(WTNH) — A senior at Wake Forest University who is from Durham is setting out to help the chronically ill in this country.
Jake Teitelbaum has founded the Resilience Project. Socks are designed with the help of the patients. They put their own spin on them. They are fun and colorful.
Those socks are then sold. The patients get half of the net proceeds to help offset their medical bills.
This idea came to Teitelbaum as he was undergoing treatment for Refractory Hodgkins Lymphoma in 2015. He was given hospital socks to wear that reminded him how sick he was as he recovered from his stem cell transplant. His road to recovery was tough.
“There’s one day in particular I felt completely wiped and i’m in the bathroom and I find my eyes in the mirror. My eyes are really heavy, my cheeks are way too prominent and I’m the most pathetic version of myself I’ve ever seen. I looked down and I’m still wearing the most absurd pair of socks I own. In that moment and as foreign as I felt in my own body, those socks helped remind me who I was, who I wanted to be,” Teitelbaum said.
“I remember going in for my transplant and getting those socks for the fifth time in six months or so and they stood out to me because they represented what was to come. Those socks were the indicator of the chemotherapy, that chemotherapy that would tear my body apart. The socks represented the isolation. They were the epitome of that experience so when I went in, I made a point, this tiny rebellion, but it was wearing my own socks, he said.
“Each design represents some aspect of their life.”
“For Lily, she’s a huge Owls fan and from day one when she was diagnosed, she had a stuffed animal with her, a stuffed owl. For her, it became the symbol of resilience,” he said.
Teitelbaum has been in remission since October of 2016 and will graduate next month. Then he says it will be full speed ahead on his Resilience Project to build his company as big as he can to help others.
You can help him by going to his website here.