Ink Against Cancer: Tattoos for a good cause in Salt Lake City

SALT LAKE CITY — Dozens of people across Salt Lake City decided to get a tattoo on Saturday as a symbol to fight against cancer.

Proceeds from the “Ink Against Cancer” fundraiser will help 11 families struggling with the disease.

Hildegard Koenig, who founded the event, said she’s proud the event has gotten bigger and bigger over time.

“We started Ink Against Cancer three years ago because my brother Wolf was dying of cancer,” she said. “We brought together his close friends who are tattoo artists and were able to raise funds — enough for him to pay for his hospice."

"He asked us to continue this in his memory — to help others in our community, especially children," she said.

For some people like Koenig, every tattoo on their body is a memory or symbol of something special.

“The art that I have on my body is because it all has a story,” she explained.

For others, the meaning isn’t as deep. Lindsay Bybee decided to get a tattoo on her foot of cartoon character “Gir” from the Nickelodeon show Invader Zim.

“It’s just something I really like. I think it’s really cute and fun!” she laughed.

Bybee said that even though the design is not profound, the tattoo will still come with a memory – something more important than a television show.

“The proceeds will actually go to a good cause,” she said. “Skin cancer, prostate cancer, it kind of runs in my family.”

The event also featured henna tattoos, which are not permanent, along with temporary tattoos for kids.

Koenig said she hopes the event makes a difference and makes her brother proud.

“We’ve all been affected by cancer in some way or another,” she said. “We want to just give those families a little help.”

On August 4, all of the tattoo artists who donated their time to help out with the event will have a barbecue at Sugar House Park. That’s when they will have a chance to meet the 11 families they raised money for and present them with a check.

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