The Short of It
A dad gets a tattoo to match his son's surgery scar.
John Marshall's son Gabriel, who is now 8, was diagnosed with a rare form of brain cancer called anaplastic astrocytoma. Luckily, surgeries reduced the size of his tumor greatly, but they also left him bald with a very noticeable scar.
"My son was very self-conscious after he got his surgery. He felt like a monster," Marshall told ABC News. So this amazing father decided to get a tattoo that would look like his son's scar. "That way, if people want to stare at you, then they can stare at both of us," he told his son.
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Marshall got the "scar" tattooed in the exact same spot as Gabriel's scar, and according to the dad, his gesture has greatly raised the boy's self-confidence. But this story has also touched the hearts of many people outside the Marshall family. That's because the father-son team entered a photo of themselves in a Best Dad competition being held by the St. Baldricks Foundation in honor of Father's Day.
Fifty-five dads of kids with cancer shaved their heads and submitted entries, but John and Gabriel came in first place.
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Marshall announced the win on Facebook, but added this caption: "I would like to thank everyone for helping make this happen it's an honor to be titled 2016's #BestBaldDad but the truth is I'm no better then any of the other contestants we are all great father's that would go to any extent to help our children so in my eyes we're all winners! Hope you all have a great week and a happy father's day to all you men making a difference in your children's lives! [sic]"
The father and son's story is now trending all over social media under the #BestBaldDad hashtag and has been picked up by numerous news outlets.
The humble dad said of all the attention, "I never intended for it to be this big. It was just a friendly competition between fellow cancer dads and people showing support for their loved ones who have fought cancer." He also told the Huffington Post, "It just started as a friendly competition for Father's Day, and then it just blew up. It's really weird. But it's raising awareness for childhood cancer, and that's all that really matters."
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Meanwhile, according to ABC News, Gabriel is doing well despite a small piece of his tumor that still remains, but it hasn't grown. Here's wishing this brave boy health and happiness, and thanks to you and your dad for touching our hearts with your amazing love for one another.