Claire Lagerwall, the owner of small business TJ Rose, an active wear clothing label, has come up with an innovative way to show her support for children who are suffering with cancer.
Although she has a soft spot for all children, Claire says she was particularly moved when reading about the desperate struggle of Shiloh Wiggill, who suffered from Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia.
Shiloh, who was diagnosed in November 2016, lost her battle aged just 2 years, 9 months. Claire became a close supporter and tried to provide comfort to Shiloh’s mother Renee and dad Lyall during this traumatic time.
Shiloh had to go on high risk chemotherapy protocol because the standard risk protocol did not work, and she still had 54% cancer blasts in her bone marrow, said Claire.
This was devastating and seeing their little girl suffer was horrific for her family.
Claire is now driving the Fight Like a Girl (FLAG) campaign, in which her company will make leggings that will be donated to young girls. The plan is to get to 100 pairs of leggings, all with the Fight Like a Girl saying on them and cancer ribbons.
Sponsors will get their logo printed on to the leggings and pictures of the completed leggings and logo on social media.
“I know it won’t fix things, but I do want to offer hope through this campaign,” said Claire.
“I have never been personally affected by cancer. I have never lost a relative. My life has been sheltered and protected and stable. But there is this innate drive to fix, to heal. It is wired into my DNA. And so when I heard about Shiloh in 2017, I couldn’t let it go. Fight Like a Girl is for Shiloh, but it is for Renee too. It is for any girl that has had to carry their cross and fight it out.”
To make her dream come true, Claire is looking to get individuals and companies to donate funds to produce the leggings and for the shipment to the girls. The total cost per pair, including shipment, is R250.
Shiloh’s family has given their backing to the campaign.
“Anyone can donate. The money gets them a pair of leggings which, for kids base cost, is R150 depending on size. And then R100 shipping to the family. We do hope to create supportive relationships by sharing a basic bio of the child receiving the leggings,” she says. “South Africa is so afflicted, and if we can spread the love, we most definitely will.”
Claire said the girls could reside anywhere in the country.
“The whole heart behind the brand, and now the campaign, is to encourage women to know that they can. They can do this. They can face whatever it is they are facing. They can climb this mountain that they are on,” she continued.
For more info, to find out how you can help, or if you know of a girl who needs a pair of these leggings, go to Facebook: @TJRoseActive; email email@example.com; or call cell 072 213 2702.
Model: Deante Swart
Photographer: Anja Meyer
Clothing: TJ Rose Active