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Ink to End Lyme
Tattoo parlor to raise awareness, funds for disease
Colossal Tattoo
Colossal Tattoo owner Eric DeOliveira tattoos a client on Tuesday (ANGELINA MARTIN/The Journal).

Name of business: Colossal Tattoo

Type of business: Tattoo parlor

Location: 429 E. Main St., Turlock

Hours: Noon to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday

Contact information: 209-668-8085

Specialty: Traditional Americana, Japanese and geometric style tattoos


History of business:

Since taking the helm of Colossal Tattoo in 2011, owner Eric DeOliveira has seen the business undergo a few changes, including its name, but the shop’s desire to help others has never wavered.

On Thursday, the tattoo parlor will join artists from around the nation in a day of Lyme disease awareness, donating 50 percent of its proceeds to finding a cure for the illness. DeOliveira was inspired to join the cause, aptly named Ink to End Lyme 2019, when he met a client’s friend who has the disease.

“When this girl was setting up her appointment, her friend mentioned she wanted to get tattooed but wanted to wait until she was healthy enough. She had Lyme disease,” DeOliveira said. “A month later when the girl came back for her tattoo, her friend came back with her again but this time she was in a wheelchair.”

Sad for the girl and wanting to learn more, DeOliveira asked if there were any fundraising opportunities. Colossal Tattoo had helped community members with hospital bills before, he said, and he felt compelled to try and help those with Lyme disease in any way he could.

DeOliveira was connected with the nonprofit Lyme Warrior, and learned that February was Lyme Disease Awareness Month. Over 35 tattoo parlors are joining forces during February to raise funds for a cure, and on Thursday Colossal will join the effort and offer both Lyme Warrior Valentine’s Day themed tattoos for $50 to $150.

The shop is one of just three California parlors to participate.

“I thought, ‘What a perfect day to sit around, tattoo as many people as I possibly can and then turn it into an event and give a good chunk of money to Lyme disease,” DeOliveira said. “It’s one of those diseases that isn’t really in the media all the time like a lot of the others that people fundraise for.”

From small, simple tattoos that feature a hint of lime green to full-on Lyme Warrior art that any survivor or fighter of the disease would be proud to wear, there’s a tattoo for everyone, DeOliveria said, in addition to designs that are love-centric for Thursday’s holiday.

“This woman that came into the shop inspired me to help. We don’t do too many things like this, so I figured it was the right time,” DeOliveira said.