Terminal cancer patient in Knoxville to get matching tattoos with strangers

Local News

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — One man is doing his best to leave a mark on the world after he was diagnosed with cancer a year and a half ago.

When Don Caskey was diagnosed with stage four terminal kidney cancer, he decided to celebrate life by connecting with people through matching tattoos. So far he shares a tattoo design with over 400 people across six counties and three continents.

“Last summer I realized this cancer is gonna kill me at some point and to take memories of me and create new connections while I’m still alive, I decided to start asking random strangers to get tattoos with me,” said Caskey. “I believe a form of your body goes to heaven, that’s why I chose tattoos. Anything material you own; your car, your phone, your house, whatever it may be, stays here.”

Caskey says that people thought he was crazy at first but within a couple of months, 408 people have agreed to get matching tattoos with him. Most of them even have his name on their body as a way to remember his unique story.

Amanda Russell live-streamed from a tattoo parlor in Scotland to get her matching tattoo with Caskey. She chose a thistle, a symbol of her country.

“I just think there’s something about his story. I’ve lost people to cancer, family members, and friends. And just the thought of having that memory someday special having that connection with them is really nice.”

Caskey got the matching tattoo with Russell at Infinite Tattoo in Knoxville, overall he is receiving around 15 new tattoos during his stop in Knoxville.

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