SAN ANGELO, Texas (Concho Valley Homepage) — Those who had a mastectomy during their fight with breast cancer often have to spend thousands of dollars traveling out of state to a specialist to get the perfect areola tattoo or decide that the cost and look of the finished product is not worth it.

Thanks to Cornerstone Christian graduate and owner of Restoration, Ink of West Texas in Abilene, receiving a 3D areola tattoo in West Texas has become an affordable possibility for those battling breast cancer.

Amy Gardner, who is a licensed nurse of 14 years and has done permanent makeup for eight years, shared she felt that there was something else she needed to do for people with her realm of experience about two years ago. She soon found what she needed to do for women in West Texas after talking with others at the physician’s office where she worked.

During research, Gardner explained she found women had to travel out of state, go to a local tattoo shop, or were put on a very long wait list to receive a poorly done tattoo from their surgeons.

“That just broke my heart,” she said. “That’s not what these ladies need. This is personal.”

Through her comfortable and elegant space at Restoration, Ink of West Texas, women can receive the personal touch they may need to fully heal after facing breast cancer. And it all starts will a consultation.

Gardner draws on the areola during the consultation, allowing women to have full control of the size, placement and color of their tattoo. “They can pick their shade, they can pick where they are at,” explained Gardner, “so their in the driver seat and I’m there to guide.”

By the end of the consultation, Gardner shares women often get excited to receive their 3D areola tattoo, or 4D if nipple reconstruction was done. Within two weeks, these individuals will go back to Restoration, Ink of West Texas to receive the tattoo.

During tattooing sessions, Gardner adds highlights and lowlights, thus giving the tattoo a 3D effect and making the tattoo look like a realistic areola. Gardner shares she can complete a tattoo in just an hour and a half, however, women won’t get to see the tattoo until it is complete.

“I don’t want them to see until they’re done, so we get finished and walk over to my full-length mirror, and there’s happy tears every single time,” she said. “Everyone says the same thing, ‘I didn’t know how bad I needed this’.”

The entire process with Gardner at Restoration, Ink of West Texas costs those who have battled breast cancer only $500 compared to the national average of $1,000 to $2,000, and the Texas average of $800 to $1,000.

“They can have this done right here and for way cheaper than having to travel,” Gardner said.

Although Restoration, Ink of West Texas is based in Abilene, Gardner shares she is venturing out to offer her services in her hometown. Soon, women in and around San Angelo will have the chance to complete themselves after their journey. By partnering with local physicians, Gardner hopes to provide a mobile service.

“I would love to be able to be down there more,” she said, “doing this for people in my hometown.”

For more information or to contact Gardner, visit the Restoration, Ink of West Texas website.