man getting tattoo
Sarah Biren
Sarah Biren
March 10, 2024 ·  5 min read

Dad sat through 30 hours of tattoo pain so his son would feel better about birthmark

Derek Prue Jr was born with a birthmark that covers a large section of his torso. Like most kids in his situation, he felt self-conscious about the mark and kept it covered as much as possible. His father, Derek Prue Sr, wanted to reassure his son that the birthmark was nothing to be ashamed of. When Derek Jr insisted on wearing a shirt at the pool, his dad decided to get a birthmark tattoo to match his son. 

Dad Gets a Tattoo The Shape of His Son’s Birthmark 

Eight-year-old Derek was suspicious when his mother, Shana Prue, took pictures of his birthmark, but he didn’t know what was in store for him. As it turns out, Prue had no idea either. Tattoos of that size take a long time to complete, and he was completely unaware as he lay down for the first appointment.  

“I was definitely surprised to see the request for the tattoo as it was a first for me,” says Tony of the Juicy Quill Tattoo Shop. “I tattooed in West Edmonton Mall for many years and saw thousands of tattoos, but never one like this.” 

During the first session at the tattoo parlor, Prue recalls, “I remember the first time coming in, laying down and then after maybe three, four hours, I was like, ‘Yeah, are we almost done?’ And Tony’s like, ‘Yeah, we’re almost done the outline.’” 

In the end, the tattoo took about six to eight weeks to finish, about 30 hours in total. “I’m kind of glad I didn’t know how long it was going to take,” he says. [1] 

Still, he believes all of the time and pain were completely worth it. And Tony admired his bravery and sacrifice on behalf of his kid.

“We did the lion’s share of the work free of charge—I believe I charged him for 4 hours,” says Tony. “Tattoos are crazy expensive these days and it shouldn’t cost an arm and a leg to do something noble and thoughtful like he did.” 

The Big Birthmark Tattoo Reveal 

When the family stayed at a hotel, Derek played in the pool, unaware of the incredible surprise awaiting him. His father called out to him, and Derek swam to the edge of the pool. That’s when he noticed the tattoo and he fell back into the water with wide eyes and wider grin.  

“I was happy and I was a little confused,” Derek says. “I didn’t know he was going to do that.” 

It Was Worth It 

“I think it’s amazing to be able to comfort your son like that,” Prue said. “It’s more than just your kid seeing your name, or something, you get to actually, like, really change the way he feels about himself. 

“Just being able to go swimming with his dad and take off his shirt and be happy and comfortable. I’m happy I get to be part of it, in a small way I get to help with what he’s trying to do.” 

This is derrick Jr and derrick sr . He is the dad that got his sons birthmark tattooed, its Very cool that he could do this to help his sons confidence and that we could be a part of their story .

Posted by Juicy Quill Tattoo on Thursday, December 10, 2020

When Shana asked Derek if he’d go swimming without a shirt now, he said he would. “Whenever Daddy’s there I can take the shirt off,” he said. 

All of Prue’s efforts have paid of, and he’s happy to help his son feel more comfortable in his own skin. “Now we have the same marks for life.” 

“I’ve seen this story being shared all over the world,” says Tony. “This boy who was, at first, scared to take shirt off in pools, who has been questioned about the weird mark, now has the most famous birthmark around. His dad did that. That is nothing short of amazing and it started with an idea from a father who just wanted life to be a bit easier for his son.” [2] 

Another Father Gets a Tattoo to Support His Son 

This isn’t the only time a father went under the needle to support his boy.  

Josh Marshall from Kansas got a tattoo on his head to help his son’s confidence, similar to what Derek Prue Sr did. Eight-year-old Gabriel was diagnosed with a rare malignant brain tumor. He underwent surgery to have most of the tumor removed, leaving a long, hooked-shaped scar above his ear.  

“My son was very self-conscious after he got his surgery. He felt like a monster,” Josh Marshall said. 

On his Facebook page, Josh wrote, “I would like to thank everyone for helping make this happen, it’s an honor to be titled 2016’s ‪#‎BestBaldDad‬.” He was chosen after submitting a photo of him and his son proudly showing their scar and tattoo. The photo competition was about celebrating dads who shaved their heads in solidarity for their children suffering from cancer. 

“But the truth is I’m no better than any of the other contestants,” he continues, “we are all great fathers that would go to any extent to help our children so in my eyes we’re all winners.” [3] 

Sadly, Gabriel’s cancer returned six months later. Hearts broke when Josh posted on Facebook that “Gabriel gained his wings” on February 2, 2018. Still, Josh’s love for his son has left on impact on everyone who heard his story. The post flooded with condolences and prayers. [4] 

Fathers would go to any lengths to support their kids, and it’s heart-warming to see how much they care. 

Keep Reading: 20 Photos Of Parents Before And After Having Kids That Will Make You Want To Send Their Babysitter Money


  1. [1] Kory Siegers. “This Alberta dad sat through 30 hours of tattoo pain so his son would feel better about birthmark.” CBC. December 10, 2020 
  2. [2] Robertas Lisickis. “Dad Sits For 30 Hours Straight To Get Identical Tattoo To His 8-Year-Old’s Birthmark.” Bored Panda. December 14, 2020 
  3. [3] “Kansas dad gets a tattoo to match his son’s brain cancer surgery scar.” BBC News. June 22, 2016 
  4. [4] “Celebration of Life for Gabe Marshall.” KWCH. February 10, 2018