Cancer Patients Getting Chemo Will Feel Much More Comfortable Thanks To The Work Of One Of Their Own
Nothing about cancer is comfortable, but CUREWEAR can be.
He calls the days he goes into chemotherapy "game days," but for Alex Niles, the process does anything but pump him up. After his stage IV gastric cancer diagnosis at 30 years old, the treatments began, and so did the discomfort.
Like many cancer patients, Alex quickly started undergoing his chemo, which entails a port that is put on the right-hand side of the person's chest for four hours. Ports became a more viable option as the alternative method, IVs began to wear on patient's veins.
But in order to administer the medication through the port to begin with, patients often have to take their shirts off, including Niles.
"I didn't want to start my day, a day that is already extremely challenging by any measure, by having to take off my shirt and expose myself," he told A+ in an email interview. "It felt demeaning."
So one day, the NYC native chose not to take his shirt off at all. Instead, he cut a hole in his shirt for the port, secured it back up with a safety pin, and the idea for his new company CUREWEAR was born — a clothing line that makes shirts with hidden port-accessible holes — so cancer patients can feel comfy during treatment. Because, as the CUREWEAR tagline states: "There is nothing comfortable about cancer."
"They are able to feel 'normal' amidst a time when all they want to do is feel normal, and they don't feel alone," Niles, who is still going through backup treatment, said. "Nurses feel less awkward since their patients can keep their shirt on, and their family members, friends, and caretakers who are with them all see the one they are supporting more comfortable."
Niles consulted his own doctors as well as clothing design experts and began a Kickstarter campaign to fund the newly-formed clothing company. So far, he's raised $43,277 of his $30,000 goal.
CUREWEAR will start with a limited line of the basic shirts shown in the promotional video, but they plan on expanding their products and quantity over time. A portion of profits will go toward producing new shirts. But as his company grows, entrepreneur Niles wants to keep the purpose of the company in tact.
"I hope that first and foremost a patient has one less thing on their plate to worry about, that it allows them to go through treatment more comfortable, which translates into healing," Niles told A+.
"[Cancer] is a marathon, and I've chosen to make a difference in making that experience more comfortable."
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