P.ink Day Movement Brings Tattoo Art to Breast Cancer Fight - NBC Southern California
Breast Cancer: Replacing Fear With Hope

Breast Cancer: Replacing Fear With Hope

NBC4 Lolita Lopez learns about cancer, herself and the amazing community of cancer survivors

P.ink Day Movement Brings Tattoo Art to Breast Cancer Fight

Women across the country chose to mark their bodies, not for fashion, but to show breast cancer wouldn't take their spirits as part of P.ink Day

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    P.ink Day Uses Tattoo Art to Help Breast Cancer Survivors

    Breast cancer surgery can leave disfiguring scars and memories for survivors, some of whom on Friday took to tattoo art to help heal. Lolita Lopez reports for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. Friday, Oct. 10, 2014. (Published Monday, April 20, 2015)

    Breast cancer surgery can leave many women with disfiguring scars and sometimes a body they don't recognize. But on Friday, they took control through a tattoo art movement in Southern California.

    The P.ink Day movement is happening in a dozen cities across the country, including Los Angeles.

    Kelly Lundquist relied on the hummingbirds in her backyard to help her through 12 rounds of chemotherapy.

    She was diagnosed with breast and ovarian cancers last year. A double mastectomy and hysterectomy soon followed.

    "Hummingbirds are tiny and delicate but they are so fierce," said Kerry Lundquist, Kelly's twin sister. "They know what they want and I think of her going through all that chemo."

    Kerry Lundquist had the same surgeries. But while she didn't have cancer, she matcher her sister in another way. Both were diagnosed with the BRCA gene, which increases the risk of getting breast cancer.

    "At first when you think of getting a mastectomy and everything you are kind of like ashamed,"Kerry Lundquist said. "But here, it's just like, we are women, we are going to fight, and we are going to be strong. Let's be beautiful."

    That beauty that comes in permanent symbols of hope.

    Kerry and Kelly Lundquist are among others across the country who chose to mark their bodies, not for fashion, but to show breast cancer wouldn't take their spirits as part of P.ink Day.

    "If you don't tattoo an arreola, insurance won't pay for it," Molly Ortwein said. "It's not very personal and it doesn't look real."

    That's one of the reasons survivor Ortwein got her own tattoo two years ago. It's also why she started the initiative that has now gone from one city and one parlor last year to a dozen today, including renaissance studios in San Clemente -- the artists giving their time for free.

    "These are different tattoos," one artist said. "These are tattoos that change people's lives."

    "When we look in the mirror, we can see that beauty instead of seeing that scar that is so painful," Kerry Lundquist said.

    Each is also part of educating women to be open and honest.

    "The biggest part of breast cancer is, it's a female organ, therefore we don't discuss and that's dangerous," survivor Kerry Carman said. "That's killing women."

    Kelly Lundquist's diagnosis led to more testing in her family. One of her daughters and a niece also have the BRCA gene.

    "(Education) is saving our generation," Kerry Lundquist said.

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