Dad endured 30 hours of tattoo agony so that his son could feel better about his birthmark.

Derek Prue Jr was born with a birthmark that spans his entire chest. Like most kids in his situation, he was self-conscious about the mark and tried to hide it as much as he could. Derek Prue Sr., his father, sought to reassure his son that the birthmark was nothing to be embarrassed of. Derek Jr.’s father decided to get a birthmark tattoo to match his kid after he insisted on wearing a shirt in the pool.

Derek, 8, was skeptical when his mother, Shana Prue, photographed his birthmark, but he had no idea what was in store for him. Prue, it turns out, had no notion either. Tattoos of that size take a long time to finish, and he had no idea as he lay down for his first session. “I was definitely surprised to see the tattoo request because it was a first for me,” Tony of the Juicy Quill Tattoo Shop explains.

“I tattooed in West Edmonton Mall for many years and saw thousands of tattoos, but never one like this.” Prue describes her first tattoo session as follows: “I remember the first time coming in, laying down, and then after maybe three, four hours, I was like, ‘Yeah, are we almost done?'” ‘Yeah, we’re almost done with the outline,’ Tony says. Nonetheless, he believes that all of the time and effort were well spent.

And Tony appreciated his bravery and sacrifice for his child.”We did the lion’s share of the work free of charge—I believe I charged him for 4 hours,” Tony explains. “Tattoos are crazy expensive these days and it shouldn’t cost an arm and a leg to do something noble and thoughtful like he did.” Derek played in the pool while the family stayed at a hotel, unknowing of the unexpected surprise that awaited him.

Derek was swimming to the pool’s edge when his father shouted out to him. When he saw the tattoo, he sank back into the water with big eyes and an even larger grin. “I was happy and a little confused,” Derek admits. “I didn’t know he was going to do that.” This isn’t the first time a father has gone under the knife to support his son. Josh Marshall of Kansas, like Derek Prue Sr, got a tattoo on his head to boost his son’s confidence. Gabriel, eight years old, was diagnosed with a rare aggressive brain tumor.

He had surgery to remove the majority of the tumor, which left a lengthy, hooked-shaped scar over his ear. “After his surgery, my kid was very self-conscious. Josh Marshall described him as “feeling like a monster.” “I would like to thank everyone for helping make this happen, it’s an honor to be titled 2016’s # BestBaldDad,” Josh stated on his Facebook page. He was selected after submitting a photo of himself and his son proudly displaying their scar and tattoo.

The photo contest honored fathers who shaved their heads in support of their cancer-stricken children. “But the truth is I’m no better than any of the other contestants,” he goes on to say, “We are all great fathers that would go to any extent to help our children so in my eyes we’re all winners.”

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