31 Days of CF: My Tattoos Helped Me Cope With Having CF

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by Marco Jiménez |

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Katie Osborn | Cystic Fibrosis News Today | CF header
Megan Maurer

Photo courtesy of Megan Maurer

Day 1 of 31

This is Megan Maurer’s (@sweetstarfire) story:

My body has been through a lot over the years because of cystic fibrosis. I’ve had countless doctors’ appointments, tests, procedures, and surgeries. These treatments have been necessary and in some cases lifesaving. But all the tasks I do every day just to stay alive have led to diminished body autonomy.

I decided to get my first tattoo in my early 20s. It was on my rib cage and it read, “Every Breath Counts,” followed by a small purple ribbon. It was meaningful, tied to CF, and something small to start with. I ended up loving it! Not just the finished product, but the actual process of getting tattooed. Upon reflection, I realized how therapeutic it was for me and I loved that it gave me back some of that missing body autonomy.

Over time as I’ve added to my ink collection, I’ve realized just how much getting tattooed has benefited my mental health and made me feel empowered in my own skin. Tattoos have helped me reclaim my body by allowing me to add my own “scars” in the form of beautiful artwork. Tattoos have greatly improved my body image and given me more confidence in my own skin. Also, getting tattooed gives me a certain control over my body and allowed me to express my creativity and love for art. Lastly, the process has become a mind over matter exercise for me. It lets me prove to myself that I can get through difficult things.

Through tattooing, by adding these beautiful art pieces to my body, some of the confidence I lost due to my various medical scars has been restored.

Cystic Fibrosis News Today’s 31 Days of CF campaign will publish one story per day for Cystic Fibrosis Awareness Month in May. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for more stories like this, using the hashtag #31DaysofCF, or read the full series.

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