Chest tattoo covers woman's scars from 3 bouts of cancer

An Ottawa woman's elaborate tattoo covers scars where her breasts used to be before she battled three bouts of cancer and her body art has inspired many others through social media.

Kelly Davidson survived Hodgkin's lymphoma, breast and thyroid cancers

An Ottawa woman's elaborate tattoo across her chest, where her breasts used to be before a mastectomy, has attracted the praise of thousands online.

Kelly Davidson, 34, has battled three bouts of cancer. After surviving Hodgkin's lymphoma, breast and thyroid cancers she had a double mastectomy and opted for a tattoo instead of reconstructive surgery. 

She said she's delighted to hear people are drawing inspiration from her tattoo, which was posted on the Facebook page, "Why We Ink."

The tattoo extends from near her collarbone to below where her breasts used to be.

Davidson's photo was posted on a page for cancer survivors where it's received more than 700,000 "likes" and it has been shared more than 90,000 times.

"The reason why I wanted to share it … even through something so tragic you can make it into something positive … and I decided to do that through my art work that I put to cover over my scars from my masectomy," Davidson said.

"You can still, you know, be strong and still conquer something so devastating," she said.

Her message resonated with thousands, many of whom have also struggled with cancer. Although there were some mean-spirited comments in the thread, the most popular responses were motivated by admiration.

Her Facebook post described her mentality moving forward.

"My tattoo symbolizes a transformation, my metamorphosis, like a butterfly I changed on the outside but remained the same on the inside," she wrote on the Facebook page.

Davidson also wrote that breasts don't define who she is as a person or a woman.