When Veronica Quintanilla, 47, was going through her second battle with breast cancer, daughter Victoria showed her support by shaving her own head to match her mother’s and took her to all of her doctor’s appointments.
Since then, Victoria have gone one step further to support her mum by getting matching bow tattoos, to celebrate ‘the silver lining at the end of all the crazy times and doctors’ appointments’.
Veronica was first diagnosed in 2004, as a new single mum that had to take care of three kids. In June 2015, she tested positive for the BRCA1 gene mutation, a hereditary condition which means her kids are also at risk.
The mum of three says Victoria took control after her second diagnosis. ‘She just took over the reins. She was going to be in charge. As a mother, it makes you proud.’
‘It was a great comfort to me having her there. She never showed any signs of weakness or being bothered or inconvenienced.’
Victoria came up with the idea of matching tattoos after her mother’s last chemotherapy treatment, and the pair got pink bows etched onto their scalps. However, Veronica hopes that they won’t be able to see the bows for long, as she wishes that her hair will grow out and she’ll never lose it to cancer again.
‘These tattoos are something special between my daughter and me, never to be seen again,’ Veronica told Today. ‘I’ve been bald twice in my life because of cancer. I don’t plan to ever go bald again.
‘Cancer scars you — internally, externally, on your very soul, it leaves a mark,’ she says. ‘This is something pretty, a pretty mark I’m choosing to add to my body because of this cancer and the point is to never see it again.’
The bows will be like ‘a little buried treasure’ for the mother and daughter, a special connection between them and a symbol of strength.
‘It means that no matter how difficult the situation is, any situation can be overcome with the right mindset, and regardless of how difficult it is, there’s always a silver lining,’ Victoria says.
‘This tattoo is the silver lining at the end of all the crazy times and doctors’ appointments.’
The two hope that the matching inkings will continue to be a symbol that they’ll remember forever.
‘Even though the rest of the world can’t see it, she and I will be the only two that know it’s there because it’s something special that we shared together,’ she said. ‘She showed me a strength. I was so proud of her this past year.’