BuddyCheck 24: Mariposa Woman Celebrates Cancer Survival with Body Art


   In 2010, and at age 32, Jaime Visacki of Mariposa battled breast cancer she found herself in her right breast. “I didn’t have a good night’s sleep that night and I couldn’t figure out why and it turned out that my right breast was about three times the size,” remembers Jaime.
   Seven surgeries and treatment followed.  It was a difficult two year process.  
   But  now, eight years later, Jaime is a survivor.  And she marked that milestone in a unique way:  with tattoos.   On her back, arms, hands, and also on her reconstructed breasts.. 
   “I definitely just didn’t want to look down and see scars and I wanted to see something beautiful and be at peace with it really,” Jaime says.
   Tim Welsh of Tactical Tattoo in Lemoore is Jamie’s body artist.  Her request to tattoo her reconstruction was something new for him.  “I wanted to give her that closure.  I wanted to help her with covering the scars you know, making her pretty again.  Just facilitating however I could,” Tim says.
   It took five and a half hours to complete the body art on Jaime’s chest.  The pain she says was minimal and worth it .  “I didn’t want to see what I thought was negative and so now I don’t see that anymore,” says Jaime.
   The Butterflies on her back symbolize Jaime’s three children.   They connect with the body art on her chest:  Covering her scars, and turning her battle to survive into a work of art. 
   Tattoo artist Tim Welsh says he knows of other breast cancer survivors who are considering doing the same thing Jaime did.  It’s a personal choice to be made once reconstruction is done.
   BuddyCheck 24 is a program to remind participants to do a monthly Breast Self Exam.  It could help find cancer at an early stage which could save your life.
   For more information about BuddyCheck, go to www.yourcentralvalley.com

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