In 2010, Alice Milliken was a 20-year-old undergraduate art student when she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. What she initially believed was a symptom of college life (read: hangover) turned out to be far more serious. Alice was experiencing diplopia (double vision) and an MRI confirmed her diagnosis.
This was the beginning of Alice's journey towards living and accepting a life where MS played a role. It was also the beginning of a two-year design process, where Alice designed a tattoo to honor her new normal.
People get tattoos for many reasons - self-expression, artistic freedom, or a visual display of a personal narrative. For Alice, it was all of the above. While this was not her first tattoo, it was especially meaningful.
Alice (R) living life to the fullest with friend Catherine (L) in Lyon, France
I spent a lot of time accepting my diagnosis and I knew I wanted this tattoo for about two years before I got it. I wanted to commemorate my MS in some way. It was something for me. I've always been fascinated with anatomy and chose the brain because that is the part of my body most affected by the disease."
Tattoos are a personal decision and their meanings are most relevant to those who wear them forever. Alice's tattoo signifies strength, resilience and acknowledgment.
Getting this tattoo was about reclaiming my body. I can learn from having MS without allowing it to take anything away from me. It's just a part of me now."
Now it's your turn. Do you have any tattoos that you got because of your MS? Do you have an image that represents your MS? We invite you to add a photo or video of your tattoo via the content creator tool below. We want to see your powerful MS tattoo, learn what it means to you and show the world that adversity can create beautiful art and a very strong message.
Click here to see other multiple sclerosis tattoos from the MS community.