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The permanent end to a life-changing chapter

Jason Buie tattoos an areola on a piece of fake skin.

MUNCIE, Ind.--- Hearing the diagnosis of breast cancer is life-changing. You have to go through treatment and lose pieces of yourself, one being the nipple and areola.

Tattoo artists in Muncie are helping survivors close that chapter and bring that piece of them back. For Ink Therapy owner Jason Buie, it was a simple phone call. 

“Someone called me and asked if I could do it,” he said. “I thought it was a great opportunity to help someone in the process.”

He did his first one on a survivor who had a single mastectomy, creating a realistic look.

“There is a lot of textures on the nipple most people don’t realize, but in order to make it look realistic and give it that 3-D effect you really have to work the shadows,” Buie said.

Buie has done this service for five other survivors, but permanent makeup artist Naomi Schricker just completed her first one.

“That was something when I got into this I knew I wanted to do,” Schricker said.

The client was shocked by the finished product and told Schricker she could not stop staring at them. A response that made Schricker feel like all the training paid off.

“It made me really happy,” she said. “I just can’t imagine what it would be like to have that done.”

An important part of a woman lost that a tattoo needle and an artist are able to bring back.

“When you lose a piece of yourself you want to be whole again so I do feel like it would make somebody whole,” Schricker said.

Contact Anna Chalker with comments at alchalker@bsu.edu