Cancer Blows Photo Shoot – Part 2

Slightly over a year has passed since the birth of this idea, Cancer Blows. An idea that has turned into a project, and a project that I’m proud to say could potentially become a foundation for such a wonderful cause.

This disease hits everyone at one point in their life. Whether it’s directly or indirectly, it never fails to leave its mark. My mother was diagnosed with breast cancer in the final stretch of my high school career – fought, and won. Shortly after, my aunt lost her courageous and extensive battle with ovarian cancer in 2006. It all seems to pile on at once. Whether it’s coincidence or God’s divine plan, these struggles are not only tolling, but serve as a test to not only stay sane, but somehow find the positive in the situation. After losing a great friend and father, Ian Steczo did just that.

Some individuals deal with stress by exercising, working, joining clubs, or maybe just eating a lot…which is never good. Ian has this great ability to generate ideas. From clever t-shirt slogans to organizing local fundraising events featuring popular recording artists, he does everything. He wanted to speak his mind while helping out the countless number of people in the same boat that he was in. So he calls me up and says “Dude, I want you to help me make a t-shirt about what I’ve been thinking lately….Cancer Blows”. The idea started out on a small scale in which friends and family would be able to purchase a shirt, and the proceeds would be donated to American Cancer Society. I was more than happy to join in.

Ian and I have known each other since kindergarten, and began our soccer careers together not long after. GO SHARKS! His father, “Big Lar”, was our coach. He kicked our asses, but made sure our team was undefeated at the end of the year. I still remember him sprinting up and down the sideline, shirtless, screaming “Get it Dawg!” That first year, he tagged me with the nickname “Downtown Chris Brown”. The name still sticks today, and sort of has a ring to it, right? Larry was an awesome guy and quite the character. When it came down to designing the shirt, we decided to make Larry just that.

“Lil’ Larry” is featured on the original shirt blowing a bubble with the phrase “Cancer Blows”. The shirts were made and we were so thankful for the support from family and friends that wanted to help the cause. And then they kept selling…and selling…and we had to order more…and more. The reaction to the shirts was extraordinary and better than we would’ve ever projected. It’s an inspiring event when you see half of the attendees at a Relay for Life event sporting the threads you helped create. Last summer, Ian and I went up to a friend’s lake house with several others to relax one weekend. At the end of the day once the boats were docked, the grills were starting, and everyone had changed out of their beachwear, we both realized that we were of the few that weren’t wearing Cancer Blows shirts in a group of 20. Pretty awesome.

The compelling response this one idea has received has inspired our creative juices. It has driven us to think big and make Ian’s idea available to everyone. I am fortunate to work with an awesome group of guys, Pearachute Media, who will help make this happen. We will make these shirts, as well as future designs, available to people worldwide, and give them a chance to speak their mind while giving back to a great cause. Our hopes are high in expanding and making Cancer Blows a real business with more volume, more ideas, more people, and increased donations to cancer research.

Part 3 coming soon….

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