Stan Lee's Comikaze Brings Together R.H. Stavis and Dennis Calero For Keep A Breast

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For as long as I can remember I’ve had a fascination with tattoos. Even as a child I’d see them and patiently wait for the day that I could select a permanent piece of art for my own body. Finally, that day came, and I remember being so excited to sit in that chair, awaiting the first drop of ink to make its way under my skin. For a few moments I sat next to an older woman who, in my early opinion, didn’t seem like the “tattoo type”: she was neatly dressed in Polo attire, hair slicked back, designer sunglasses propped upon her head. She seemed like someone’s soccer mom cheering from the sidelines with a knotted sweater wrapped around her shoulders.

An artist came into the room – her artist – and began setting up. He told her he was ready and startlingly she began undoing the gleaming buttons of her shirt. I tried not to stare but I was so intrigued by the notion of where and what this woman would be getting: butterfly on the lower back? Tribal arm band? Sun and moon across her shoulder?

But I wasn’t prepared for what I saw: When she removed her shirt, she had no breasts. He asked, “Are you sure you want to do this?” And I’ll never forget her answer: “I had the choice of having implants when my breasts were removed due to cancer. I said no then, and I still say no now. I want these tattoos to be my symbol of survival, and I want to see them everyday to remind myself that I’m a woman, always.”

I watched as the artist carefully painted a blooming floral bouquet over her modified body, and I thought it was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen.

So when Regina Carpinelli, CEO and founder of Stan Lee’s Comikaze Expo, asked if I would do a cast of my own body for Keep A Breast, I jumped at the chance. I’m really excited to be a part of such an amazing organization and I’m also honored to be one of the women chosen to do so.

I asked my good friend – and brilliant artist – Dennis Calero to create the art for my cast because I knew he would be able to lend something fun and original to the process. Now, as Comikaze approaches and the cast will be raffled for Keep A Breast, I remember that woman and finally feel like I can honor her and all of those affected by breast cancer.

Don't forget you can purchase tickets for COMIKAZE here!

I'll be hanging out at the Keep A Breast booth on Saturday and Sunday from 2PM - 3PM

Stop by to say hello and see all the breast casts (including mine) on display and to purchase a $5 raffle ticket to win my breast cast.

- R.H.