Tattoo artist uses her talent to help breast cancer survivors

HAMPSTEAD, NC (WWAY) — An area restorative tattoo artist is nominated for a big award for her work to help breast cancer survivors.

Jenean LaCorte is up for the Health Care Hero Award for innovation.

Restorative tattooing allows artists to mimic natural features that may have been lost due to things like mastectomies or surgeries that have left scarring.

LaCorte is a classically trained artist that decided to use her talents to help others.

“To be able to use a talent, a skill that you have to change someone’s life for the better is amazing,” LaCorte said.

Today, she was able to do that for a breast cancer survivor.

“I didn’t expect to get what I got and it’s amazing,” Kathryn Padgett said.

Padgett was diagnosed with stage three breast cancer in 2016. She went through chemo and ended up having a single mastectomy. Later she had a TRAM flap surgery, reconstructing her breast using parts of her stomach.

“I felt like half of myself,” Padgett said.

She has been officially cancer free for about two years. She celebrated by getting a 3D nipple tattoo.

“It’s a good ending to what was not such a good journey,” Padgett said.

LaCorte was inspired to use her gift to help others after a family member was diagnosed with breast cancer. After they had a difficult time finding a quality nipple tattoo artist, LaCorte recognized her talents and decided to take on the field herself.

“The quality of work out there once you actually found someone was just not that great,” LaCorte said. “So I said, ‘I can do better.'”

After training at the Sauler Institute of Tattooing, LaCorte wanted to open a shop that made her clients feel comfortable.

“Feel good about the tattoo, feel clean and feel like this is something that going to help finish their journey with breast cancer,” LaCorte said.

According to Padgett, she’s doing just that.

“This is so cool,” Padgett said. “This is the nipple I had before and I can’t believe it’s back.”

The Health Care Heroes Awards ceremony is this Friday. LaCorte is one of three nominees for the award in innovation.

Categories: Local, Pender

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