Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Replacing Money With Love

Shana, a Magdalene Graduate and Thistle Farms Sales Representative, shares her story of a tattoo removal and the man who replaced "Money" with love.

"I got the tattoo in a motel room off Murfreesboro road. It was a dollar sign—another symbol that I was for sale. I hate to think back to that time in my life, it had no meaning other than the name I was given by my pimp — "Money" — because I gave him a lot of it. It is sad that I was okay with just being a dollar sign. After coming to Magdalene and Thistle Farms, it is like a blinder was taken off my eyes and a beautiful world appeared and I was part of it no longer just a dollar sign! Yet, every time I look in the mirror, there was the dollar sign staring back at me; an ugly reminder. I never want to forget my past or the women I have left behind, but I am so much more than just a dollar sign. 

I searched the Internet for grants that might help me get the tattoo removed. When that did not work Cary Rayson, Magdalene's Executive Director, and I spoke at a women's business group in Nashville. I told my story and afterwards a woman approached us and said she knew someone who could help me. Cary did all the corresponding with the woman and the doctor, Dr. Biesman, and even went on my first appointment with me. 

Dr. Biesman is great! The treatments, however, are painful and the tattoo does not come off overnight. Because my face was not responding to the laser, Dr. Biesman asked if I wanted him to cut the tattoo out. I said, “YES!” He set up a surgery room, put in some Metallica and cut it out. I was scared that I would have a scar, but when the stitches came out, my face looked great! I am still having work done on my other tattoos, but when I look in the mirror, I see ME and not a tattoo. I see a new life, one that is not for sale!"

We spoke to Dr. Biesman about his experience with Shana's tattoo removal:

"I really wasn’t sure what to expect when working with a woman from Thistle Farms. I know that many, and probably all, have been through terrible experiences that I can’t begin to imagine. Suffice to say,  I was a little nervous before meeting Shana for the first time. I wasn’t sure what she needed, how she would respond psychologically to undergoing uncomfortable treatments, etc.  However, my concerns were quickly allayed once I met Shana. She has been an absolute delight. My staff and I all love her. She is so sweet, kind, and genuinely appreciative of all of our efforts. I never asked her to talk about what I was doing for her but she wanted to share it. I wanted to help the women of Thistle Farms because I am blessed with the ability to do so, not because I was seeking publicity or PR opportunities. I was floored to learn that Shana was interested in both sharing her experiences with her treatments as well as the fact that I am doing these treatments for her. She is a pleasure to take care of and it gives me true joy and satisfaction to be able to help her.” 

We are grateful to Dr. Biesman for providing this service and sharing his experience. Just another way to show how Love Heals.

You can share your thoughts with Dr. Biesman and Shana on twitter at @DrBiesman and @shanaavoice4all.

Story by Julia Nusbam
Thistle Farms Intern

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