STELLARTON – George Smith is a tattoo artist who is raising money so a girl with Lyme disease can receive treatment, because he wants her to get better. It’s not surprising since it’s his job to leave lasting impressions on people.
“I want to do what I can,” Smith said. “Anything to lend a helping hand.”
From 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday, he held a hot dog sale and gave tattoos at Two Face Tattoos in Stellarton to numerous customers in support of Chelsey Livingstone of Sutherlands River. All the money from raised Friday will go to help her get treatment.
“People were lined up for tattoos at 8:45 so that’s a good sign.”
Chelsey contracted Lyme disease when she was just two years old after being bit by a tick in Ontario. She lives with intense pain daily and barely has energy to do things she once loved to do.
Smith went to school with Chelsey’s father, Eddy, and later did a few tattoos for Chelsey’s mother, Angela. On Friday, he was offering a selection of tattoos that have a special significance for Chelsey.
“There’s the green ribbon for Lyme disease and five Japanese characters that Chelsey picked out,” said Smith. The characters or symbols represent strength, courage, faith, belief and miracles.
Chelsey needs all these, as her situation recently got worse. “[Chelsey] was admitted to the IWK (on Apr. 2) after she had the removal of her port-a-cath, which she had used for treatment for Lyme disease,” said Chelsey’s mother, Angela. The Port had become infected with bacteria and was removed.
“We were hoping to be home on Friday but by the looks of things we won’t be.”
Angela’s goal is to raise $10,000 for medical treatments in Plattsburgh, N.Y. “We have just reached halfway,” she said optimistically. The money raised from Smith’s tattoo fundraiser will go towards this goal.
Chelsey has lived with Lyme disease for the past 11 years, needing a constant flow of pills for chronic pain. Angela hopes a treatment will become available for Chelsey’s Lyme disease. “I have read many articles on her that show people who have Lyme for 15 years plus have been treated by her and have seen positive results.”
Angela said it’s hard as a mom to watch her child go through Lyme disease. “I have to stay strong as a parent and make sure she knows there is a reason to keep fighting,” she said.
Angela is currently unemployed due to an injury for which she can’t receive compensation, which makes money tight.
Another fundraiser is being held on May 25 at the North End Rec Centre. The Jason Perry Band will be performing, along with an auction, 50/50 and some other ticket draws. Angela is currently looking for auction items from businesses and said an account at Scotia Bank in New Glasgow has been set up in Chelsey’s name if anyone would like to donate to her.
On Twitter: @NGNewsJohn