Tattoos for Blakleigh - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Tattoos for Blakleigh

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CARBONDALE -- Dozens of people braved the cold Saturday for the chance to get a tattoo. All of them are getting a tattoo or a piercing to help a little girl.

"Anything to help a child. I think this is wonderful for everyone to come out and do," said Sarah Koch.

Every dollar from the day's sale went to the family of 3-year-old Blakleigh Lipe, who has been battling a rare form of liver cancer. 

Koch has never met Blakleigh or her family, but after losing her mother to cancer last year, she knew she could help.

"It just kind of touches home for me. Anything to help with any kind of cancer research or this little girl who's battling. It was a rough road for my mom, so I just pray for this little girl and her family," she said.

Employees at Artistic Mind Tattoo & Body Piercing worked continuously to get as many people inked as possible, calling the support overwhelming.

"I think it's been really interesting to see the kind of people and how many people show up to these kinds of events," said apprentice Roman Rathert said.

Rathert said when it comes to days like Saturday, its more than just a job; it's a passion.

"You can feel great about what you're doing. Not just I love doing this art, but I'm doing this art for a little girl who's fighting liver cancer. That's just… I don't what other job I could get that would give me that opportunity," he said.

Many, like Sarah, say having their own kids, makes them want to step up to help out the little girl.

"It would break my heart. My kids are everything for me, so I really feel for this family," said Koch.

The goal was to raise as much or more than what the tattoo parlor raised for St. Francis CARE in an earlier fundraiser. That would be an amount over $5,100.

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