Most breast cancer survivors are faced with one of two decisions after a mastectomy… reconstruction or not. But, there is a third option: ink.

Inspired by his sister-in-law Molly, Noel Franus created “personal ink,” a non-profit organization that connects women to tattoo artists who have scar or mastectomy experience.

“After a mastectomy left Molly scarred, she wanted to get creative. She decided to redesign her breasts completely, with images of her choice. Unfortunately, she found few tattoo resources for breast cancer survivors, an obvious void that a concerned group of citizens (us) wanted to fill. So we created to help Molly and others like her,” explains the group’s website.

two_mastec_tattoosTwo years and many tattoos later, has launched the app Inkspiration to demystify the mastectomy tattoo process. Using the app, survivors can peruse over 1,000 mastectomy tattoo designs and even try them on virtually by uploading a photo or selecting a body type similar to their own. The app also helps users identify tattoo artists with mastectomy experience.

“We think that covering these scars with a different kind of mark – a tattoo – can not only help women healing from breast cancer feel like they are taking their bodies back, but also turn something painful into something beautiful.” is inspiring survivors, and they are in turn, inspiring us. Check out this video of Day 2013, where the organization paired 10 breast cancer survivors with talented tattoo artists, who provided beautiful mastectomy tattoos, free of charge. This year’s Day is tomorrow, October 10th, in over 15 cities across the country.

Lead image: Molly getting her tattoo via
Find out more here. Download the app at iTunes.