When you’re 21 and spend as much time as I did focused on eating well, exercising, and doing the things you knew were meant to keep your body healthy, it’s really weird to find out you have cancer.
My name is Jake, I’m currently battling Refractory Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, and I’m the founder of Resilience.
Each time you’re admitted to the hospital as an in-patient, you’re given a welcome package of sorts: a gown and a pair of poorly made non-slip socks. Initially, I wore those lifeless beige socks and embraced my role as a patient, but the more time I spent in the hospital, the more I started bringing my own socks in. Fun socks. Socks with fish. Socks with dinosaurs. Socks with wolves. And it helped. It may seem ridiculous, but that little change reminded me that ultimately, I was in control of my experience. Whatever the circumstances, no matter how little I wanted to be isolated in the hospital, I could choose to use this as an opportunity to learn and grow as a person.
Meanwhile, as days inside the hospital turned into weeks, I received an outpouring of support from people I would’ve never expected to hear from. My high school honored me at a basketball game and Skyped me in so I could see the ceremony. It was awesome. And then something strange happened. The next day I found out that fans had passed around a hat to collect donations to send to me. I was sick and needed to get better, but I wasn’t struggling to pay for that treatment. My insurance was covering the bulk of my expenses and I was fortunate to have family that could help with the smaller expenses. Here was a community wanting to provide support in any way possible and here I was, on a hospital floor with people that needed that money so much more than I did.
Resilience is about lending support to those people that need it. We use our passion for fun socks to represent the individual struggle of each patient we work with and harness the power of community to help those who are especially financially-strapped patients to get the care they need.