Cancer patients, survivors get inked for free at Wilkes-Barre tattoo shop
WILKES-BARRE — When Bruce Fairchild saw his father’s struggle with cancer, it inspired him to help others fighting the disease.
“I decided to do something for our community,” he said.
Fairchild, 43, who owns Triple6tattoos, located on South Main Street, gave 15 cancer patients and survivors free ribbon tattoos last year. And after hearing the stories from those who came out, he decided to keep the tradition going.
Triple6tattoos hosted their second annual “F—- Cancer” event at the parlor, where cancer patients and survivors could get a free ribbon tattoo with the color representing their cancer. This year, Fairchild was joined by the two other artists in the parlor, Jenna Stanish and Kevin Boyer.
“Today is just for patients and survivors,” Fairchild said.
In addition to the tattoos, the event also had a basket raffle. After getting their tattoos, people were given free chances to enter into the raffle, which included baskets from Scentsy, 570 Clothing, and other baskets, all donated by clients of Triple6.
“Our clients are amazing,” Fairchild said.
Triple6 shop girl, Athena Danaris, 28, of Mount Pocono, was preparing after-care kits and managing the basket raffle table. Danaris said she thought the event was such a help to the community, and she enjoyed the overall positive energy in the parlor.
“Everyone in the room is full of great energy,” she said.
Tammy Norris, 32, of Dallas, heard about the event through her sister, who got a tattoo at Triple6 earlier in the week. Norris was diagnosed with Stage 1 skin cancer in 2013, after her doctor found a mole.
“(The doctor) said 100 percent that it was cancer,” Norris said.
Norris said she was grateful hers was caught early enough to remove it.
“I was really lucky,” she said.
Norris said her mother passed away from Stage 4 breast cancer and she urges people to see a doctor if something isn’t right.
“Catch it early,” Norris said. “Live longer.”
Sharon Azagata, 72, of Shickshinny, came to event with her daughter, Christina Evans, 51. Both woman are cancer survivors. Evans has been ovarian cancer-free for five years and just had her thyroid removed after being diagnosed with Stage 1 thyroid cancer.
Azagata is a two-year breast cancer survivor, and was getting a ribbon as her second tattoo.
“I got my first tattoo at 65,” she said. “They’re addictive.”
Azagata said she was overdue for an appointment and Geisinger kept calling her to come in. She said between that and her friend urging her to go, she finally made the appointment. She was diagnosed with Stage 1 breast cancer.
“When you hear cancer, it does something to you,” she said.
Evans and Azagata said they remained positive through their battles, and Evans said this journey, while tough, has brought her and her mother closer together.
“Your faith and mental attitude have everything to do with it,” Evans said.
Reach Brigid Edmunds at 570-991-6119 or on Twitter @TLNews.