Overcoming cancer is a cause for celebration - and one man has marked the end of his treatment with a unique tattoo.
Gavin Litchfield wanted to highlight the importance of men checking their testicles for lumps, after he was diagnosed with testicular cancer in September 2015.
Now, his left arm features a portrait of Mr T with the caption ‘check ya nuts’, inspired by the Snickers adverts where the iconic actor shouts ‘get some nuts!’
So far, his new artwork has raised more than £1000 for Macmillan Cancer Support.
The 31-year-old said: “If I can help someone else to get through what I’ve been through because of something as stupid as a tattoo, that would be amazing.”
In September, carpenter Gavin found a mystery lump and immediately booked a doctor’s appointment.
After undergoing tests, he was found to have cancer - which was a ‘complete shock’ for Gavin and wife Laura, who live in the Mid Sussex area.
Within days he had an operation, and though he suffered from some post-surgery complications, he is now recovering and effectively cancer free.
The tattoo idea began as ‘banter’ with friends and colleagues - and became reality after a gruelling six and a half hour session at Blue Dragon Tattoo in Brighton on January 31.
Gavin explained award-winning tattooist Trud worked an hour overtime with no extra charge to finish the design.
He said: “It was my very first tattoo so I didn’t know what it was going to be like.
“It was painful, but I didn’t mind a bit of pain because I’ve been through a lot more pain recently.
“I would much rather laugh about it, because if you make a mockery of the disease, it doesn’t make a mockery out of you.”
Though there is a 20 per cent chance of cancer reoccurring elsewhere in Gavin’s body, he will face regular monitoring.
And having caught the illness early, he urged other young men not to be embarrassed to have any lumps checked out as soon as possible.
He added: “If you find a lump and think it’s nothing, you are far better getting it checked and finding out than waiting for it to become something.”
Laura, also 31, helped Gavin with the design and revealed that she has always supported the idea.
She said: “We are thrilled with it. I was a bit shocked because it was bigger than I thought, but they have done an amazing job.
“I have always fully supported it. It is all about awareness and getting people to check themselves.
“When we started fundraising we put the target at £100, but within two donations we had beaten that.
“It has been a very difficult few months but, thankfully, we are coming out the other side.”
The couple praised the excellent support of Macmillan nurses, and said they wanted to give something back.
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