Shelton tattoo artist joins in on ‘Ink to End Lyme’

SHELTON – Tattoo artists around the country are hoping to leave a mark on those battling Lyme Disease.

Shelton Tattoo is one of about three dozen shops taking part in “Ink to End Lyme.” The event is hosted by non-profit Lyme Warrior, an organization that raises money for Chronic Lyme Disease research.

Each shop involved in “Ink to End Lyme,” will be hosting different events, on different dates in February.

Carolyn Hawkins, a 20-year tattoo artist is taking part of the event for the second year in a row. This year, on February 10, the money made from every tattoo she designs will go to Lyme Warrior.

“It’s an opportunity to do something of service that I can do more than just show up,” she said.

Hawkins said she hopes the event increases awareness and prevention as she understands the impact Lyme can have on a person’s life.

“I have a very dear friend who has Lyme,” Hawkins said. “I have a family member who was originally diagnosed early and told that everything was gonna be just fine, and take your medicine, and you will never have symptoms, and that has turned out years later not to be the case.”

Lyme Warrior Volunteer Sarah Zahran, of Shelton, said the mission of the organization is to raise money and awareness for the potentially debilitating disease.

“The saying goes you don’t get it, until you get it.”

Zahran said she started getting symptoms of Lyme in 2012 but it took a turn two years later.

“I went through a several month long battle, seeing different specialists just to get tested and just to get diagnosed,” she said. “Lyme Disease really effects every single system in your body.”

Side effects she’s experienced include cognitive difficulties, nerve pain, and fatigue.

“The ones that were hit the hardest were probably my brain and nerves,” she said. “The neurological symptoms were the most debilitating.”

She’s hoping joining the fight with Lyme Warrior will help raise awareness and lead to a cure so others don’t have to experience the same pain.

“We’re just eternally grateful for the people who have decided that they would like to dedicate their work to a cause like this,” she said referring to “Ink to End Lyme.”

Last year, for the inaugural event, about $10,000 was raised for Lyme research.

Shelton tattoo is located in the town at 549 Howe Avenue. You can call the shop at (203) 924-7300 for more information.

Organic Ink Tattoo Studio & Gallery will be hosting a “flash day,” February 17th, with proceeds going to Lyme Research. It’s located at 176 Main Street in Norwalk.

For more information on the event and a close look at shops taking part, follow the interactive map here. You do not have to get a tattoo to donate.