Is there anything worse than a child with cancer? Cancer is a cruel disease and the Tattoo community has felt the effects first hand with the illness and passing of Inkmaster star Clint Cummings in 2016 at just 36 years old and the recent illness of Joshua Carlton .
But cancer in children just seems so unnatural. Children shouldn’t have to carry the scars of a disease which rips families apart or face agonising cancer treatments that leaves them weak and defeated. Unfortunately Paediatric cancer isn’t one of the common 4 cancers ( Breast, Lung, Prostate, Colorectal), this means it gets very little funding for research. It just gets roughly 3-4% of the total funds donated or granted to cancer research.
To aid in raising funding specifically for paediatric research and lift the spirits of children going through cancer treatments, one tattoo collector has created a special foundation. Tyler Stover founded Hope vs Cancer, a charity that takes artwork submitted by tattoo artists worldwide and turns them into temporary tattoos for children. These tattoos empower children on treatment days and helps them fight a little longer. Treatment days are usually tough but the tattoos offer children hope and a distraction to the ravishing effects of treatment on their bodies with their colourful imagery.
Tyler attends Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center’s Pediatric Oncology Clinic on treatment days and applies the tattoos to help the visits go a little easier. “Their whole body language changes on the examining table.” commented Stover. “Sometimes kids are more visual, so when they see things, it gives them more hope, it keeps them fighting longer.” Said Consuelo Hoo Bodan, grandmother to one of the clinics patients.
Another child has been fighting cancer for the past four years. Since Tyler started visiting, the doctor visits aren’t as tough. His mother, Nicole Schleicher commented: “It gives us reason and something to look forward to coming to the clinic for.”
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“When you are living the best version of yourself, you inspire others to live the best versions of themselves.” Can’t say enough about the amazing team at @gamefacetattoo and the inspiring duo of @je_tattoos and @tattoosbyedward. They joined the fight vs children’s cancer with @hopevscancer and went all in. We hope they inspire many more artists and shops to get involved with their generosity and kindness.
The tattoo community has been active in supporting Hope vs Cancer either through fundraising activities through Tattoo Days or by submitting artwork to be used for the temporary tattoos or the clothing merchandise that can be bought through the Hope VS Cancer website. The proceeds from each T-shirt purchased will fund 30 minutes of cancer research.
Tyler says the children are his inspiration and motivation to continue the fight against cancer. ”Childhood cancer has found a formidable foe in Hope vs Cancer. We put it on notice and we’re coming for it.”
How can you help Hope Vs Cancer?
If you are a tattoo artist you can submit your artwork to be used for products to raise funds for the charity.