Gabriel, an eight-year-old battling cancer, has the #bestbalddad who shows unconditional love and support in the hardest of times. Kansas-based Josh Marshall watched his son undergo surgery in an effort to remove a large tumor from his head, leaving an enormous scar. To remind Gabriel he was not alone, weird or different, the 28-year-old dad tattooed a matching scar on his head.
Gabriel was diagnosed with a rare malignant brain tumor, anaplastic astrocytomarare. Even after surgery, the eight-year-old still has some of the tumor left in his skull but according to BuzzFeed News, is "stable" and has been off treatment for nine months. The remaining scar left Gabriel feeling like a "monster." One could understand why an eight-year-old would feel this way, with society and what not. Marshall told BuzzFeed that his son's damaged confidence broke his heart, "I told him if people wanted to stare, they could stare at both of us." (Tattooed people understand this unwanted staring from passersby.)
Marshall's tattoo, done by Merl Kent of Point Black Tattoo, is a beautiful replica of Gabriel's warrior scar. It was inked in August 2015, but he entered a father/son photo to St. Baldrick's Foundation's #BestBaldDad competition on Father's Day (June 19, 2016). The #BestBaldDad competition highlights dads who have shaved their heads in unity with their child who's cancer treatments are leaving them bald. Marshall's entry went viral and won with 5,000+ votes. He captioned the photo submission, "Me and my son at this year's St. Baldrick's event in Wichita, Kansas. Got my son's scar tattooed to help his self confidence."
Alison Sutton, the St. Baldrick's Foundation's social media manager told Buzzfeed that Marshall's entry was "the first time we’ve seen an entry where a dad went above and beyond shaving his head in solidarity with his child and got a tattoo to build his son’s self-confidence.”
To read more touching stories about parents who have used ink to boost their child's confidence, click here.