Tattoo Artist Specializes in Tattooing 3D Nipples on Breast Cancer Survivors
Vinnie Myers Has Become a Hero to Women From All Around the World for His Efforts
Maryland tattoo artist Vinnie Myers used to use his body inking skills to put Tasmanian Devils on people, he jokes. Now, he spends his days giving tattoos to women who've gone through heartbreaking, but successful battles with breast cancer.
Myers has developed a process for tattooing realistic, 3D nipples onto breast cancer survivors who've undergone mastectomies, and he's become a hero for the thousands of women from around the world who he's helped feel more like their old selves after their cancer battles.
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"I've been cut on so much," Penny Kurek, 53, said as she prepared to get tattoos from Myers. "I just want to feel like a woman again."
Kurek is one of more than 2,000 women who have gotten the tattoo from Myers, including women who've travelled to his Maryland studio, near Baltimore, from as far away as Brazil and Saudia Arabia, The Philadelphia Inquirer reports.
"His results are just so superior to what else we've seen, and I've seen nipples from all over the world," said Marisa Weiss, founder of BreastCancer.org and a radiation oncologist at Lankenau Hospital, of Myers' work.
Myers, 50, does at least two or three of the tattoos each day, charging the women $400 per procedure. He says he thinks that's a fair price, and he has worked out all the codes and filing practices necessary for the women to get the tattoos covered by their insurance coverage in most cases.
His inspiration for devoting his professional life to making women who've been through so much feel better about themselves: making women who've been through so much feel better about themselves.
Myers started doing tattoos when he was in the Army, and continued his art as a career. When a Baltimore plastic surgeon asked him if he could try tattooing nipples on some of his patients as part of their post-cancer reconstructive surgeries, Myers agreed, and began perfecting a technique as he did more and more of them.
About 290,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year, and 50,000 get reconstructive surgery, The Inquirer reports, and after a small feature about Myers ran in Vogue magazine in 2008, he quickly became the go-to guy for the tattoos.