Hank Green Debuts Special Socks That Raise Funds for Cancer Treatment

Hank Green, the Cancer Socks box

Hank Green is a “long-time internet guy” of many talents. 

For years, fans (affectionately referred to as Nerdfighters) have followed Hank for his educational videos on both YouTube and TikTok, read his novels, and supported his charitable endeavors.

But it wasn’t until he was going through cancer treatment, he says, that he leaned into his sock-designing skills.

My Cancer Socks box and eight pairs of rolled up socks
Photo courtesy of Good Store

Hank was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma about five months ago and quickly used his platform to educate people about cancer, cancer treatments — and of course, his own unique cancer journey.

Having a history of educating and advocating for public health, Hank — and his brother, John Green — have spent years fundraising alongside in Health to build the Maternal Center of Excellence in Sierra Leone. 

This has been done through their annual Project For Awesome fundraising marathon, as well as their charity shop: Good Store, an online marketplace that houses projects like the Awesome Coffee Club, Sun Basin Soap, and the Awesome Socks Club.

The Awesome Socks Club, which donates 100% of its profits to charity, usually hires independent artists to design new socks every month, but during treatment, Hank realized he wanted to give it a shot.

These socks were designed as Hank was receiving treatment for Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.

Hank was active on social media throughout his cancer journey, sharing updates and memes during chemotherapy sessions. Now in remission, he revealed his “final chemo secret” this weekend.

“When I was getting chemo, I found that my brain was incapable of most creative tasks, which was a real bummer for me,” Hank tweeted. “One of the only things that kept my brain on the rails was that I could (for some reason) design socks.”

A screenshot of a TikTok video by Hank Green showing a pair of colorful striped socks on his feet
Photo courtesy of Hank Green/TikTok

Contrary to the standard speed of his creative process, Hank loved that he could take his time with these designs, having “infinite time” to tweak small details — and listen to podcasts — while recovering.

“It was very easy to pick up and put down. It was easy to see the next step. Just one more line, one more shape, [one] more little change,” he tweeted

All of the socks include patterns and have the same color scheme for prime mixing and matching.

A screenshot of the Hank's Cancer Socks product page on Good Store
Photo courtesy of Good Store

Now, they are available for purchase through the Good Store. Hank (and his trusted confidants) narrowed down the designs to eight pairs and split them into two boxes for purchase.

Those two boxes are themed as the Morning Socks Box, with pastel pink and blue hues, or the Evening Socks Box, which are made with bolder oranges and “rich nighttime blues.” 

Hank’s “Cancer Socks” will help people around the globe access treatment.

Consistent with the Awesome Socks Club mission to donate 100% of profits to charity, Hank’s special edition “cancer socks” will support Partners in Health’s work to “increase access to the kinds of cancer treatments that save lives and dramatically decrease human suffering,” according to a tweet from Hank

Throughout treatment, Hank has expressed how fortunate he was to have a very treatable form of cancer — but his positive outcomes were also due, in part, to how easily accessible treatment was for him. 

In a recent video, John Green shared a story about a child he met in Sierra Leone in 2018, Mondeh. He also had Hodgkins Lymphoma — but didn’t actually receive a diagnosis until two years later.

Four pairs of socks with different patterns, all in black, orange, blue, and pink colors.
Photo courtesy of Good Store

“The five year survival rate for someone diagnosed with HL who gets treatment is around 90%,” Hank tweeted. “For someone who doesn’t get treatment, it’s around 6%.”

Mondeh is still alive and in remission, despite these odds, and Hank says it’s “in large part because of chemo he received at the Burato Cancer Center in Rwanda.” 

But that treatment required Mondeh to travel a great distance, as the Rwandan Cancer Center is “further from Sierra Leone than any place in the continental U.S. is from any other place in the continental U.S.”

Four pairs of socks with different patterns, in black, pink, orange, and blue colors.
Photo courtesy of Good Store

The funds Hank aims to raise will help increase access to cancer treatment globally, meaning the next child like Mondeh can increase their chances at survival — and remission — too.

“I was lucky,” Hank said in a recent TikTok. A lot of people don’t have access to cancer treatment, which is ridiculous.”

Header images courtesy of Hank Green/Good Store

Article Details

November 13, 2023 12:57 PM
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