Dad got tattoo replica of his son’s scar from cancer surgery to boost boy’s self-esteem

  • Gabriel, 8, was diagnosed with a type of cancer called anaplastic astrocytoma, a rare form of malignant brain tumor, back in March 2015
  • The boy underwent a surgery to have the tumor removed, but the major surgery left him a scar on the right side of his head
  • The picture of John Marshall and Gabriel donning their matching scars while cuddling has won the first place in a Father’s Day photo competition

KANSAS, USA – A father won a “best dad” competition after he got a tattoo that matches his son’s scar from surgery to remove a brain tumor, in a way to boost the young boy’s self-esteem.

An article by Elyse Wanshel and Ron Dicker for The Huffington Post published on June 22 said that a picture of John Marshall and his son 8-year-old Gabriel donning their matching scars while cuddling has won the first place in a Father’s Day photo competition.

“It just started as a friendly competition for Father’s Day and then it just blew up. It’s really weird,” Marshall said.

“But it’s raising awareness for childhood cancer, and that’s all that really matters,” he added.

Gabriel was diagnosed with a type of cancer called anaplastic astrocytoma, a rare form of malignant brain tumor, back in March 2015. The boy underwent a surgery to have the tumor removed, but the major surgery left him a scar on the right side of his head.

Gabriel’s mom, Bethany Shultz, said the scar from surgery made her son feel “self-conscious.” Because of this, Marshall decided to get a matching scar tattooed in the same spot on his head.

“I told [Gabriel] if people wanted to stare, they could stare at both of us,” Marshall said as quoted by Victoria Sanusi in her article for Buzzfeed.

Last Father’s Day, Marshall decided to enter St. Baldrick’s Foundation’s#BestBaldDad competition. The competition asks dads, uncles, and grandfathers who have shaved their head in a show of solidarity for a child who has had cancer to submit their photos.

Marshall submitted a snapshot of him and Gabriel snuggling as they show off their matching scars.

Last June 19, St. Baldrick’s Foundation announced that Marshall had won first place with 5,000 votes.

After Marshall’s big win, his photo with Gabriel has become viral over different social media sites.

“He feels really happy and excited,” Marshall said when asked how Gabriel felt about their photo going viral.

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