VIDEO: Vicky Phelan praises work of Newbridge tattoo artist helping breast cancer survivors

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VIDEO: Vicky Phelan praises work of Newbridge tattoo artist helping breast cancer survivors
11:33 Thursday 24th of January 2019

Cancer services campaigner Vicky Phelan has praised the work of a Newbridge tattoo artist who is helping women to conceal mastectomy scars.

Aisling Mahon (above) carries out 3D areola restorative tattoos which she says helps to restore some femininity and body confidence to women following surgery.

Aisling's work was reported by KildareNow and Kildare Post in the past and is now the subject of a RTE short documentary featuring breast cancer survivor Aisling Coffey, by video journalist Eleanor Mannion.

Courageous activist Vicky Phelan viewed the footage and said on Twitter: "Fantastic sensitively handled piece by Eleanor Mannion."

She added: "Fair play to Aisling for exposing her vulnerability around this issue.

"It will, no doubt, help others. So glad that this helped her."

Featured in the short movie is Aisling Coffey who was diagnosed with breast cancer six years ago.

In October 2013, Ms Coffey had a mastectomy and breast reconstruction. She received a tattoo of a nipple as part of her breast reconstruction but wasn't happy with the result. She then decided to get an areola restorative tattoo from Aisling Mahon.

Tattoo artist Aisling Mahon (left) and breast cancer survivor Aisling Coffey

Tattoo artist Aisling (26) said: "You have to be empathetic and compassionate. It's a vulnerable stage for these women.

"They want to feel safe so you have to be respectful of the process.

"It's a process where the women are told to put on a brave face but an element of femininity is taken away.
"Reclaiming that back through nipple tattoos, it's an empowering thing. It's very emotional."
Ms Coffey says in the documentary:  "You can actually see a nipple. It's just for me visually. I can actually look in the mirror and say it looks alright. It's not loads but it's a lot to me."

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