What started with a single photo quickly transformed into a campaign to support everyone around the world battling cancer.
Cancer is a disease that impacts so many lives. In late May 2014, Thumbs Up, Cancer Down CEO Kevin Charette had two friends battling cancer.
Kevin and his husband Cody Brutlag wanted to help lift the spirits of both of them, so they started a thumbs up photo campaign. They asked people to send thumbs up photos to support Kevin's two friends and others battling cancer in the community. Pictures started to flood in, and it was
that very moment that the whole Thumbs Up, Cancer Down movement started.
They started with five pictures, then ten, and before we knew it, received hundreds of thumbs-up photos. Kevin and Cody wanted to publish all of the photos they received in a gallery that could be easily accessed by everyone. That’s when ThumbsUpCancerDown.com was born.
Once the website was up and running and the photos kept coming in, they hoped to capitalize on the momentum this movement generated. The goal was to create something tangible that could be help everyone battling cancer. They didn’t necessarily want to collect donations to be used for cancer research. This is absolutely important and life-saving, but there are already a number of organizations that do exactly that. They thought long and hard about how the organization could be different.
And then it occurred to them: Why don’t we ask cancer patients what they need? Through feedback from these patients, we developed Thumbs Up, Power Up Packs.
These care packages are delivered free-of-charge to people undergoing chemotherapy. They include personal comfort items, such as blankets, beanies, hand sanitizer, pens and journals, and battery-backup phone chargers. The majority of funds raised from individuals and corporate donors go toward the development and delivery of these Power Up Packs.