Man with terminal cancer travels nation getting tattoos with strangers

Updated: May. 27, 2021 at 10:09 PM CDT
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LAUREL, Miss. (WDAM) - Ohio native Don Caskey is creating memories one tattoo at a time.

“I’ve created lifelong memories for me that I’m going to take with me when I pass away, and I’m leaving memories with all these wonderful people on this earth after I go,” Caskey said.

After being diagnosed with kidney cancer, Caskey began traveling around the country and getting matching tattoos with strangers to share his story and spread joy.

He shared how all of it began.

“I was diagnosed with stage 4 kidney cancer, and I realized that’s a hand I’ve been dealt and one I’ve got to play. Flash forward six months from then, July of last year, I realize that this cancer is terminal,” Caskey said.

Realizing that his time on earth could be limited, he made it his mission to get as many tattoos with as many people as possible before he dies.

Caskey started with 6 tattoos and now has 400 thanks to Ashunti Page, who was in the Skin Deep Tattoo Studio in Laurel when Caskey stopped in the Pine Belt Thursday.

After reading Caskey’s story, Page agreed to get a matching tattoo with him. They chose a cross design.

Caskey says in addition to getting tattoos with strangers, he’s working on a nonprofit called Stranger Ink.

It will help pay for the funerals of those who die from any terminal illness.

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