Dear Heloise: The last time we spoke about the tattoo-removal program, I had expanded our first group of volunteers to a Texaswide program for teens and adults who needed to get rid of a tattoo to get into the military, keep their scholarships or erase romances gone sour or bad memories.
Adults don’t want their children to see anything associated with gang lifestyle, nor do they want to have difficulty counseling teenagers to keep them out of trouble when they themselves show what many perceive to be a bad character attribute. People see criminals wearing tattoos on television shows. Employers still require their work force to be “tattoo free” in a majority of businesses and service organizations.
TOBIL (Tattoo Obliteration by Infrared Light) is available in many states now, either by volunteer doctors in “free for under 18” programs (as we have in Texas) or in private facilities. The cost is minimal compared with the equally effective laser removal of tattoos, and the time involved is much less, making it a desirable alternative for hundreds of people. (See our Web site: www.faceandbodydesign.com.) Our group in South America has now removed more than 20,000 tattoos so that people could get on with their lives.
Anyone who sends us a fax (210-495-7145) will get a reply listing the closest program. Others have chosen to fly to San Antonio because it is less expensive than laser removal. We are also looking for volunteer physicians to oversee programs in other states. They will take our training course, then offer this service – sponsored by a religious organization, a youth-counseling group or a social-service club like the Kiwanis. We help them get started.
Once again, thanks for your help in publicizing this program. When you last printed this information, we received hundreds of letters from prisoners who have faced the same dilemma of job rejection because of tattoos. – Tolbert S. Wilkinson, M.D., San Antonio
Dear Dr. Wilkinson: It’s been more than three years since I printed information from you on this subject. One fact that remains the same is that a tattoo might be considered art or a personal statement by some, but a negative sign by others. For those who have changed their minds, this program is just the ticket to start anew … without a negative tattoo. Thank you and all of the people who make this program possible. – Heloise
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