“The fact that they chose to put something permanent on their body was very meaningful,” said Jasper O’Briant.
Osteosarcoma, a kind of bone cancer that mostly affects less than 5,000 children and teens, mainly teen males, each year, was discovered in the 16-year-old Jasper O’Briant in October 2020. O'Briant has been receiving chemotherapy treatments for cancer for the past two years, traveling frequently from his home in Jal, New Mexico to a pediatric hospital in Lubbock, Texas according to Good Morning America.
In an exclusive word with the outlet the young survivor revealed, “It's just a really terrible thing to be honest,” as he recalled the struggles of getting better.
The teen's life has been challenging, but he has always had his family by his side. Recently, his father and elder brother made a special decision to show him how much they care about and support him. Jasper's surgical scar inspired Jody O'Briant and his oldest son Nathan to get tattoos that matched it. “We'd all been like, ‘Oh, that'd be something really cool to do together’,” the elder brother said sharing how they stumbled upon the idea of similar tattoos on their arms. Considering that none of his family members had ever received a tattoo before, Jasper said he was moved by his family's decision as a whole.
“I was fully on board when we had discussed it. It was never a second doubt in my mind as to what was going to happen there. It was something I wanted to do immediately for him,” Nathan said. Reacting to their gesture, Jasper said, “I didn't get to choose to have [surgery] done to me. It was, to be quite frank, it was that or death. So I didn't get to choose and the fact that they chose to put something permanent on their body was very meaningful.” He added he thought “the idea was really awesome.”
He further opened up about the whole experience behind the struggle of recovering from cancer. “It's a very real disease. A lot of times people forget that teenagers get cancer, too,” he added.
O'Briant, a pastor at a Baptist church in Jal, claimed that his tattoo, which resembles Jasper's scar and runs over his left shoulder, acts as a constant reminder of all that his kid and his family had through as a whole. Jasper told the outlet that he hopes that by telling his and his family's experience, he might raise awareness of the uncommon illness he has and promote more funding for osteosarcoma research. His elder brother shared this goal, adding, "This [tattoo] is just part of spreading that awareness.”
Talking about the remarkable story behind the tattoo the father of three said how such things remind us of the challenging times we sail through in our lives. “As we age, sometimes we forget how hard life was, how good life was, and all the ups and downs, and I think that was kind of the neat thing, that we would remember some of these things,” he said.
Cover Image Source: Good Morning America