Inspiring Diabetes Tattoos

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  • Thank You

    Thank You

    Thanks to everyone who submitted a photo of their tattoo and the inspiration behind it. Getting inked can be a powerful reminder that you’re stronger than your condition, and a great way to raise awareness.

    Click through the slideshow to get inspired by people with diabetes who aren’t afraid to let the world know that they’re survivors.

    Type 1 diabetes patients share their diabetes tattoos loud and proudly »

  • Share Your Tattoo with Us

    Share Your Tattoo with Us invites you to share a photo of a tattoo you got that was inspired by your fight with diabetes. Please include a brief explanation of the inspiration behind the tattoo. What does the tattoo meant to you? Why did you choose to get the tattoo? Was there anything special that motivated the design?

    To participate:

    • Send a clear photo of your tattoo (at least 285x285 in .jpg or .png format) to with the subject line “My diabetes tattoo” by April 17, 2015.
    • In 90 words or less, describe the inspiration behind your tattoo.
    • Please identify if you'd like your name published or not.
    • Healthline will then publish them and share with our Facebook community.

    *Legal disclaimer: By submitting, you give full permission to publish your story and picture on

  • Permanent Support

    Permanent Support

    My son inspired me to get this tattoo. He is six years old and was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in January of this year. I wanted something permanent on me just like the diabetes will be permanent for him (unless they find a cure).

    The design is originally mine. I didn't want the usual ribbon, so I had the words wrapped as the ribbon, with the blood drop in the middle. I’ve gotten a lot of compliments on it so far.


  • Representing Kids Everywhere

    Representing Kids Everywhere

    I’ve had type 1 diabetes since January 3, 2007. The butterfly represents me, the blue circle represents type 1 juvenile diabetes, and the grey ribbon represents diabetes awareness.


  • Joining the Fight

    Joining the Fight

    I got my tattoo because I’ve always wanted one, and I noticed a lot of them lately.


  • Practical Art

    Practical Art

    I just decided to get my medical ID printed on myself!


  • Strength of Family

    Strength of Family

    I had this tattoo done by my fiancé. It’s dedicated to my eight-year-old son who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age three.

    We live by these words: “Strength. Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.”

    —Jessika Leake

  • In Memory and Hopes Of

    In Memory and Hopes Of

    I got this tattoo in memory of my mom who lost her battle with diabetes in April of this year. I also wear it for my fiancé in the hopes of finding a cure.


  • Empowerment Through Acceptance

    Empowerment Through Acceptance

    About a year ago, I got "DIABETIC" tattooed on my left arm. The right arm shows my diagnosis date. 

    I used to be very against the term diabetic because I didn't want to be referred to as a disease. I found that fear guided that thought. Now, claiming "diabetic" means being empowered to me.

    —Heather Gabel

  • Love: 1; Diabetes: 0

    Love: 1; Diabetes: 0

    This is my diabetes tattoo. I designed it and the tattoo that my wife got the same night. I got it for my wife, who has been living with diabetes since she was 19.

    Today marks one month since we've been married and we won't let diabetes take over our lives. We’re bigger than this fight. We will find a cure. Until then, love is what we have.

    —Ashton Jordan 

  • Not Just Diabetic

    Not Just Diabetic

    I'm 25, and was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at 19. My wife designed my tattoo one night playing around.

    I wanted something that represented me as a whole. The medic symbol and the blood drop symbolize that I live with diabetes. The rainbow symbolizes that I’m gay. Purple roses are my favorite flower, and my wife is the yellow butterfly who watches over me.

    —Kat Jordan

  • Stronger Than Diabetes

    Stronger Than Diabetes

    I got my tattoo a week after my 18th birthday to remind myself that I'm still strong after 12 years, and that diabetes won't hold me down.

    —Alexis Miller

  • I Am What I Am

    I Am What I Am

    I'm from Caracas, Venezuela and I’ve been diabetic since I was 12 years old. Now I'm 21. I like to call myself a diabetic because that's who I am and I'm not ashamed.

    My tattoo was inspired by my condition, which is something that has a lot of meaning to me. The blue circle is the symbol for diabetes.

    I really want to help people to not feel ashamed about who they are. You're diabetic. SO WHAT? You need to feel proud of yourself, because you're stronger than anyone else.

    —Lineth Elena Avila

  • Peace of Mind

    Peace of Mind

    I’m 20 years old and have had diabetes for 18 years. The inspiration behind my tattoo was that I had a bad habit of losing my medical IDs. After passing out a few times, me and my family came to the conclusion that I should get it so we would all have peace of mind when I go out, and so I would feel safer doing what I love: hula hooping.


  • In Full Bloom

    In Full Bloom

    My diabetes tattoo was inspired by numerous family members whose lives are complicated by diabetes. I wanted to show support for diabetes awareness and memorialize my mom. 

    My tattoo contains a gray ribbon stained by a blood droplet. The ribbon encases a bed of amethyst for its healing powers and the ever-popular “just believe” dragonfly is enjoying its seat upon a tiger lily from my mom's garden.

    As my mom passed, her beloved tiger lilies bloomed as never before. Per their legend, only when conditions are ideal will they arise and smile upon the world.

    —Patti Scoles-Higdon

  • Rawr!


    I didn't want your traditional diverted piece, so I went with a more awesome design.
    I am the owner of Black Voodoo Tattoo Parlour in Denver, Colorado and am a type 1 diabetic.

    —Justan Carlson

  • Diabetes inspired tattoo

    Diabetes inspired tattoo

    First, my tattoo alerts medical personnel if I am unable. More importantly, every morning when I look in the mirror, it reminds me that I have taken charge of diabetes and will not be held back. 

    —Les Walters

  • Better Than a Bracelet

    Better Than a Bracelet

    I’ve had my tattoo for a little over a year. Got tired of wearing necklaces or bracelets.


  • Diabetes Saved My Life

    Diabetes Saved My Life

    I was diagnosed January 28, 2012 with type 2 diabetes. This is a photo of my tattoo—because diabetes did save my life. 


  • Share Your Story

    Share Your Story

    Help spread awareness and share in the support by sending a clear photo of your tattoo (at least 285x285 in .jpg or .png format) to with the subject line “My Diabetes Tattoo.”

    Describe the inspiration behind your tattoo in 90 words or less, and let us know whether or not you'd like your name published. We’ll continue adding to our slideshow and share with our Facebook community.