Cancer survivor’s unusual awareness event

Steve Barnes from the Red X tattoo shop in Market Place running a fund raiser for Cancer Research.
Steve Barnes from the Red X tattoo shop in Market Place running a fund raiser for Cancer Research.

An Arbroath businessman who has twice battled cancer is hoping an unusual charity event will help open people’s eyes to the disease.

Steven Barnes (36), was just 30 when he was first diagnosed with bowel cancer, and it was later found that tumours had spread to his liver.

He had to endure six months of gruelling chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment and also underwent a massive 11 hour operation to remove the tumours.

But a routine check-up revealed another tumour had formed on his liver forcing him to undergo major surgery yet again.

At the time of his first diagnosis, Steven was the manager of Wetherspoons in Arbroath but during his treatment he decided he wanted to pursue his dream of tattooing and trained in a shop in Dundee.

Now, he runs the Red Cross tattoo shop in Market Place, which is proving to be a success.

He explained: “During my time in treatment I was unable to work and used the time learning to tattoo in a shop in Dundee.

“I was formerly manager of Arbroath’s Wetherspoons until I was 30 but decided I should do something I loved, tattooing.

“After recovering from my operation I continued to train in Dundee and started working when I was signed back fit.

“Last year I took the step to open my own shop here in Arbroath. The shop is doing very well and I feel ready to give something back and help others in my position.”

Now Steven wants to give something back to Cancer Research and has organised a ‘tattoo raffle’ which will be drawn in the shop on June 18, the date he underwent both of his operations.

He is raffling off 10 three-hour vouchers normally worth £180 for £100, with the total of the £1,000 raised being donated to Cancer Research UK.

Steven added: “Hopefully a more unusual charity event will reach different people and raise awareness of the disease, the treatment and the great work Cancer Research UK and other charities do.

“During my time in hospital I wrote a blog diary, including all the good and bad points of treatment to open people’s eyes to all the positives in cancer as its always the negatives we hear about.

“I think this fear stops people going for check ups and leaving problems undiagnosed especially younger people. Itis not an old persons disease.

“Hopefully I will help some understand its not the end, its the best and worst thing ever that happened to me. I now have my dream job and my dream shop.”

Anybody wanting to take part in the raffle should email Steven on