Portland tattoo shop raises money for Cystic Fibrosis - KPTV - FOX 12

Portland tattoo shop raises money for Cystic Fibrosis

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In honor of Cystic Fibrosis awareness month, a Portland tattoo parlor held a tattooing event Sunday and donated all sales proceeds to the fight against the disease.

It’s the second year that Hidden Rose Tattoo has raised money for the 65 Roses Project, an organization that raises money for the Oregon chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

Five tattoo artists offered up different rose designs for customers  at a discounted rate. The flower is often used as a symbol of Cystic Fibrosis. Decades ago, the term ’65 roses’ was coined when a young patient accidentally pronounced the disease that way. The motto has stuck.

Michael West and his family drove more than two hours from their home in Arlington to go to the event and get tattoos.

“She told us before she passed away that she wanted to get Cystic Fibrosis known more,” said West of his sister’s final request before she died three years ago at the age of 23. "For me, it’s just a way to keep her alive -- something visible that I can see everyday, and that others can see and ask me about it. To keep her memory alive, and raise awareness.”

According to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, tens of thousands of Americans have the disease. It’s a degenerative genetic disorder that causes persistent lung infections, among other ailments. For decades, those diagnosed often died in childhood. Now most patients live until about the age of 40.

Portland resident Christian Paton got a large purple rose tattoo on his forearm. His wife and three of his best friends also got inked.

“It’s a game-changer having people want to be a part of this so powerfully,” Paton said. “It’s a very isolating illness, and to have people in your life who want to be there and support in any way that they can is really empowering, and makes you feel like you’re less alone.”

Paton said he was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis as an infant, and has spent more than his fair share of time in the hospital. He hopes future generations will have an easier time dealing with the illness, and reckons his tattoo is a permanent reminder of the support he’s had during his struggle with CF.

“A reminder that I’m not alone in this —  a reminder that there’s so many people fighting for advocating for and fighting for research in my disease,” Paton said.

For more information on Cystic Fibrosis and how you can get involved visit CFF.org.

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