Death or Glory Tattoo holds cancer benefit for longtime client

Jesus Lopez, a 30-year-old tattoo artist at Death or Glory, outlines a shark tattoo Saturday afternoon during Death or Glory’s tattoo benefit fundraiser. All money made from the event will go towards treatment for Nicole Hall’s breast cancer. Hall is a frequent customer at Death or Glory, and over 200 people attended the benefit.

Flowers and pink and white balloons decorated the walls covered in drawings of vicious panthers, skulls and crossbones and pin-up girls at Death or Glory Tattoo Parlour Saturday.

More than 200 people went to the shop, at 8 E. University Ave., over the course of the day to raise money for a longtime client fighting breast cancer.

The event raised more than $7,000.

Nicole Hall, 42, has been getting tattooed by Mike “Little Mike” Mehaffey at Death or Glory Tattoo Parlour for more years than she can count.

“Mike and the people here are more like family than friends,” she said. “He was heartbroken when I told him the cancer came back.”

Mehaffey was one of the first people she told when her breast cancer returned earlier this year after her first diagnosis in 2017.

Mehaffey immediately started planning a tattoo benefit at the shop to raise money to pay for Hall’s treatment.

After finding a lump, doctors told Hall she would be facing two rounds of chemotherapy, surgery and then radiation treatment.

She was in the hospital when Mehaffey told her about the event.

“I was blown away when I found out he was doing this in my honor,” she said. “It stinks to have to go through this again, but I’m so overwhelmed by the support of the community.”

From noon to 10 p.m., the artists tattooed everyone who came in and donated all the money to Hall.

There was also a bar in the back of the shop serving beer and liquor for donations.

Hall was dressed head to toe in pink and white while she attended the event with her husband and two children.

Throughout the day, tattoo artists shared their favorite memories with Hall, mostly reminiscing on how she always brought trays of food to the shop to make sure everyone ate.

Mehaffey tattooed throughout the day and said the event was much larger than the crew expected.

“It’s one of those things where I wanted to help but couldn’t and now that I’m in the position to help, so I did.”

He had worked for three weeks nonstop to find vendors, raffle prizes and advertise the event to make sure people came.

“When she comes in, it’s like an event. We’re all happy to see her,” he said. “We wanted to help her out and celebrate her life.”

Josephine Fuller is a fourth-year student studying journalism and women's studies. She is originally from Hialeah, Florida. When she's not watching Bob's Burgers she's probably playing with her cat, Marley.