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A 5-year-old with leukemia wished to become a tattoo artist. A local parlor made it happen

Posted: 5:48 PM, Sep 23, 2019
Updated: 2019-09-24 10:32:09-04
5-year-old tattoo artist
5-year-old tattoo artist
5-year-old tattoo artist
5-year-old tattoo artist

CLEVELAND — Most kids dream of growing up to become a cowboy, astronaut, princess or veterinarian. A 5-year-old girl with leukemia wants to become a tattoo artist when she grows up. A Special Wish and a Cleveland tattoo parlor helped make that wish a reality last weekend.

When the Cleveland Chapter of A Special Wish learned about Maja’s unorthodox wish, they reached out to their community partners at Voodoo Monkey Tattoo, and their owners, Natalie and Dave, according to a Facebook post from A Special Wish.

With their help, Maja, who was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, got to spend a day as a real Cleveland tattoo artist, with A Special Wish documenting all the fun she got to have.

Maja started with lunch at Barrio Tacos where she practiced her tattoo artistry on a server – with a Sharpie.

5-year-old tattoo artist
Maja got to practice her tattoo skills on a server at Barrio before trying out the real thing. (Source: A Special Wish Cleveland Chapter)

The next stop was ice cream at Mitchell’s.

5-year-old tattoo artist
Maja couldn't tattoo on an empty stomach! Ice cream was ordered. (Source: A Special Wish Cleveland Chapter)

Next, Maja was given her uniform and introduced to her trainer, Dave, and the rest of the team at Voodoo Monkey Tattoo. She toured the facility and was shown the tools and equipment used for tattooing.

5-year-old tattoo artist
Maja checks out the tattoo ink used at Voodoo Monkey tattoo parlor. (Source: A Special Wish Cleveland Chapter)

Maja then worked in the parlor’s design area to create the perfect tattoo – a panda – which was scaled up and printed out for her first two clients: her aunt and dad.

5-year-old tattoo artist
Maja watches as her design is tattooed onto one of her "clients." (Source: A Special Wish Cleveland Chapter)

Maja then got to watch as Dave brought her Panda tattoo to life on her aunt and dad.

5-year-old tattoo artist
Maja's panda tattoo design tattooed on her father's arm. (Source: A Special Wish Cleveland Chapter)

Finally, Maja got to practice tattooing by writing her name on a grapefruit.

5-year-old tattoo artist
Maja got some practice with the tattoo gun herself by writing her name on a grapefruit. (Source: A Special Wish Cleveland Chapter)

“Thank you again to everyone that made this amazing day possible,” A Special Wish representatives said on Facebook. “Something tells us that Maja’s Tattoo is going to be very popular at Voodoo Monkey!!”

5-year-old tattoo artist
Maja at Voodoo Monkey, where she got to be a tattoo artist for the day. (Source: A Special Wish Cleveland Chapter)