Terminally ill man who got 650 matching tattoos with strangers has died

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By James Kay

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A terminally ill man who got over 600 matching tattoos with strangers so they would remember him has sadly died, and those he bonded with over their ink have paid tribute.

Don Caskey, 56, of Ohio was diagnosed with terminal kidney cancer in 2019 and made it his mission to leave a permanent mark on the world, and on people.

An oncologist had told Don that he only had months to live which ranged from a few to 40, but they were sure it wouldn't be over 10 years.

As reported by the New York Post, after his terminal diagnosis Don was sitting at his son's house dwelling on the memories of his six tattoos, and that stirred something inside him.

He knew that the tattoos and memories he had would die with him. He wanted to ensure this didn't happen, so he reached out to strangers and asked if they wanted to get matching ink with him.

Don would approach people on the street and understandably people were at first apprehensive. But when news of what he was doing started circulating, interest was attracted from all around the world.

The 56-year-old got matching tattoos with people from the US, Scotland, Australia, Costa Rica, New Zealand, and England. As per Action News, he got 652 matching tattoos.

Sadly, Don passed away on February 6, a statement shared on his social media pages explained. It read: "Well it has been a journey to say the least, but I’m at the end of the road. I can’t fully express in words what these past few years have meant to me! I met a lot of great people, with whom I share a lot of great memories that I will carry with me until we meet again."

The heartbreaking statement continued: "This post is not a goodbye, but I’ll see you soon! I will be with each and everyone of you in spirit always and forever! Linked with ink! But today is the day that I gained my wings, and I will be flying high watching over you no matter what!"

Don touched the lives of those 652 people he shared permanent memories with, and also thousands more who were moved by his bravery in the face of great adversity.

"I’m glad i got to meet you Don!! I’m glad i came across your story and followed you!! I’ll forever cherish our Turtle Tattoo!! Thank you for coming into my life and sharing your journey with all of us," one person who got a matching tattoo said.

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Credit: Facebook

A second added: "Love you Don Caskey I'll never forget you. I'm Soo Happy that I met you and shared the bond of being don'd. Till we meet again friend."

size-full wp-image-1263196268
Credit: Facebook

Don achieved what he set out to do - he touched the lives of many people around the world and will be survived in people's hearts and on their skin.

Featured image credit: Lesley Johnson / Alamy

Terminally ill man who got 650 matching tattoos with strangers has died

vt-author-image

By James Kay

Article saved!Article saved!

A terminally ill man who got over 600 matching tattoos with strangers so they would remember him has sadly died, and those he bonded with over their ink have paid tribute.

Don Caskey, 56, of Ohio was diagnosed with terminal kidney cancer in 2019 and made it his mission to leave a permanent mark on the world, and on people.

An oncologist had told Don that he only had months to live which ranged from a few to 40, but they were sure it wouldn't be over 10 years.

As reported by the New York Post, after his terminal diagnosis Don was sitting at his son's house dwelling on the memories of his six tattoos, and that stirred something inside him.

He knew that the tattoos and memories he had would die with him. He wanted to ensure this didn't happen, so he reached out to strangers and asked if they wanted to get matching ink with him.

Don would approach people on the street and understandably people were at first apprehensive. But when news of what he was doing started circulating, interest was attracted from all around the world.

The 56-year-old got matching tattoos with people from the US, Scotland, Australia, Costa Rica, New Zealand, and England. As per Action News, he got 652 matching tattoos.

Sadly, Don passed away on February 6, a statement shared on his social media pages explained. It read: "Well it has been a journey to say the least, but I’m at the end of the road. I can’t fully express in words what these past few years have meant to me! I met a lot of great people, with whom I share a lot of great memories that I will carry with me until we meet again."

The heartbreaking statement continued: "This post is not a goodbye, but I’ll see you soon! I will be with each and everyone of you in spirit always and forever! Linked with ink! But today is the day that I gained my wings, and I will be flying high watching over you no matter what!"

Don touched the lives of those 652 people he shared permanent memories with, and also thousands more who were moved by his bravery in the face of great adversity.

"I’m glad i got to meet you Don!! I’m glad i came across your story and followed you!! I’ll forever cherish our Turtle Tattoo!! Thank you for coming into my life and sharing your journey with all of us," one person who got a matching tattoo said.

size-full wp-image-1263196267
Credit: Facebook

A second added: "Love you Don Caskey I'll never forget you. I'm Soo Happy that I met you and shared the bond of being don'd. Till we meet again friend."

size-full wp-image-1263196268
Credit: Facebook

Don achieved what he set out to do - he touched the lives of many people around the world and will be survived in people's hearts and on their skin.

Featured image credit: Lesley Johnson / Alamy