When Shayla became ill, Tattoo Tom, a single dad, found out quickly that there are no limits to what you will do for your child. Struggling to make ends meet, on and off food stamps, and unable to work and take care of Shayla full time, he turned to a local organization for assistance. The organization donated $1200 towards Shayla’s care. Almost immediately, Tattoo Tom wanted to pay it back, and raise awareness for childhood cancer.
As therapy for the mind and body, Tattoo Tom started boxing and working out again, met boxers, and eventually fought Yieta Johnson. He lost the fight by TKO but helped raise $7,000 towards the fight against cancer. Shayla (who had stage 4 Hodgkin’s disease) lost her own fight with cancer on January 28, 2009.
A rematch was arranged in Shayla’s memory, and tickets sold quickly, raising 20K in total for both boxing matches. All money was paid back, plus interest, to the charity that helped Tattoo Tom and Shayla.