Thanks to everyone who participated in the MS-inspired tattoo contest. It was extremely difficult to narrow the entry pool down, especially since everyone who entered has one thing in common: You’re courageous fighters who refuse to let MS trample your spirit.
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Living with this disease for 11 years now. There is still hope that a cure will be found in my lifetime!
I was diagnosed three years after my mom passed away. It was so hard not having her there. I know I'm strong because of her. Fighting this craziness they call MS isn't always easy but I know I can make it through and I know my mom and my family and friends are right there. I love my tattoo because it's got the whimsical beauty that is this journey we call life. MS is just a part of mine — not the whole thing.
I got this tattoo for my mom, who has MS. This woman is my rock and I would do anything for her. Her story is amazing and she overcomes so many things everyday! Please share and spread the awareness of MS!
I have faith that I will be fine. I know there is no cure for MS — but one day there will be.
—Kelly Jo McTaggart
I decided to get an orange ribbon with a purple infinity sign to symbolize my never-ending fight with MS and fibromyalgia. Then “keep s'myelin” under so I remember to laugh and not sweat the small stuff.
I got this tattoo of a demyelinated nerve cell as a birthday present for myself to memorialize my date of diagnosis. I didn't want something anyone else had and I chose the placement because of the correlation of the spine to nerve concentration and lesion location. To me it symbolizes strength, perseverance, and hope.
I gave my artistic 13-year-old daughter my thoughts on what I'd like in a tattoo after being diagnosed in 2014 and she created this beautiful piece of art. My favorite animal, the lion, represents the strength needed in many areas of my life and needed to save my spoons daily.
MS could have stolen many things from me, but instead gave me much more, many friends. It made me strong. I am a survivor of domestic violence, and now a survivor of this invisible coward I'll call MS. I love my tattoo. Butterflies are stronger than many people think, going through many painful changes, and after all that becoming beautiful creatures.
My name is Diana Espitia. I am a survivor.
Pretty self explanatory — my tattoo represents a medical alert bracelet.
The date I was diagnosed.
After I was diagnosed with primary progressive multiple sclerosis (PPMS), my son designed our tats. The words “fight,” “overcome,” “believe,” and “persevere” are how we deal with my MS. Living with MS can be challenging, so I hope these words inspire you as they have us. As a firefighter/paramedic and now a fire inspector living with MS, I hope this tat honors the “brotherhood” of the fire service and the MS fighters in us all. Remember: “It is what it is, keep pushin’ on! ”
— Dave Sackett
I decided to show my mom, Ann, support and how much I love her with this tattoo. I believe the Bible verse shows just how strong my mom is with what she endures every day. I picked the ribbon butterfly because of its beauty. I put MS in the wings, with my mother’s name in the ribbon. I love my tattoo and my mom.
— Alicia Bowman
Although I was devastated by my diagnosis, I wasn't going to let it take over my life. A tattoo shop was doing breast cancer ribbons, and all proceeds were being donated to research. My two sons, husband, and I all decided to get MS tattoos, knowing proceeds were going to a good cause. A family that tattoos together stays together — they're my world.
Life’s beautiful and reminds me to “Just Breathe” each day. It reminds me that so many have MS with different symptoms, but we are all family.
— Londonne Barr
I was diagnosed with MS in 2010, after years of wondering what was going on inside my body. Once I got that answer, it was bittersweet. I tried to deny everything, but realized I had to face it head on.
I put my own spin on the traditional ribbon because I wanted to show that MS is intertwined with me. The ribbon is tattered at the end, because that’s what happens to fabric over time, and that’s how I feel about this disease: Parts of me may slowly become tattered, but my foundation will stay strong.
This is my MS guardian angel tattoo. I was diagnosed in 2011, but have had symptoms for years. I truly believe that I am being watched over. This angel is so I don't forget that, especially during the harder times.
There is a higher power at work, and everything happens for a reason. I was not cursed with this disease. I was blessed to be strong enough to carry this disease.
I wear my MS tattoo as a symbol of inspiration. It gives me the courage that I need to get through each and every day. The angel wings that sway above my ribbon help me soar when times get tough. I can honestly say that these wings have given me more strength and hope than I ever imagined possible.