As one of Australia’s newest charities, Pink Ink is aimed at making life a little brighter for male and female breast cancer survivors who are left scarred by having a breast/breasts removed.
Hills local June Belkovskis said for many people the perception is that when treatment has finished for cancer patients then “it’s over” which she says is not true at all.
A breast cancer survivor herself, she says many people struggle with the emotional upheaval and physical reminders of the treatment they have received such as scarring and burns.
A fundraiser for cancer research for many years, June says she wanted to do something to “fill a gap” and after hearing a friend’s story decided to raise money to fund cosmetic tattoos for breast cancer survivors.
“It has been in the back of my mind for some time to do something that will directly impact a person’s life,” she told the Hills to Hawkesbury Community News.
“A friend had a double mastectomy and underwent surgery for implants. She went through life for years looking like a Barbie doll (without nipples) and she eventually saved enough money to have 3D areola tattoos to make her feel like a woman again.”
It was hearing that story that the idea for Pink Ink (Australia) started to form.
June says tattoos are a simple way to ease the distress caused by the residual scarring, body disfigurement, loss of nipple/ areola, radiation burns and permanent eyebrow loss that may result from breast cancer surgery, chemotherapy or radiation treatment but for many people the cost is a barrier.
She has a board of eight business women who are all involved in the community and are all determined to bring a bit of beauty into someone’s life at a very vulnerable time.
“We want to stop survivors from going down the rabbit-hole of depression and developing the mental disorder of body dysmorphia (an obsessive mental disorder),” said June.
“Body dysmorphia has ruined marriages, affected relationships, impacts ones everyday thought processes and has been linked to suicide. If a simple tattoo can save a life – or provide a sense of normalcy, then all our efforts will be worth it. “
Referrals will have to be made through a medical professional. June hopes their first tattoo will be a Christmas gift for a breast cancer survivor.
The launch of Pink Ink (Australia) will be held on Saturday, 14th October in the Oasis Room at the Hillside Hotel on Old Northern Road, Castle Hill.
Tickets are $70 which will include drinks, nibbles, live band, dancing plus raffles and auctions and a chance to win a $3,000 voucher to spend at Robert Cliff Master Jewellers at Castle Towers. All money raised will go towards the charity.
“I want it to be a celebration,” says June. “It will be a very cool party.” Tickets are limited. Too book visit https://events.humanitix.com/the-official-launch-of-pink-ink-australia
To find out more about the charity visit www.pinkink.org.au