(WSVN) - Children with cancer are left with scars most of us could never imagine. But one group is helping to bring smiles to their faces. 7’s Brian Entin has more in our special report “Symbols of Strength.”
Art has always been a part of Tyler’s life. Some of his favorite pieces are his tattoos.
Tyler Stover, founder of Hope vs Cancer Foundation: “I’m a tattoo consumer, aficionado. A great form of healing for a lot of people.”
One tattoo honors Tyler’s father, who passed away when he was a child.
Now, Tyler is hoping tattoos will help others heal, too.
Tyler has created Hope vs Cancer, an organization that takes real tattoo artwork and turns them into temporary tattoos for children with cancer.
Tyler Stover: “Their whole body language changes on the examining table.”
Here at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center’s Pediatric Oncology Clinic, most of the children’s visits are difficult.
Nicole Schleicher, Jordan’s mom: “It involves needle pricks, it involves medicine being infused.”
Tyler comes to the center on days when children are getting their cancer treatments. His temporary tattoos help make the visits a little easier.
Faith, battling stage 4 cancer: “It’s a cancer sign.”
It’s not just the tattoos the kids love. It’s the attention Tyler gives each child.
Consuelo Hoo Bodan, Faith’s grandmother: “Just him spending time with the kids, he’s really good talking to them as well.”
Consuelo’s granddaughter, Faith is fighting stage 4 cancer. She sees first-hand how Tyler’s tattoos lift the children’s spirits.
Consuelo Hoo Bodan: “Sometimes kids are more visual, so when they see things, it gives them more hope, it keeps them fighting longer.”
Jordan has been battling cancer since 2016. His mom says, since Tyler started showing up, doctor’s visits have gotten a bit easier.
Nicole Schleicher: “It gives us reason and something to look forward to coming to the clinic for.”
The tattoo designs come from tattoo artists around the world. Each one adorned with the slogan “Hope vs Cancer.”
Tyler Stover: “Before I know it, there’s a painting in the mail from Italy or United Kingdom.”
Tyler is also selling T-shirts with the tattoo designs.
Tyler Stover: “Every T-shirt that’s purchased funds 30 minutes of pediatric cancer research.”
All of the money raised goes back to funding cancer research.
Tyler Stover: “We’re getting ready to donate our first $100,000 to the University of Miami. What used to be a field of taboo, is now going to be funding quarter million dollar cancer research projects.”
For these parents, knowing they’re not alone in this fight means everything.
Nicole Schleicher: “He has a really good purpose and a really good meaning behind what he does.”
Consuelo Hoo Bodan: “It means a lot, it does. It shows someone cares.”
Tyler says children like Faith and Jordan are his inspiration. He says he’ll continue his fight to beat cancer because of them.
Tyler Stover: “Childhood cancer has found a formidable foe in Hope vs Cancer. We put it on notice and we’re coming for it.”
If you would like to donate or submit your own artwork to Hope vs Cancer, go to the link below.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Hope vs Cancer Foundation:
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