From humble beginnings to a successful first event and now ambitious plans for the future, Inked 4 Cancer put a permanent mark on the fight against cancer Saturday.
Bright Ideas Tattoo and Piercings held the first Inked 4 Cancer event at its studio on Sparta Pike in Lebanon.
The all-day event – touted by organizers as the first of its kind anywhere – featured dozens of people lining up to get ribbon tattoos in the color of their choice based on what type of cancer awareness each sought to raise.
Proceeds from the $25 discounted tattoos will now go mostly to help local cancer victims help pay medical and other expenses, according to organizer Chad Browning.
Browning said the estimated $5,000 raised would be split into $500 grants to those who apply for the help on the Inked 4 Cancer website or Facebook page.
From cancer survivors to loved ones of cancer victims and those who sought to memorialize those lost to the disease, many had specific reasons for supporting Inked 4 Cancer on Saturday.
Chad Browning came up with the concept after his brother, Craig Browning, was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a cancer of plasma cells.
Multiple myeloma is a cancer that attacks white blood cells normally responsible for producing antibodies. In multiple myeloma, collections of abnormal plasma cells accumulate in the bone marrow, where they interfere with the production of normal blood cells.
“It just makes me not want to do much of anything,” said Craig Browning who works as a dispatcher for Lebanon police. “With a 3-year-old, that’s pretty tough. I mainly just work and do the best I can.”
After listening to his brother talk about his growing medical bills for his treatment, Chad Browning contacted Justin Doring with Bright Ideas, and Inked 4 Cancer was born.
“When Chad came to us with the idea, there was no way we couldn’t do it,” Doring said. “We’ve had a great turnout and can’t wait to see how far this goes.”
According to organizer Chad Browning, the growing effort could take off as support for the cause grows.
“We’re hoping for this to be international in the next five years,” Chad Browning said. “We have an event planned for the spring in Baltimore. We know tattoos are very popular in Europe.”
To view more photos from Inked 4 Cancer, click here.