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Orlando Breast Cancer Survivor Searches for "Nipple Tattoo Artist"

Posted May 2, 2008, 10:22 am in Health
Credit Growing Bolder

Orlando Breast Cancer Survivor Searches for "Nipple Tattoo Artist"

Orlando, FL, April 16, 2008 -- In what would be a medical first, a breast cancer survivor and registered nurse has started her search for a "very special artist" to tattoo realistic nipples on her reconstructed breasts.

Meg Gaffney was diagnosed with breast cancer more than 18 months ago at age 48, and made the decision to question every recommendation and examine every option presented her by doctors. She says, "so many patients, they're so blinded by hearing that word cancer in their diagnosis, and they don't ask questions. They're afraid to question the environment that all the specialists have placed them in."

Meg's questions led to some controversial answers: she decided to reject the chemotherapy treatments recommended by her doctors, and to quit radiation after only one session, saying "when I came out I felt like I had been put in a microwave, left on high, and forgotten about." For Meg, the only treatment that made sense was a radical bilateral mastectomy. Recently, doctors at Florida Hospital performed the procedure, removing both breasts and the surrounding tissue.

After a second surgery for implants, mastectomy patients typically have a third surgery to construct faux nipples using skin taken from another part of the body. Meg didn't like the idea. "I've spoken to women that said the first time around, the skin graft didn't take. And those women say, if given a choice again, I think I'd like to just be tattooed. So now, I say doc, where do we find someone that can just tattoo this area of my body to look like real anatomical parts? And he did not know."

So Meg decided to pioneer a new option: body art. She's hoping to find a tattoo artist willing to recreate the parts that doctors -- and cancer -- took away. "And I'm going to go to each end of the earth; I'm going to find an artist that's passionate about working with breast cancer patients," says Meg. "I want to empower women to take time, to take choices, to know that you are not a cookie cutter with the same treatment plan as the next person."

Meg Gaffney's amazing story is being documented by The Growing Bolder Media Group. Exclusive videos of her journey are now posted at growingbolder.com. "Meg's story will be turned into a documentary to help other women who are facing the difficult and often overwhelming decisions after a breast cancer diagnosis," says Executive Producer Katy Widrick. "She's a creative, passionate woman whose out-of-the-box thinking will result in a brand new option for millions."

About The Growing Bolder Media Group
The Growing Bolder Media Group specializes in creating active-lifestyle content for the 45+ market. The company is headquartered in Orlando, Florida, home to one of the world's largest populations of active-lifestyle Boomers. www.growingbolder.com

Contact Information
Growing Bolder Media Group
Katy Widrick

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  • Posted 10:27pm November 26th, 2013

    I offer this service, I'm poor..lol, so being paid would be great, but if you can't afford it, I'll do this for free. I can be reached at tatustacy@yahoo.com or stacy depaola on face book, my work can be viewed on facebook as I do not understand how to post photos here.

  • Posted 5:50am November 29th, 2008

    I've recently modelled for a training course for nipple and areola tattooing in the UK; my case will be a bit different to most as I am transgendered and having the treatment to make my nipples and areolae look more feminine; however it's nice that I'll be helping to train people who will later go on to help breast cancer survivors.

    The lady who ran the training course was amazing; as well as working in semi-permanent make-up and medical tattooing, she also does "traditional" artistic tattooing as a hobby, and has found that her experience with regular tattooing (especially techniques such as shading etc) has made a huge difference to the work she does with procedures such as the nipple and areola work which I had done.

    I've only very recently had my first procedure (4 days ago) so my areolae are still healing, but it will be very interesting to see what the healed result looks like, as they chose a colour that was very close to my existing natural areolae.

    As far as I know, there are quite a few people in the UK who offer this procedure, and it's frequently offered on the NHS to breast cancer survivors.

  • Posted 7:15pm September 22nd, 2008

    I just recently had my nipple reconstruction tattoo's finished, well I might need a tiny bit more ink, but I must wait until they are healed completely before I will know for sure.

     I chose not to use the Nurse provided by The Mayo Clinic. I wanted a real tattoo artist to re-make what had been taken away. Already being a tattoo fan I thought "why not go to a specialist". I have some friends who are tattoo enthusiests and or Tattoo artists. I was advised to go to Missy at Exclusive Ink in Winter Haven, FL. She does specialize in this and she is also a very creative tattoo artist. I know that she would love to help out in this situation, she is very passioate it about it.


    I was diagnosed at 27 and am now 34. I decided to have a double mastectomy at 32. I just had the tattoo's done this past August.


    When missy was done with my tatoo's I almost cried, they looked that good. One of my nipples turned out fine and on the "good" side, the nipple didnt turn out at all. Missy was able to re-create the effect that a nipple is there by shading and contrasting the colors.


    She has a Myspace you can do a search for. Here is a Blog I copied from her page and it also includes her number where she can be reached.

     "Exclusive Ink is a private space in Garden Grove, FL dedicated to CUSTOM TATTOO ART. No flash, piercing or other services are offered. This studio is owned and operated by Missy; local tattoo artist of ten years.The Exclusive concept was initiated to allow for a professionally tailored experience (focus and privacy with zero distractions). Tattoos and consultations are scheduled by appointment and may be arranged by calling 863-318-1095. If you reach the machine PLEASE leave a message: I rarely answer the phone/door while tattooing or consulting!"


    This is a very private shop, I felt copletely comfortable. My mom was even impressed with the facility.

    Anyway dont want to ramble on and on, this is about your tatto's

    Good Luck!!

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Channels: Health, Living, Health - Cancer, Living - Beauty, Living - Other, GB Topics, GB Topics - Cancer Survivors, GB Topics - Health Experts, GB Topics - Making a Difference

Tags: breast cancer - areola - nipple - cancer survivor - tattoo - medicine - plastic surgery - mastectomy - meg gaffney - breast implants - health - nipple tattoo



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