“I initially got it because in high school when my mom was first diagnosed with breast cancer, I wanted to shave my head, but she wouldn’t let me do it because she said no boy would ask me to prom if I was bald. Ha!,” Leverenz said, “I wanted a way to show we were united in this even though I couldn’t go to her appointments or be there for every surgery or chemotherapy because I was here at Belmont.”
Leverenz got the tattoo at Billy Joe’s on Broadway in September 2010, a long haul from her hometown of Union City, Ind.
“I went with a friend who wanted her ear pierced in some weird place that could only be done at a tattoo shop, so it was kind of spur of the moment to get it done right at that second, but I had thought about getting the tattoo before to show my support,” Leverenz said.
Leverenz still has the Facebook message from her late mother after discovering Chelsi had gotten the tattoo– she was touched, but a little shocked at first.
Her father was mad initially, but after a few months, he understood.
“Now it’s taken on a different meaning since she’s passed away. Now she’s always with me,” Leverenz said.
Even though it’s a visible reminder of her mother, Leverenz admits that it’s difficult to explain to people who don’t know her story.
“It’s always kind of awkward when someone asks. It’s such a sensitive subject, you know. And I want to lie to them, but I can’t. It’s my life, and as much as I wish I could change it, I can’t,” Leverenz said.