Breast Cancer patients wanting to tattoo their post-mastectomy, reconstructed breasts have a chance to win realistic ink.

The Lovely Monkey Tattoo shop in Whitmore Lake opened in September 2016 with a mission to help individuals who have battled breast cancer feel whole again. The shop is owned and operated by Dana Forrester and her husband James Trunko. The tattoo shop’s 3rd annual “Win a Pair” contest utilizes the talents of Shop artist Jamie Wedge, who tattoos realistic looking nipples and areolas on individuals who have undergone reconstructive breast surgeries. Forrester says Wedge often helps restore self-esteem and confidence in the process, also noting that Wedge can cover scars with decorative tattoos for those who opt to “go flat”, which means no post mastectomy breast reconstruction.

After 15 years in the body art business, Forrester found she was frustrated by not being able to fulfill the magnitude of requests for artists who could tattoo realistic-looking areolas and nipples. The Lovely Monkey is one of the only tattoo shops in Michigan that provides 3D areola and nipple tattoos. Forrester says the mission is personal for both her and her husband because her sister-in-law, Mary Clare Greenblatt, died of breast cancer at the age of 42. She says Lovely Monkey Tattoo is their way of honoring her, and helping cancer patients heal.

Their outreach efforts include the “Win a Pair” contest, which is open to anyone who has had breast surgery as a result of breast cancer. Those interested in entering are asked to email the shop at with a description of their need for the service. The value of the breast tattoos is $600 and two winners will be announced on December 25th. (DK)