Donations flow through in a flash of creativity
It was a full circle moment for Perth tattoo artist Rory Armstrong when he utilised the same creative skills which introduced him to his girlfriend, Dana, to raise more than $6,000 for MSWA in her honour.
Dana was diagnosed with relapsing-remitting MS at just 22 years of age, but Rory said her condition did not stop her from helping others in her full-time nursing career.
“Dana is one of those people who gets a little bit embarrassed when people do things for her, she is so used to doing things for everyone else,” said Rory.
The pair first met when Dana came to Rory for a tattoo, and the “rest is history”.
“Through her, I found out how hard MS really can be on people, both the families and the patient,” Rory said.
“I thought, ‘I make pretty good money tattooing, so if I can donate one day of my year to anyone else living with a neurological condition, why not?’ It was a pretty easy decision.”
To raise the funds, the Bittersweet Tattoo Studio in Subiaco hosted a ‘Flash Day’ in December, with Rory donating 100% of his profits to benefit people living with neurological conditions.
Rory said the response on the day was overwhelmingly positive.
“We had a line about 200m long before the doors opened at 10am,” Rory said.
“We walked down the line and the first 40 to 50 people were there to see me, or my co-worker who was also donating a portion of their profits, to support the charity. It was awesome to see.”
Rory also ran a raffle in the two weeks leading up to the event, receiving an upswell of support that saw him sell 300 tickets for the cause.
“As soon as I mentioned the raffle and I put it up on my socials the response was absolutely insane,” he said.
“I didn’t know what I had got myself into. I was constantly writing raffle tickets down every night and day, but it was so worth it.”
Combined with his takings and donations from other artists’ profits on the day, the total raised came to an incredible $6,214.
“I know Dana was absolutely overwhelmed by all of it, but she was very grateful,” said Rory.
“The team at MSWA does the most amazing job, I am so thankful for all of you and the work you do, so I am glad I could contribute.”
This is just the start of a new tradition for Rory, who plans on making the fundraiser an annual event.
“Next year I am setting myself the goal of raising $10,000” Rory said.
MSWA would like to extend a huge 'thank you' to Rory and the team at Bittersweet Tattoo Studio for their support and commitment to improving the lives of people living with neurological conditions.