In 2014, the story of a 17-year-old boy with a history of cancer was featured in a documentary by filmmaker Andrew G. Robinson.
He recounts that the boy was a member of a team of young cancer survivors who volunteered to help raise money for cancer research.
“We are like a bunch of children, all working for the same cause,” Robinson told the audience.
“I am an extremely lucky person because my father is an amazing cancer survivor and I am his grandson.
I would not be here today if it wasn’t for my grandfather.”
For the next nine years, Robinson and his grandfather did everything in their power to raise money, donate to charities and even go on a camping trip with the boy.
“My grandfather is a very humble man,” Robinson said.
“He just went on a camp trip with me.
We had a great time.
I mean, I’m sure he had a pretty good time too.”
It took years for the boy to return from the trip.
In 2016, he was diagnosed with brain cancer.
After a grueling five-year battle, he had his tumor removed.
“It was a lot of hard work,” Robinson recalled.
“But it was worth it because I learned a lot.
I learned about the cancer, the science behind it, the treatments that are available.
It was really great.
I was able to have a little bit of peace for a little while.”
Now, the boy is working with a charity to help other children with cancer.
“One day he was sitting with me in his wheelchair, and he said, ‘Dad, I need you to get a tattoo on my neck.
I need a tattoo of my grandma,'” Robinson said, laughing.
“And I said, I’ll do it.”
The young man’s grandfather was shocked.
“Oh, my God, you’re joking,” Robinson remembered thinking.
The tattoo artist and his family had the chance to see the young man in remission, and they were floored.
“The next thing I knew, we were having a tattoo ceremony,” Robinson explained.
“When he walked out of the room, he said to me, ‘Mom, it’s really cool.
We can’t believe that he’s got a tattoo.'”
The tattoo has been a lasting symbol for the young cancer survivor.
“To have this tattoo in his honor is a symbol of hope, of courage, and of hope for his whole family,” Robinson continued.
“They’re a little kid who can’t wait to see his grandmother and to see him grow up to be a great man.”
When he gets home, the grandfather said, “I’m going to put this tattoo on his arm and send it to the other kids.
We are going to be proud of him.
I’ll be proud too.”
The tattoo, Robinson says, “has helped him grow.”
“I don’t think you can imagine how happy he’s been,” the boy’s grandfather said.
The boy has since been recognized for his hard work by the city of Hamilton, where he has been part of the local youth cancer program.
“This is a young man who is just one of those kids,” Robinson remarked.
“There’s so much more to him that’s just the way he is.
He has a great sense of humor.
He is just a wonderful person.
I’m proud of all of his efforts.”
Robinson says he hopes the young boy will continue to raise awareness about the dangers of excessive drinking.
“Because he’s such a great young man, he’s a great ambassador for the city,” Robinson added.
“People should know that we have to do more to educate people about how to protect themselves from these dangers.”
The story has been shared hundreds of times on Facebook, with many people asking for an explanation about the tattoo.
Robinson has been approached by more than 50 people who have told him about the story.
“A lot of people are interested in the tattoo,” he said.
Robinson said the tattoo is a personal one, and there is no guarantee that the young leukemia survivor will ever be able to see it again.
“Every time I see someone who’s having a good time, I think, ‘I would like that tattoo,'” Robinson explained, “but then I also think, well, they might be in a lot more danger if they did.”