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'Trafficked' survivor covering tattoos for a 'new beginning'

Athena Funk (r) places a fresh image over a reminder of Danielle John's past: a large tattoo forced upon her by her sex trafficker.2 / 2

FARGO -- At Addictions Tattoo and Piercing, Athena Funk is taking on a project of a lifetime.

Her client is someone we know well: Danielle John, who is here as part of her continuing journey: a survivor.

As you may recall from the WDAY documentary "Trafficked" Danielle's trafficker demanded that she have a scroll tattooed on her back that included the rules of his house and what he demanded of his victims. Because it is so large, it would be too hard to remove it, so this Phoenix will now cover the horrible scroll Danielle wants gone.

"I like to countdown the removal and the cover up of the brands. I only have two left and they are fading away to nothing," John says.

"With the lotus on top of it and the Phoenix on the bottom, it is like rising from the ashes, and then a new beginning. It fits the purpose perfect," she adds.

For Funk, it is a project that is meaningful.

"I jumped at the opportunity," Funk says.

So much so, Athena is donating close to 70 hours of work and thousands of dollars to help Danielle move forward.

"I did not know that as a tattoo artist, I could make a difference," Funk says, "so it is nice I have this opportunity."

Two women: One trying to forget the past and enjoy a new life, and another using her artistry and kindness to help her get there.

It will take another six months before the entire "Phoenix" tattoo is done.

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