Lucky Few’ Tattoo Bonanza in Auckland

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By Diane Burnett 

To celebrate her beautiful baby girl Paige and World Down Syndrome Day 2020, Dawn Goddard had an inky idea.

Dawn wanted to get as many people as she can to get the world-renowned ‘the lucky few’ tattoo on 21st March, World Down Syndrome Day 2020.

Over 50 people from across country from the New Zealand Group for Parents of Children with Down Syndrome Facebook group showed an interest.

Off the back of this interest, Dawn contacted and organised quotes from a few tattoo studios and has confirmed that Aaron V, co-owner of the family owned private tattoo studio 2 Sparrows Tattoo in Pakuranga, has kindly offered to donate his time for free and change only $50 per ‘the lucky few’ tattoo to cover the cost of the materials required.

“The minimum cost for most tattoos nowadays is $150 plus, so this is amazing,” says Dawn.

Dawn, a photographer, also photographed the event and hoped to get the media involved to create a fun news story to raise awareness of Down syndrome for World Down Syndrome Day 2020.

The original idea and design started in the United States where Mica May, a designer, had an idea to celebrate being a parent of a child with Down syndrome by designing a special tattoo for #theluckyfew.

She shared her idea with several other mums at their first gathering, having previously only met online. Their connection was immediate, and they discussed getting matching tattoos to acknowledge their bond.

At that point Mica spoke up and told them about the reoccurring dream she’d been having for a long time.


In the dream, she wakes up with three black arrows on her arm – always the same design and always the same placement. As she described the design from her dreams, tears started rolling down the faces of the other mums, and everyone said “Yes! This is our design”.

The three arrows are the perfect symbol for parents of children with Down syndrome, because the number three is representative of the three 21st chromosomes that result in Down syndrome and the arrows represent how the parents of these special children rise up and move forward.

“We rise the highest after we’ve been pulled back and stretched — sometimes even more than we think we can bear,” says Mica May.

The group tested the design on themselves that evening using a pen and decided to all get the tattoo the next day. But what started as a bonding moment for a small group of friends has grown to include hundreds of other parents from all over the world.

Last year, in Newquay in the UK, thirty parents joined the global campaign to raise awareness of people with Down syndrome. Each got ‘the lucky few’ tattoo to show how proud they are of their children and siblings with Down syndrome, and a person with Down syndrome also got the tattoo along with her mother and sister.

Dawn contacted one of the organisers of this event and got the details for the original designer, Mica May, who she contacted. “She has given us her blessing to use the design,” says an excited Dawn.