LOOK: Dad gets scar tattoo to comfort son who is battling cancer
Josh Marshall, 28, got a unique tattoo to match his son Gabriel's scar, helping him feel less self-conscious, during his battle against cancer
John Marshall, 28, is a Kansas-based dad who has stood by his 8-year-old son, Gabriel, as he battled a rare form of cancer.
It was in March of 2015 when Gabriel was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer called anaplastic astrocytoma, a malignant brain tumor.
After a surgery left him with a large scar, Josh shares how his son felt like a “monster.”
“This broke my heart,” Marshall recounted to Buzzfeed News. He then decided that the only way to make his son feel less self-conscious was to get a scar himself—so he got a tattoo in its likeness. “I told him if people wanted to stare, they could stare at both of us,” he said.
The 8-year-old battled the condition for several months. Though there’s still some of the tumor left in his brain, his dad Josh told BuzzFeed News that the latest tests confirm that he’s in a stable condition.
“He’s been doing good and he’s been off treatment about nine months now,” said Marshall.
More on the Marshalls’ touching story on the next page.
After that, he decided to enter St. Baldrick’s Foundation’s #BestBaldDad competition—an online photo-sharing contest where dads, uncles, and granddads could share their stories of shaving their heads in tribute for a child who had cancer.
Marshall’s submission, which won the competition with 5,000 votes, was accompanied by the caption: “Me and my son at this year’s St. Baldrick’s event in Wichita, Kansas. Got my son’s scar tattooed to help his self confidence.”
Marshall won St. Baldrick’s 2016 #BestBaldDad with 5,000 votes.
St. Baldrick’s Foundation’s social media manager, Alison Sutton, told Buzzfeed that it was “the first time (they’ve) seen an entry where a dad went above and beyond shaving his head in solidarity with his child and got a tattoo to build his son’s self-confidence.”
“It’s a truly touching story,” added Sutton.
Since winning the competition, Josh’s powerful image has been shared thousands of times on various Facebook pages and Instagram accounts. On Bamf Nation’s Instagram account, the photo garnered 120,000 likes.
The 8-year-old is now on the road to recovery and is absolutely loves their matching tattoos, saying that it now makes them “twins.”
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