Free Pink Ink
Tattoo artist offers free pink ribbon tattoos to promote breast cancer awareness.
Sandy Ferguson never thought she'd find herself at a tattoo parlor.
"My husband knows about it, my kids don't!" she laughed.
For the Iowa mom of two, a little needle is nothing.
After all, her right breast has been through a battle and won.
"That's the side I had my mastectomy on," Ferguson explained.
She's among dozens of people who, in the month of October, trusted Greg Arbuckle for her first ink.
Arbuckle said he was happy to draw the familiar symbol on "women and a few men who never would have gotten a tattoo, but for the ribbon. They wanted the ribbon."
The Pink Ribbon represents a badge of honor for women like Ferguson.
In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Arbuckle gave survivors and their family members that badge free of charge.
"My sister-in-law is going to go through double mastectomy, then rebuilding," Arbuckle shared. "And I just thought it'd be a nice tribute to her."
Arbuckle did not advertise the offer, he let word of mouth do it for him.
He didn't want people in his shop simply for a free tattoo.
He wanted it to have meaning.
"Some wanted to pay for them, and I say, no, you do something for somebody who has, or is over breast cancer. Go do a walk, the karma comes back to you," he said.
Every ribbon is a little different, much like the story of each woman's battle, but the meaning behind the pink ink is universal.
"Life, survival, courage, hope for other people that are suffering with breast cancer," said Ferguson.
Ferguson will wear her Pink Ribbon proudly for the rest of her life.
Wednesday was the final day Arbuckle offered the free Pink Ribbon tattoos.
Arbuckle said, it was inspiring to hear the women's stories.
His own wife is a heart attack survivor.
He's hoping, in the future, to find a way to bring this much attention to heart disease awareness.