My name is Fern…


I have now spent over 1/3 of my life as a "cancer survivor". I had become accustomed to marking my milestones by years of survival, seeing how declaring each year a triumph and a blessing (uh-huh, it is), felt like the most appropriate measure of my accomplishments. Then suddenly last July at age 60, I was catapulted back into ‘career-change’ mode - NOT EZ!

So Fern, what do you really want to do for the last hurrah of your able-bodied working years?  That little voice from deep inside answered, as it had many times before, and now I am really listening! I am proud to introduce to you...

Breastoration Ink

Breastoration Ink is a philanthropic organization whose primary goal is to provide access to quality 3D-nipple & areola tattooing for low-income individuals who have lost their nipples as a result of breast cancer or breast reconstruction surgery.

In my previous job at San Francisco General Hospital, I had the opportunity to make this non-surgical option available to over 40 under-served patients who would otherwise not be able to afford this kind of procedure.

I witnessed first-hand the great expressions of joy, gratitude, and the sense of closure, that this simple artistic procedure was able to bring to our patients' lives.  I had the pleasure of working on many rewarding projects during my tenure at “the General” and this was definitely one of the most inspiring experiences for me.

So began the exploration and planning, and my receiving of much support, encouragement and love. 

I am thrilled to share that Breastoration Ink has been awarded its first grant to begin this important work from the To Celebrate Life Breast Cancer Foundation.  I am grateful for their belief in the mission, and in my vision and ability to fulfill it. Their generous seed grant will kick-start this effort which I am confident will grow and expand.

Currently, Breastoration Ink is a project of MarinLink, a 501C3 fiscal sponsor which supports community-based projects through collaboration and innovation.  All grants and donations are tax deductible and will be used solely for the purpose of executing this innovative and specialized work.   

My ask is simple...

that you champion this cause and share this news, and this new website, with other individuals, organizations, holistic practitioners (massage, PT, acupuncture, therapeutic, etc.) and medical providers, so they will be aware of this opportunity for their community of clients and/or patients.

And, if you're moved to donate, that would be the cherry on top! I just turned 61, and I can't think of a finer way to celebrate.

I'm officially on the way to helping people in need gain the financial support so that they, too, can have a beautiful nipple and/or areola.

With deep gratitude and much appreciation for your time and attention,


Fern Orenstein