North Carolina tattoo artist helps cancer patients recapture joy for life after diagnosis

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Monday, October 19, 2020
Tattoo artist gives cancer patients confidence after diagnosis
"They're part of my family, they're part of my friends now."

HAMPSTEAD, N.C. (WTVD) -- Jenean LaCorte is restoring happiness for cancer patients, using their bodies as a canvas and a wellspring for hope.

The tattoo artist based out of Hampstead, North Carolina, helps people move on from trauma like a cancer diagnosis. Cancer affected her personally when her sister-in-law was diagnosed with breast cancer.

In the midst of breast cancer awareness month, Jenean knows the ups and downs of dealing with such a debilitating sickness.

"I understand how much weight a scar can hold," she told WECT. Sometimes you don't realize what it's doing to you emotionally until you can have a resolution that helps hide it."

Jenean was into painting early in life before developing a fondness for tattoos after her family member's illness. She eventually went to Columbus College of Art and Design, where she specialized in medical tattoos. She's also given tattoos for those who've experienced birth defects, self-harm or serious injuries.

She often creates 3-D nipple tattoos for people after breast cancer and scar camouflage. Her clients are grateful for the work, as it can play a key role in their recovery and emotional wellbeing. Jenean's art has given some people the confidence to date again after a mastectomy or apply for the job they've always wanted.

"It's like they're part of my family, part of my friends now," she said. "I took them through that journey. I took them past the hard and into what's the next phase in their life--it's powerful to be a part of that."

"As much as I love to do this for people, I would love to never have to do this ever again if it meant nobody else had cancer."