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Toledo man battling cancer gets matching tattoos with strangers

Don Caskey has over 75 tattoos. Each one has a story that celebrates life.

TOLEDO, Ohio — A tattoo is a lifelong commitment. It's something most people strategically plan. 

But Don Caskey doesn't think too much about that. Instead, he sits back and relaxes while letting anyone and everyone pick the next design going on his body.

"Over the summertime with my terminal disease, kidney cancer, I can't take personal things with me when I die. But I can take memories with me when I go," explained Don.

Don was diagnosed with kidney cancer last December. Before he was diagnosed with cancer, he had 5 tattoos. 

Now, he has over 75 with friends, family, even strangers. That number is only going to continue to grow.

"I put it online and people would see me places, and I would talk a little bit more about my story and they'd want to get one too," said Don. "Now it's to the point where people contact me all around the country, all around the world actually. I have a lady in England that wants to get a tattoo with me."

Each tattoo has a story. This is Don's way of celebrating life and not letting his diagnosis control him. 

Don will post on Facebook where he is traveling to. Within minutes, his inbox is filled with strangers asking to get matching tattoos with him. 

He's made great friends along his tattoo journey.  

Tyanna Smith got a matching cancer ribbon tattoo with Don. The Bowling Green native was excited to have a tattoo with meaning.

"He's so inspiring to people. I hope that this will push people to know live their life to the fullest, don't give up, don't take life for granted, and just...love," said Tyanna.

"Even my mom got a tattoo with me and that's the first tattoo she got at 70 years old," Don said as he laughed. 

Once Don fills up his legs, he's moving to his back, and has no intentions of stopping anytime soon.  

"I get messages on a daily basis from people around the world that got problems, diseases, saying I'm inspiring them to do better, too... Nobody is guaranteed tomorrow. If you got a disease or not, just don't give up fighting."

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