A picture of a father and son has gone viral thanks to a very special tattoo.
Josh Marshall, 28, from Kansas, is father to eight-year-old Gabriel, who in March 2015 was diagnosed with a rare malignant brain tumour, caused by a form of cancer called anaplastic astrocytoma. He underwent treatment and although some of his tumour is still in his brain, he is now off treatment and recent scans show that he is now stable.
However, there was one side effect from the experience that Gabriel particularly struggled with, telling his dad that the scar on the side of his head from his surgery made him feel like a ‘monster’.
‘This broke my heart,’ Josh told BuzzFeed News. ‘I told him if people wanted to stare, they could stare at both of us’ – and so, he got a tattoo of the same scar that his son had, on the same side of his head.
Josh entered his new look in the St. Baldrick’s Foundation Best Bald Dad competition, which celebrates male relatives who have shaved their heads in honour of children who have or have had cancer.
To nobody’s surprise, he came in first place, with more than 5,000 votes.
St. Baldrick’s Foundation’s social media manager Alison Sutton added to BuzzFeed, ‘it was the first time we’ve seen an entry where a dad went above and beyond shaving his head in solidarity with his child and got a tattoo to build his son’s self-confidence. It’s a truly touching story.’
Donations can still be made to Josh’s fundraising page for the head shave.
Gabriel loves his dad’s new ink, and says it makes them look like ‘twins’. The picture has since been reposted hundreds of times across the internet, with users on sites such as Imgur calling the tattoo ‘incredible and ‘powerful’.
‘Couldn’t have a better inspiration for a tattoo,’ one commenter concluded.