A St. John's tattoo parlour staged an unusual marathon this weekend, raising thousands of dollars to help families battling cancer.

Trouble Bound Studio on Water Street put a tattoo of the cancer ribbon on 77 participants, raising more than $9,000 in the process. The money is going to Daffodil Place, the Canadian Cancer Society's residence for cancer patients and caregivers who need to travel to St. John's for treatment.

Owner Dave Munro was motivated to launch the unusual fundraiser in memory of his brother, who died of brain cancer four years ago.

Dave Munro

Dave Munro said he was overwhelmed by stories he heard about how cancer affected many families. (CBC)

Munro told CBC News he was not prepared for the stories that people shared during the event.

"[There were] horrible stories of losses of children, partners and husbands and wives, family members — it's a very strong emotional roller-coaster," he said.

Wayne Fitzpatrick said he had numerous good reasons to get the tattoo.

"Grandparents, aunts, uncles ... I've had a lot of people die from all types of cancer," said Fitzpatrick, who not only paid for one tattoo donation but brought along $500 that he collected from people as far away as California.

"The more money they get the better off they are," he said. "They do great things so there's my way of helping out a little bit."