Local medical tattoo artist reopens business to help cancer survivors heal


CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) Last October, 13 News brought you the story of one tattoo artist who specializes in ink that helps breast cancer survivors heal. COVID-19 put a hold on her practice, but she’s now back to changing lives.

Marnie Rustemeyer offers medical tattooing in three states: West Virginia, Virginia, and New York. The Mountain State has allowed tattoo shops to reopen, however Virginia and New York have not. Two-thirds of her clients are from those states.

“So I started seeing clients last weekend again, and I was able to follow up with on an appointment with a survivor who I met back in February and finish her tattoos,” Marnie said.

Marnie specializes in 3-D areola tattooing that restores natural beauty to women who’ve undergone breast reconstructive surgery.

These procedures are a side job for Marnie, but more rather her passion, which she realized during this pandemic.

“I had a heart-to-heart with myself and I realized that I’m only going to focus on breast cancer survivors and people that need medical tattooing services,” Marnie said.

Over 20 clients’ services were put on hold thanks to COVID-19.

It was really frustrating for me because I had a lot of appointments scheduled in April, then I had to cancel and so I’m working on getting those clients back in and a lot of them were in Virginia and New York, so we’re trying to get some people to come to West Virginia.

Marnie Rustemeyer

Safely moving forward, Marnie is taking one appointment per weekend, implementing a no-visitor policy and always wear PPE during procedures.

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