Lexington medical tattooing specialist erasing cancer’s mark and giving hope to women

For every person diagnosed with cancer, their journey is different.
Published: Jul. 27, 2022 at 3:58 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - For every person diagnosed with cancer, their journey is different.

In this July Link to Hope we want to introduce you to a medical tattoo specialist using her talents to often times remove the scars that can be a lasting reminder of cancer or give women who have been through breast cancer a part of themselves back that was taken in order to save their life.

It is an often-overlooked procedure that can is a link to hope to many.

Carissa Fondaw and Kelly Ludwig are friends brought together through the most personal of ways.

“So, I was diagnosed in Feb. of 2019 with triple negative breast cancer,” said Ludwig.

At just 41, this Frankfort mother of three was stunned with the diagnosis a year after her first mammogram.

“For me, I went into instant fight mode, there was not any tears shed. For me, I could not get into the chemo treatment chair quick enough,” said Ludwig.

She underwent an extensive chemo regiment and then had a double mastectomy with reconstruction. But for some cancer survivors, it’s the scars left behind that leave them unable to move forward.

That’s how Ludwig first found her way to Carissa’s Colors, a medical tattooing and scar removal facility in Lexington. She saw an immediate difference when Fondaw worked on her port scar.

“I went from literally being super self-conscious, kind of reworking some of my tops and stuff to literally I forget about it,” said Ludwig.

Fondaw’s work is very personal when it comes to cancer survivors.

“I actually have quite a few family members that have been through breast cancer, two grandmas, two aunts, a really good friend of mine,” said Fondaw.

Carissa’s Colors initially started with microblading and Fondaw saw the difference it could make for those in treatment.

“I realized that when women were starting chemo treatments, we could microblade and give them eyebrows, that way when they lost their hair, when they lost their eyebrows, they would still have that,” said Fondaw.

Fondaw can also give something else back. For women who undergo breast reconstruction, nipple tattooing can many times help women restore confidence in their bodies. It is something Ludwig trusted Fondaw with in the very personal procedure.

“For me it was a way to put closure to the process without having to go through another surgery and sort of say I’m done with this,” said Ludwig.

At Carissa’s Colors the goal is simple, to not only be a link to hope, but help erase cancer’s mark on those who want to put it behind them.

“Being able to get rid of a scar or being able to give something back to a woman, you feel like you are getting a fresh start,” said Fondaw.

Carissa’s Colors does not just treat cancer survivors-- she also works with people who have scarring from other trauma.

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