Amazing Breast Cancer Survivor Gets Inspiring & Beautiful Tattoo (PHOTO)


Talk about bravery! When Barbie Ritzco was 21, not only she was on the verge of being deployed to Afghanistan where she'd be stationed as a sergeant for the U.S. Marines Corps, she was diagnosed with Stage IIIB breast cancer. 

The soldier underwent a double mastectomy, but rather than opt for reconstructive surgery, she adorned her chest with a bright and beautiful tattoo of an open heart bursting with flowers. 

Unable to return to her post, Ritzco has chosen a new, equally as courageous path: sharing her story. 

The survivor teamed up with The Scar Project, as well as co-founded the Flat & Fabulous Facebook page with Sara Bartosiewicz-Hamilton, to show other women they are beautiful without pursuing reconstruction. 


More from The Stir: Brave Comedian Makes the Breast Cancer Documentary She Was Looking For (VIDEO) 

breast cancer tattoo

It is so refreshing to hear--and see--Ritzco's story as it gives women who may not want to undergo yet another surgery an alternative and, ultimately, hope. 

For many, a woman's beauty is all too often defined by her cup size. But if you ask me, society should focus on grace and strength in the face of an uncertain future and a willingness to "put it all out there" to inspire others experiencing a similarly terrifying diagnosis as a measure of true beauty.

While the name "Barbie" typically conjures up images of the plastic doll with the unattainable figure, it's awesome to learn about this woman of the same name who bears unspeakable grit and tenacity--qualities I'd take over a miniature waist and major rack any day! 

The Flat & Fabulous founders explain that "Living without reconstruction in a breast obsessed world is not easy but it can be fabulous!"

Bartosiewicz-Hamilton also shared that Ritzco's cancer has returned and she is currently hospitalized in intensive care. She asks that people share Ritzco's photo and story to empower others by her amazing example. 

Would you consider a tattoo rather than reconstruction?

Images via and Facebook/Flat&Fabulous

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