Skip to content

Posts from the ‘Tattoos’ Category

Pink Ink: A Purple Ribbon for Pancreatic Cancer

December 26th, 2013

Lisa Dawson

I met Deserie and her Army of Angels teammates at the 2013 Seattle 3-Day in September and immediately noticed the beautiful tattoo sleeve on her arm – just look at that color and detail! And the way the stars are incorporated into the background… gorgeous.


Looking closer, I noticed one of the butterflies had a purple ribbon incorporated into its body. Deserie explained that the tattoo (and her 3-Day walk) was in honor of her beloved Aunt Virgie, who lost her fight with pancreatic cancer five years ago.

I knew this form of cancer is very aggressive, but I didn’t realize how difficult it is to treat until our conversation prompted me to look it up: The five year survival rate is astonishingly low, and metastatic forms tend to move swiftly. The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PanCan) website is a good source of information if you’re interested in learning more.

More tattoo inspiration: The fighting angel logo on the Army of Angels team shirts was modeled after teammate Mindy’s tattoo tribute to her mother. I love it.

Deserie’s tattoo was done by JT at Wicked Needle Tattoo & Piercing in Spanaway, Washington. Thank you, Deserie, for sharing the story behind your tattoo and for prompting me to learn more about pancreatic cancer!

Pink Ink: Celtic Motherhood Knot

November 4th, 2013

Lisa Dawson

Beth's celtic pink ribbon

I ran into Beth on the second day of the 2013 Seattle 3-Day walk, and was intrigued by the design of the tattoo on her shoulder blade. She told me it’s a Celtic motherhood knot in honor of her mother, drawn by her son.

Beth's celtic pink ribbon

I did a little research into the history of the knot, and learned that it’s a holy trinity knot symbolizing a parent and child embrace. It’s typically two hearts, one lower than the first, entwined in a continuous knot. I love how Beth’s son incorporated the pink ribbon into this design, honoring three generations of their family.

Beth had the tattoo done at Flaming Dragon Tattoo in Tacoma, Washington.

As a side note, these pink ink posts are exposing me to a lot of excellent tattoo shops in the Puget Sound region!

Pink Ink: Walking Side-By-Side

November 2nd, 2013

Lisa Dawson

Tom's pink ribbon for his wife


Colleen & Tom Bearden

I’ve had the pleasure of serving on the Seattle 3-Day Route Safety crew with Tom since 2010 (he rides a Harley). Tom’s wife Colleen is a six-year breast cancer survivor – she walked in 2009 before they both decided they wanted to be a part of the crew.

Tom's pink ribbon for his wife

Their devotion to each other is obvious within minutes of first meeting them, and the pink ribbon tattoo on Tom’s forearm illustrates the depth of their love. The ribbon is flanked by their footprints (bear for him), walking side-by-side.

I love the rougher edges on the ribbon and I still get a little teary when I look at the footprints and imagine them going through Colleen’s cancer journey together.

I look forward to working on the Seattle 3-Day Route Safety crew with Tom again and supporting Colleen as she walks in 2014!

Help Colleen reach her fundraising goal early!

Pink Ink: Flower & Butterfly Tattoo with a Pink Ribbon Twist

October 31st, 2013

Lisa Dawson

Blanche's butterfly pink ribbon and flower tattoo

I met Blanche at a fundraising event for Team Tracy this summer, but she’s member of The Pink Penguins 3-Day team (and former co-captain of top 3 team Hello Cupcake) She’s also good friends and teammates with Aubrey, whose hope tattoo was featured earlier this month.

Blanche turned 40 in 2004 and decided to walk in her first 3-Day that year, in part because she needed a new challenge and also because her Aunt Joey passed away from the disease. She was hooked. The 2013 Seattle walk was her 12th, and she’s trying crew for the first time at the San Diego 3-Day in November (“I wanted a new experience and my back and feet will be happy about that.”).

Blanche's butterfly pink ribbon and flower tattoo

The pink ribbon butterfly was done in 2007 by Josh at House of Tattoo in Tacoma, Washington. She decided to add the flowers two years later, this time working with Slave to the Needle in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle. I love the bright colors and subtle blue shading in the background!

It’s required for crew members, but Blanche has decided to raise money for the San Diego walk anyway. I look forward to seeing her smiling face in at the 3-Day in November!

Pink Ink: A Ribbon Tattoo in Memory of Tana

October 12th, 2013

Lisa Dawson

Susan's pink ribbon tattoo for Tana

I met Susan and her friend Joan on the first day of the 2013 Seattle 3-Day, as I was riding alongside some walkers nearing the 20-mile mark. I thought I could see the outline of a pink ribbon tattoo between Susan’s shoulder blades, but there wasn’t one. She did, however, have a pink ribbon on her side, just below her rib cage.

As we chatted, they told me they were walking in memory of their friend Tana, who left behind a husband and young children. My heart broke a little – for them, and for Tana’s family.

Susan's pink ribbon tattoo for Tana

Susan has a classic pink ribbon, about 2.5 inches tall. I’m usually not a fan of background shading, but I think it works really well with this ribbon, highlighting some of the texture and dimension in the pink.

Pink Ink: Her Horse Carried Her Through Recovery

October 9th, 2013

Lisa Dawson

Patti's horse pink ribbon tattoo

Patti and I met on this year’s Seattle 3-Day Route Safety crew as fellow bicyclists. It was her first year on crew, but her second 3-Day… she walked in Seattle last year, just nine months after her breast cancer diagnosis.

Patti's horse pink ribbon tattoo

In the months following her diagnosis, Patti learned she carries the BRCA1 gene mutation, had surgery to remove the cancer on January 11, followed by a hysterectomy in February. A key comfort to her during this time was her horse, Monte. When she decided to get a tattoo signifying her experience, it seemed right to incorporate this important element of her life.


Patti had both of her tattoos done by Jake at Snohomish Tattoo & Piercing in Snohomish, Washington and is planning on adding a ribbon for each 3-Day she takes part in. You can tell they were still pretty new when I took the pictures, but I think they’ll heal beautifully.

Patti, it was great to get to know you on the route this year. I look forward to seeing you at the 2014 Seattle 3-Day!

Pink Ink: Love With No Regrets

October 7th, 2013

Lisa Dawson

The story behind Amanda’s pink ribbon tattoo still makes me a little weepy, more than two weeks after I met her at the 2013 Seattle 3-Day.

Amanda's no regrets ribbon

Amanda walked her first 3-Day in 2009, and passed a trio of four year-old girls holding the sign:

“Live with no excuses, love with no regrets.”

The girls were triplets who lost their mom to breast cancer, and their dad had brought them to the 3-Day to support people walking to find a cure for the disease. Amanda was so moved by this family she later incorporated their message into her tattoo.

Give your kids an extra hug today!

Pink Ink: Aubrey’s Ribbon of Hope For An End to Breast Cancer

October 6th, 2013

Lisa Dawson

Aubrey's Pink Ribbon of Hope

I first spotted Aubrey at the 2011 Seattle 3-Day, when she was part of The Pink Penguins team, and met her again this year, now as part of Team Tracy. This year marks the fourth time she’s walked the 3-Day in Seattle – she’s also walked in Tampa and is headed to San Diego for her sixth walk in November.

Aubrey merged her team with Tracy’s team this year when Tracy was diagnosed with cancer for the fourth time. She explains, “we wanted to show a sign of solidarity, love, and sisterhood. I realized that our team name isn’t what’s important. In the end, we’re all on the same team, fighting the same disease, praying for the same outcome.”

Aubrey's Pink Ribbon of Hope

Aubrey’s mom was diagnosed in 2010, exactly one month to the day before her first 3-Day. A year later, she visited Germans Tattoos in Lakewood, Washington to get her tattoo.

My tattoo represents the hope I had for my mom to overcome cancer, the hope I have for those who are battling, and the hope for some day a world without breast cancer. – Aubrey

Aubrey’s mom is currently serving in Afghanistan as a civilian contractor, and in Aubrey’s words “she’s a fighter on so many immeasurable levels.” She comes home for good in December.

Thanks for sharing your story with me, Aubrey. I look forward to seeing you in San Diego!

Pink Ink: Aunt, Niece Remember a Matriarch Lost to Breast Cancer

October 5th, 2013

Lisa Dawson

As I mentioned in my Seattle 3-Day recap, I saw a lot of pink ink this year! I ran into Holly and Beverly at a rest stop on Day 1 (they were taking a break next to Cindy). I spotted Holly’s pink ribbon and cherry blossom tattoo first.

Holly's pink ribbon tattoo

Holly’s tattoo is in honor of her maternal grandmother, who lost her fight with breast cancer before Holly ever got to meet her. Project Tattoo Studio in Mountlake Terrace, Washington did a great job with this one –  I love the shading and detail around the edge of the ribbon!

Holly was walking her fourth 3-Day with her aunt Beverly, who also has a tattoo!

Beverly's pink ribbon tattoo

Beverly came all the way from Kentucky to walk her third 3-Day with Holly. This Komen running ribbon is in memory of her mother, Holly’s grandmother. Beverly was 68 years young when she got her tattoo… it just goes to show you, you’re never too old for pink ink!

Pink Ink: Cindy’s Butterfly and Kanji Pink Ribbon Tattoos

October 1st, 2013

Lisa Dawson

Cindy Aspha

I met Cindy the Asphalt Angel at early pit stop on the first day of the 2013 Seattle 3-Day walk. I had spotted another woman with a pink ribbon tattoo, and she was with another woman with a tattoo, and next to them was Cindy! It was kind of cool to run into a cluster like that.

 Cindy Asphalt Angel Pink Ribbon Butterfly Pink Ribbon Tattoo

Cindy Asphalt Angel Kanji Pink Ribbon

Cindy has a tattoo on each of her lower legs – on her right is a richly-colored ribbon butterfly (I love the trail) and the left has Kanji symbolizing “hoping for a cure” over a classic pink ribbon. Her go-to tattoo artist is O.C. at Axis Tattoo & Body Piercing  in Corpus Christi. You read that right… Cindy traveled from Corpus Christi, Texas to do her 13th 3-Day walk in Seattle!