Father gets tattoo to match son's cancer scar

  • 22/06/2016
Father gets tattoo to match son's cancer scar

A father in the United States has tattooed his head to match his son's cancer scar in an effort to alleviate the eight-year-old's insecurity.

Josh Marshall's son, Gabriel, was diagnosed with anaplastic astrocytoma -- a rare form of brain cancer -- late March last year. Surgeries to remove his tumour left him bald, with a scar on the right-hand side of his head.

"My son was very self-conscious after he got his surgery," Mr Marshall told ABC News.

In August 2015, Mr Marshall decided to show his support by getting a tattoo to match 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.'"

Gabriel now tells people he and his dad are like twins.

A photo of Mr Marshall with his son went viral online when he entered the St Baldrick Foundation's #BestBaldDad competition. Fifty-five dads of children with cancer, who had shaved their heads, submitted picture entries to compete.

"Me and my son at this year's St Baldrick's event in Wichita, Kansas," the caption of Mr Marshall's picture read. "Got my son's scar tattooed to help his self-confidence."

His photo received more than 5000 votes and earned him the first place title.

"I never intended for it to be this big. It was just a friendly competition between fellow cancer dads and people showing support for their loved ones who have fought cancer."

A small portion of Gabriel's tumour remains, but hasn't grown. It is monitored with scans every three months.