A father got his four-year-old daughter’s brain surgery scar tattooed to the back of his head so she does not feel like the “odd one out”.
Self-employed decorator Aaron Lambert, of Swaffham in Norfolk, said his daughter Esme is his “absolute world” and has “smiled her way through nearly two years of treatment”.
Esme was diagnosed with a rare high-grade form of ependymoma, a brain tumour near the spinal cord, aged two.
An eight-hour operation to remove the tumour left her with a 3in scar on the back of her neck, and after 19 months of chemotherapy her parents were told she had the all-clear.
After her surgery, 36-year-old Mr Lambert decided to get a tattoo to match his daughter’s scar to support her.
It took three hours to complete.
“I hunted around for someone who specialises in realism as it was important to me that the tattoo looked just like Esme’s scar,” he said.
“I wanted it done because I felt whatever happens to her also happens to me.
“I wanted us to be matching and for her not to feel she was the odd one out in any way.
“Our journeys were so entwined and I wanted her to know that daddy is proud of her and supporting her every step of the way.”
He is supporting Cancer Research UK’s campaign to fund more research which features the message “One in two of us will get cancer in our lifetime”.
“It’s vital that survival rates are improved because there is nothing more heart-breaking than hearing your child has cancer, other than hearing a low success rate or even worse that nothing can be done,” said Mr Lambert.
“Esme has amazed us with her resilience, positivity and enthusiasm for love and life.
“She is my absolute world and she has smiled her way through nearly two years of treatment.
“We as a family have stuck together and supported my angel through every step but the truth is, she has carried us through.”
His wife Wendy Lambert, 34, said: “There is nothing Aaron wouldn’t do for his baby girl to help her and make her feel loved and confident.
“When he got the tattoo, he took a photo of it to the tattooist straight after surgery.
“Esme now loves having a matching scar with her daddy.
“The future is full of hope.
“Esme had her fourth birthday and it wasn’t in hospital and it wasn’t around treatment.
“She had a chocolate fountain and she played pass the parcel and she did all the stuff you’re meant to be doing when you are four, she laughed and she ate too much cake, she got over-tired and it was wonderful.”
To support research, see cruk.org