of the Morning Glory flower wrapping around her ankle.
Amanda McInnes and Jamie McInnes
Amanda McInnes wrote: My husband and I both got the quote "life takes time" tattoo'd on ourselves, in honor of our close friend Daniel Couch. These words were Danny's words. They represented strength, courage and positivity to Danny and everyone around him. These words became so powerful it was more then a belief, it was a way of life. Everything from the placement, the font and style of Danny's name was designed so it individually represented how he was apart of our lives. I placed my tattoo on my shoulder. Its sound cliche, but he and I always were eachothers shoulder to lean on. Through break ups and make ups, and hard times and celebrations, we relied on eachother. Jamie placed his over his heart. With a stronger font and Danny's initials. This was a spot where he felt the words belonged, and how he saw their relationship. Meaningful, with lots of respect and always strong. Danny lost his battle and the tattoos became even more meaningful. They are a constant reminder of how amazing he was to all of us, and the impact he had on our lives.
Erika Zammittii (Tattoo #3) wrote: when I was 14 I was diagnosed with leukemia. (A.L.L) When I was 17 I got my first tattoo on my right wrist which says Believe with a small orange ribbon representing leukemia. When I was 19 I got Dream Love Cure on the side of my left foot representing my favourite motto and quote said by my hero, Rob Dyerwho is the founder and operator of Skate4Cancer When I was 20 I got my 3rd tattoo which is on the top of my left shoulder and in Roman numerals it says "08/30/2006" and right under it says "12/16/2008" which are the diagnoses and remission dates of my cancer. I just had my yearly check up yesterday @ Princess Margaret and I am lucky and blessed to still be in remission and doing quite well! Cancer sucks but I am not ashamed or embarrassed about my scars or my story which is why I am proud of my tattoos
Richelle Allen Wrote: It is a motorcycle wheel with angel wings, on the top it says "Dad" and on the bottom is the grey ribbon for brain cancer and the words "Ride Free". I got it this past March after my Dad passed away after a 1 month long battle with Glioblastoma an incurable form of brain cancer. He was my hero and motorcycles were a passion we shared so I got this design on my left forearm as a tribute to him. It was done by Karl at Atomic Zombie and I think he did a fantastic job.
Raymond Ong wrote: I was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in 2008 when I was 20. Shortly after chemotherapy started, I developed a blood clot on the left side of my brain.This resulted in a stroke and I was paralyzed from the top of my head to the bottom of my foot on my left side and my left arm would spasm uncontrollably. I finished chemo in 2011 January and 8 months later finished physiotherapy. I started getting involved in advocating for young adults affected by cancer and founded C4 Mural Project an art campaign to build a supportive network. The tattoo is a phrase my favourite Japanese superhero, Kamen Rider Kabuto/Tendou Souji, said; "Change yourself and the world changes." When I was in high school I heard this quote and throughout treatment it became my mantra. I carry the intention through out my life and decided to literally carry it on my back. The characters are old kanji called 'Tensho' in Japanese and 'Zhunshu' in Chinese but I changed the sentence format to the latter because the 8 characters are more balanced than the 10 in the former, plus less pain because I'm such a pansy. The right side says "change yourself" and the left says "change the world." It is also symbolic because after cancer my perspective on life changed because I had changed my actions and habits, thus my world changed. I firmly believe these words to be true and I constantly share them, when I speak at events
April Kalloo Gopwani
The first few years without my dad were very difficult, he was a part of our lives so much....it was a huge void..and took forever to get used to.Over 15 years later, I'm still not used to it, but I accept it. I kept everything he had written me, cards, letters, pictures, presents...in one box. It took a long time to look through that box without crying. But once I did, I found the last card he gave me...for Valentine's Day. It read: I will be gone for a while... Love you. Love forever, Your Dad He passed away later that year. His handwriting of "Love Forever" tattooed on my back from that card makes me smile everytime I see it. And makes it that much easier. Miss him everyday. April Kalloo
Megan Alexandria Oates
Basically, I was diagnosed with cancer at 17 right after graduating high school. Since then, I've overcome quite a bit of adversity and am now promoting my memoir 'Would You Like Your Cancer?' as well as working with a variety of organizations whether it's writing, volunteering etc. Anyway, the tattoo does not represent anger, but a daily reminder of everything I've overcome in hopes that one day there really is a cure for cancer.
Kristal B wrote: 10 years ago my Dad was diagnosed with prostate cancer. He went for radiation treatment and then surgery and the doctors believed they had gotten it all out. He was good for about four years until they discovered a growth in his groin. There was a small tumor that attached to his hipbone. The cancer had now moved into his bones. For the next few years he under went chemo, radiation and numerous drugs to control his pain and reduce the cancer but unfortunately due to the fact it was attached to his bone there was no stopping the spread. Just slowing it down. When my Dad was going through the worst of his treatments I decided to get this tattoo as a way to honor his fight. It was completed in about 5 sessions over the course of about 6 months. I figured if he could endure his treatments and all the side affects I could endure this for him. My Dad was my hero. He lived more in his last few years then most people do in a lifetime. He taught me about unending strength, unwaivering hope, courage and faith. He didn't let cancer stop him from living and was an inspiration to those who knew him. He used his own life and story with cancer to help others, becoming the chair of a prostate cancer support group, educating men on the importance of early testing and treatment, he did many interviews for radio and TV. He was even our hospitals 'poster boy' for living with cancer. I was lucky enough to have the chance to show him my tattoo on his birthday last March. Unfortunately on January 29th this year my Dad lost his battle after an epic 10 year fight. He is dearly missed by his family and friends but is very much alive in all our memories. This angel is my constant reminder of my Dad's strength, courage, love and hope. My guardian angel with me through good and bad for the rest of my life.
I chose to put the tattoo of a feather, plucked from an angel's wing with the words "I will remember you" on my foot so that no matter where I am or what I am doing the people that I have lost will guide every step I take.