Fighting Cancer Through Design

It’s a topic I’ve spoken of once before, here on The Industry. One which affects every single human on this planet. And one which, while not taboo, is a topic everyone seems to avoid talking about, as though they’re afraid to jinx or offend someone.

It’s cancer; an always–evolving beast which makes itself present when least expected and often always under the worst circumstances.

But more so than cancer, it’s about a new endeavor, for creatives and by creatives, which aims to make at least a dent in the issues which arise while going through the all-too-prevalent problem. Before diving into what the project itself is, I figured I’d give a bit of personal insight from a first-hand perspective.


An Insiders Perspective

For those of you who have only recently been keeping up with The Industry or myself, on December 7th, 2011, I was diagnosed with stage III Hodgkins Lymphoma. Sure, as morbid as it sounds, Hodgkns Lymphoma would be anyone’s cancer of choice, if you had to choose, due to the ridiculously high survival rate, but unfortunately statistics don’t make chemo any easier.

It’s worth noting I’ve been in remission since June of 2012, as to not keep you concerned about my status. But, the experience of going through chemo at age nineteen gave me far more insight and knowledge of this beast we call cancer, from a medical, a psychological, and a philosophical standpoint than I had ever considered achieving by other means.

It’s well-known that chemotherapy and radiation therapy are the two most often used methods of treatments for cancer, as well as the cause of a great deal of pain for those diagnosed. But, what’s rarely known in an intimate manner and thought of on a conscious, conversational level, when talking about cancer, is finances. Treatments are the epitome of expensive, and even with the help of insurance, the combination of often having to leave work and having to pay whatever invoices arrive in your mailbox, the financial toll is just another spot of pain to both people diagnosed, and the family of the aforementioned.

Where am I going with this? Well, that’s the problem. Cancer is such an ugly, ubiquitous beast that it’s difficult to even fathom where to begin when wanting to help the cause. Sure, you could donate to a charity, but it’s impersonal and it comes with the risk of donating to a charity who doesn’t go through with their promises. But, what if there was a way to make sure funds were going directly where they needed to be by purchasing items you truly want? Things that go hand-in-hand with a passion of yours? Or, better yet, what if you could use your talents and passion to create something capable of helping an individual and family who are going through a hard time?

Design vs. Cancer

Well, there’s such an endeavor. Design vs. Cancer by Peter Deltondo and a team of dedicated creators. With the focus on design and the creators of great design, Deltondo and his team are in the works to create a line-up of t-shirts and posters that will be sold in their online store. Every penny of profits will go towards helping families financially through their fight with cancer and helping the global effort for cancer research.


The designs, which will make their way on to posters and t-shirts, are sourced from designers across the globe in an effort to make this effort as communal as possible. Because, as Mr. Rodgers-ey as this sounds, the world of designers is an extremely large family and even in its initial phase, a project such as the one Deltondo and his team are working on has the potential to positively impact the world and shine some light through the sometimes permanent cloud cancer shadows people with. And of course, for those concerned about transparency, Design vs. Cancer does it right, showing exactly where every penny of their post-tax profits will go.

Their Kickstarter, meant to be a fundraising round of sorts to get the initial materials needed to set up a fully–functioning silkscreen shop, has already reached its funding goal. However, if you’d like to be one of the initial backers and get your hands on some of the first products to leave shop, there’s still one day left.


In closing

This attempt may seem like a small one in comparison to how many people are affected by cancer, but small steps must first be taken. Besides, you never how much those “tiny steps” can mean to someone who’s going through chemically–induced hell.

For those of you looking to support by purchasing products, you can do so via their Kickstarter, or wait until their store goes live and go about it that way. And for the designers out there who would love to contribute artwork to Design vs. Cancer, they are continuously accepting and reviewing submissions.

I’m excited to see just how large this project can get and just how many smiles it can put on the faces of those who are oftentimes fighting to stay awake, let alone find the energy to smile. As someone who has literally been in that chair, getting Adriamycin, Bleomycin, Vinblastine, and Dacarbazine blasted into my chest via a port), words can’t express just how excited I get by small projects like this, aimed to help those in similar and tougher situations.

Be sure to head on over to their site to learn more about what Design vs. Cancer is about, and keep up with their noble endeavors via Facebook, Pinterest, Tumblr, and Twitter.

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