To commemorate Breast Cancer Awareness Month, MERGE and WLN NY hosted an evening of inspiration with the team from

The event highlighted the strength and resolve of breast cancer survivors by featuring, an organization that pairs women who have had mastectomies with tattoo artists who use body art to cover the scars.

Speakers discussed the effects of breast cancer, and the side effects faced by women who undergo mastectomies. The evening featured founder Noel Franus; McCann Worldgroup Global Creative Chairman, Rob Reilly; breast cancer survivor and tattoo recipient, Diane deJesus; and tattoo artist Joy Rumore.


The evening kicked off with a welcome from WLN NY co-chair Marie Corcoran, Account Director, Managing Partner, beauty@gotham, and WLN NY Philanthropy Committee Co-chair Rahel Rasu, Communications Manager, McCann.

Noel started after his sister-in-law Molly was diagnosed with breast cancer. Ten days after her learning of her diagnosis, Molly had one of her breasts removed. After her mastectomy and subsequent reconstructive surgery, Molly decided to use the art of tattooing to reclaim the beauty and strength caused by her mastectomy.

In an industry filled with skilled creative thinkers,’s founders, advisors and supporters were able to apply talents developed from their careers in advertising to empower mastectomy survivors. Global Chief Creative Chairman Rob Reilly, who advised Noel at the project’s inception, highlighted creativity and its ability to impact change. Tattoo recipient Diane deJesus shared her experience with breast cancer and decision to heal through’s tattoo project. Tattoo artist Joy Rumore discussed her supportive and powerful role as an artist who works with women still healing from the effects of surgery.

The event stimulated honest conversation, where guests felt moved to share their stories. Survivors, tattoo artists, and family members in the audience spoke openly about their own experiences, what they learned, how they were supported, and what they hoped for future breast cancer survivors.

Check out all of the photos on the WLN Facebook page.

According to an estimate by the American Cancer Society, almost 40,000 US women were expected to die from breast cancer in 2013. For some women diagnosed with breast cancer, a mastectomy is the most successful treatment method.