In a powerful
demonstration of the Father’s love, John Marshall got a tattoo to match
the scar left from his eight-year-old son’s cancer surgery.
Little Gabriel Marshall
was diagnosed with a rare form of brain cancer called anaplastic
astrocytoma last year. A surgery to remove the tumor left him without
hair and a scar on the right side of his head, according to his father.
“My son was very self-conscious after he got his surgery. He felt like a monster,” Marshall told ABC News.
A few months after the
surgery, Marshall made a remarkable decision motivated by fatherly love:
to get a tattoo imitating his son’s scar. “I said, ‘You know what, I’ll
get your scar tattooed. That way, if people want to stare at you, then
they can stare at both of us.’”
When Gabriel saw the
tattoo on his father he was elated and now tells everyone he and his
father are like twins, according to ABC.
The elder Marshall’s
choice not only heightened his son’s self-assurance, but also gained
further recognition after dad entered a photo of the two in the St.
Baldrick Foundation’s #BestBaldDad competition, in which fathers who
shaved their heads in support of kids with cancer submitted photo
Attached to their photo
were these words: “Me and my son at this year’s St. Baldrick’s event in
Wichita, Kansas. Got my son’s scar tattooed to help his
Marshall and his son won first place after they received more than 5,000 votes, according to ABC.
“I never intended for it
to be this big,” he told ABC. “It was just a friendly competition
between fellow cancer dads and people showing support for their loved
ones who have fought cancer.”
Although a tiny portion
of Gabriel’s tumor remains, it has not increased in size. He receives
scans every three months, and will have another MRI next week.
Marshall was grateful for
the outpouring he’s received. “It’s amazing,” he told ABC. “I’m glad
that I can kind of spread awareness for the childhood cancer community.”
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