ERASING THE PAST

Meet Bryon Widner, former white supremacist.  He and his wife got married in 2006, had a child, and decided to leave their racist pasts behind them, but there was a massive problem staring Widner in the face every time he looked in the mirror -- extensive facial tattoos including a blood-soaked razor, swastikas, and the word HATE across his knuckles.  Even though Widner had left the world of white supremacy behind, he was shunned wherever he went, denied jobs, and treated like a thug.

Desperate to rid himself of the tattoos, Widner looked into several home remedies including acids, but without insurance, such a thing could prove deadly.  Even with insurance, facial tattooing to the degree that Widner had done to himself was rare and few doctors could do anything about it.

It was then that the Widners did what would have been unthinkable a few years before -- they contacted several of their former enemies, those in anti-hate groups and those who investigate and oppose the white supremacy movement, and asked for help.  Eventually, $35,000 were donated to the Widners by an anonymous woman who demanded two things in return: Bryon would have to get a GED and then go to college or trade school.

Bryon eagerly agreed since it was something he was planning to do anyway, and underwent 25 excruciating laser surgeries over ten months to remove the offensive art from his face.

Although his torso and arms are still tattooed, he is inking over the political and hateful ones.  Bryon has gotten his GED, has steady work, and he and his wife are about to start to go to a community college proving that it is never too late to change your life from the outside... and the inside.

 

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