Dream Tattoo Contest

Melissa Alvarado


My daughter Angelina, Jellyfish, will always be my inspiration. Angelina turned two in August 2008. Two months later she was diagnosed with Synovial cell sarcoma, cancerous tumors– the type of tumors that attack the joints, and are mainly found in the elderly. Previously to discovering the tumors, Angelina had multiple surgeries in her right leg to figure out why it just wasn’t growing right.
Typical treatment for this type of cancer is amputation of the extremity. I wasn’t willing to let my Jelly loose a piece of herself to cancer and she wasn’t ready to give up. We found a great surgeon to figure out our other treatment options– chemotherapy, to try and minimize the growth and size of the tumors. That didn’t work. It did however make Jelly very sick, and she became extremely frail.
Next step– radiation. After the first attempt of radiation, it didn’t work. We were going to try one more bout of radiation, and, if it didn’t work, then the leg must go. But she never gave up.
After the last round of radiation we were still testing positive. It was time to say goodbye to the leg. Every doctor on her medical board believed that would be the only way. But, our super surgeon believed if we gave her one more shot– going into the leg to start removing cancer engulfed tissue, she would be able to remove the remaining cancer as welll.
In September 2011 Jelly had been cancer free for a year, and we have not one, but two legs. I have called Angelina “Jellyfish,” since she was a baby. She was so delicate and fragile, but packed such a “sting” and a fight for life– never afraid of predators or cancer. I would love to get a jellyfish tattooed on me. And I’d even like to add an angelfish with surgical or doctor gear on, representing doctor Ginger Holt, our super surgeon. I would like an artist like Jesse Smith of Loose Screw tattoo to create this work of art.