Cranford tattoo artist provides free areola restoration tattoos to breast cancer survivors

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A Cranford tattoo artist is using her skills to help women who have had mastectomies after being diagnosed with breast cancer.

Ali Mennor goes by the name “Fast Ali” from her days in a punk rock band. She has been a tattoo artist for more than 12 years and converted the first floor of her childhood time into a tattoo studio.

Mennor has provided areola restoration tattoos for over 50 breast cancer survivors free of charge. She has turned her former childhood bedroom into a space for survivors, painting it pink for breast cancer awareness.

“We created this room to be comforting for women,” Mennor says.

Mennor’s business Lost & Found Tattoos has been in business for two years.

“When I opened the business, I announced that we were donating 50 procedures to break cancer survivors,” she says. “Being that we met that goal, we’re going to keep on doing it without taking money for it. I’m still not ready – I can’t find it in myself to start charging money for it. It’s a great feeling every time we do it.”

Mennor holds an advanced certification that allows her to offer areola restoration tattoos. She sets aside time once a week for the procedure.

"I choose what I think is going to be the right size and fit and tone for them,” Mennor says. “Each nipple takes about an hour. I let it heal and I hope to see them again in two or three months, or even as soon as one month and we'll just follow-up."

Customer Paula Pearl had a bilateral mastectomy in 2015. She had the restoration procedure done at the studio last year. She says that it was life-changing.

“I go to the Y. I go swimming and then, you know, I would be hiding in the locker room…I don’t have to hide anymore,” she says.

Mennor values each total areola restoration procedure at $500.

I think it’s just a huge, huge gift and I can never thank her enough,” says Pearl. “It really makes you feel more like who you were before...she made me feel beautiful.

Mennor says in the years to come, she wants to teach areola restoration tattooing to medical practitioners and other tattoo artists who may have clients who would benefit from the procedure.

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