“RockScar Love is where “Scars R Sexy”

Amy Tippins spends every waking moment thinking about or doing something about organ donation, helping other people and spreading joy.   She is the creative genius behind “Rock Scar Love” which celebrates the scars we accumulate through life.  She views these scars as badges of honor and encourages everyone she meets to view them the same way.  Today’s blog is written by Amy with my encouragement and support.  Please heed her words and help out.  Bob Aronson

My senior year of high school was supposed to be spent figuring out which college was going to offer me the best swimming scholarship.  My emotions were supposed to be spent on fighting my mother and trying to earn my independence.

Instead of negotiating how to pay for the next four years of college  I was negotiating with God on if I was going to live through them.  For five years, I had been in liver failure due to approximately two dozen tumors that had been slowly killing me.  I was not fighting with my mother (okay, maybe a little), but my own body.  As a teenager, I was fully aware of my own mortality.

As I reflect on the holiday season that has just passed I am reminded, as I am every year, that I was told I needed a life-saving liver transplant during the week of Christmas 1992.  For the following two months I wondered if I would get my second chance and what it would look like?  1992 was before you could Google “liver transplant” on the web and most likely, it was before Al Gore invented the internet.  When I was evaluated for my liver transplant it was during a time that the long term success of organ donation was still unknown, but the need of for organs was not so desperate.  As my transplant doctor said, “We had more livers than recipients”.  What I did not know was how much my life was going to change in so many amazing ways because of organ donation and how through it I would find my purpose.

Two years ago, I decided to “pay it forward” for what I was given.  Therefore, I started RockScar Love Designs (www.rockscarlove.com) a company that celebrates scars.  We celebrate beautiful scars and the lessons they teach us.  Through my scar, I have come to understand who I am and why I am worthy of celebration and love.  Through my scar, I have come to love who I am and realize that transplantation was my path to opening up my heart to a love beyond my imagination…love for myself!

Starting soon, in late March, RockScar Love Designs and Live Wright Society, a non profit promoting people and causes paying it forward (www.livewrightsociety.org), will be sponsoring the “Scars R Sexy” campaign.  We will be sharing over 20,000 scar stories across the US.  This is not about a physical scar or one particular type of scar, but about all scars and the people who bear them from all walks of life as they embrace their journey and realize that their story is one to be proud of; that scars are something to be embraced as beautiful and that we should all rise up to say “I love my scar because it means I have won — because I have championed what has tried to defeat me!  I am amazing and beautiful for all that I have been through”.

In order to make this campaign successful, RSL and LWS need each and every person that reads this to share our campaign and what it means to you by going to our Facebook page and becoming a fan as well as sharing the page: http://tinyurl.com/7pz5t8w Scars R Sexy)   If you believe in anyone who has a scar of a physical, emotional or psychological sort, we ask you to be a part of this campaign by sharing it with everyone you know.  Without your support, our scars will remain hidden!

You can find RockScar Love Products at www.rockscarlove.com.  We offer t-shirts, baseball caps and multiple other items with a scar theme.  15-20% of all sales go back to charity with a focus on transplant and pediatric based charities!  I also dedicate large portions of my time to mentoring transplant patients, speaking at charity events, serving on board of NKF GA/AL and raising money for Camp Independence.

You may comment in the space provided or email your thoughts to me at bob@baronson.org. And – please spread the word about the immediate need for more organ donors. There is nothing you can do that is of greater importance. If you convince one person to be an organ and tissue donor you may save or positively affect over 60 lives. Some of those lives may be people you know and love.

Please view our new video “Thank You From the Bottom of my Donor’s heart” on http://www.organti.org This video was produced to promote organ donation so it is free and no permission is needed for its use.

Also…there is more information on this blog site about other donation/transplantation issues.  When you leave this site go to our Facebook group, Organ Transplant Initiative and join. The more members we get the greater our clout with decision makers.


About Bob Aronson

Bob Aronson is a former journalist, a Minnesota Governor's Press Secretary and talk show host. For nearly a quarter of a century, he led the Aronson Partnership, a Minnesota-based communications consultancy that prepared corporate and government executives for crisis situations, regulatory testimony, media interviews and Presentations. Among his clients were all three U.S. Mayo Clinic locations, 3M, general Mills, CH2M Hill, the U.S. Department of Energy and scores more. In 2007 bob had a heart transplant after suffering from idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy for 12 years. Shortly after he got his new heart he founded the now 4,300 member Facebook support group, Organ Transplant Initiative. At the same time, he established the Bob's Newheart blog where he has posted nearly 300 columns on organ donation, transplantation and other health related issues. The Viewpoint blog was started in late 2016 and bears the name of the Radio Talk show Bob did from 1966 until 1974, when he resigned to become Minnesota Governor Rudy Perpich first Press secretary. Bob and his artist wife Robin, live in Jacksonville, Florida with their two dogs, Reilly and Ziggy. Bob is also a woodworker and makes all of the furnishings for Robin's art festival booth. He also makes one of a kind jewelry or "memories" boxes that he donates to select transplant patients, caregivers, donor families and others who have somehow contributed to making life easier for the ill, the elderly and the less fortunate. Bob is in the final stages of editing two full-length novels that will be available on Kindle when ready for release sometime in early 2017. One is a sci fi novel about an amazing discovery near Roswell, New Mexico and you will be surprised to find it has nothing to do with the Roswell story everyone knows. It features a woman scientist who investigates impact craters for the U.S. Department of the Interior, Dr. Rita Sylvester and her female student intern. The other book is a political thriller that introduces a new hero to the genre, Fargo Dennison.

Posted on February 21, 2012, in Affiliated causes and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Linda Spector Boehringer

    The three best scars I ever received were those of the c-sections I got in 1996, 1997 & 2006, after the birth of my three beautiful children. The best part was, with time, although they never disappeared, they faded nicely. Little did I know that the future held more scars and for not so wonderful reasons.

    Two weeks after Marley, my youngest was born, I was getting the staples removed from my c-section. My OBGYN suggested I see my Endocrinologist due to a ball he discovered in my neck. I knew it was there but thought it was a swollen lymph node. Never in a million years would I have imagined the devastating news which awaited.

    After a biopsy I was told I had papillary carcinoma. At first it was thought it was located in the thyroid. I remember talking with Dr. Colin Webber, one of Emory’s finest surgeons, about all the complications that may come up after the surgery. He explained I should have scar about six inches long and that it was possible to lose nerve sensations in my shoulder, neck and other areas.

    I told him the scar didn’t bother me and neither did the other issues. I told him it was imperative that he get all the cancer out because I had three children that needed me and that was my main concern. The thought of not being there for my kids was the biggest fear I have ever felt in my entire life. I wasn’t worried about the cancer, the scar, any of it. My kids, they are my life. I couldn’t bear leaving them with the emotional turbulence of not having their mother in their lives. Little did I know my journey was just about to begin.

    July 18th, I sat at Emory from about 6:00 a.m. till about 6:00 p.m. waiting for my turn on the table. My husband, my father and my aunt were with me. My mother and another aunt were at home with my kids. Everyone came in from Miami, ready to help me deal with whatever came my way. They were my strength, they were my support.

    I wasn’t really scared the first time I went under but when I woke up, I knew something was terribly wrong. I saw my aunt as soon as they rolled me out and I told her something was really wrong. She stood strong, holding back the tears, telling me everything was fine. My husband almost passed out after seeing me and there are just no words to describe the sadness in my wonderful father’s eyes. I knew something was terribly wrong.

    My six inch incision turned into an ear to ear incision straight across my neck. The cancer had spread from the thyroid to the the lymph nodes and now I was dealing with Stage Three Papillary Carcinoma that had materialistic to my lymph nodes and the most excruciating pain I have ever felt.

    My neck was literally glued back in place and I had two drains hanging from my collar I was so scared to go home and Emory was ready for me to go. I had never felt so weak, scared and in so much pain, ever. After the first day my neck got so swollen it was as big as my thigh. I was so scared to look in the mirror. I didn’t recognize myself and the Doctors couldn’t guarantee that all the swelling would go away. The Doctors couldn’t guarantee anything.

    As soon as I walked in the door my son, then 10 asked “Mom, is your head going to fall off of your shoulders?” I wanted to laugh and cry at the same time. I too had that same question. I think that’s why I was scared to leave the hospital.

    A new, colicky baby who didn’t sleep more than a few hours, if that and two other children that needed their mother’s attention and feeling fear that my head was going to fall off if I made the wrong move. The Doctors assured me my head would stay in place but I think the shock of it all freaked me out.

    When the family left and the support was gone, the reality of my situation started to settle in and by December I felt another huge ball by my right color bone. December 23rd, more surgery, this time great news, not cancerous and now I and now I had another scar, but this one was about the length of my middle finger. I went home the same day.

    I can’t explain the fear I live with daily but I do know that after each clear MRI, CAT, PET, I-131 scan I feel more empowered. I do not fear death. I do fear not being there for my kids and what that would do to them. To this day, I don’t have any feeling under my neck and I continue to work out to keep my right shoulder from hanging lower than my left and I feel like there’s a noose around my neck ( I am assuming it’s from the scar tissue).

    I have since returned to Kennesaw State University to complete a degree in Journalism. I work at the Sentinel, the school paper and was lucky enough to write a preview story for the RockScar Love Design’s campaign “Scars R Sexy”. I feel so lucky that my path has crossed this empowering group of people that give me strength to draw off and hope for the future.

    I have just started talking with Amy and plan to help her spread the word. The movement is genius and powerful! I also write for examiner.com and plan on sharing the campaign there too.

    Life is such an amazing journey when we surround ourselves with positive people that give off positive energy. Amy Tippins, without a doubt is one of those people. She is so inspiring! I feel so very lucky to have met her and excited to get to know her better. I can’t wait to become more involved with this wonderful movement.

    These are my scar stories and I thank you for letting me share!


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