Hank Green is a “long-time internet guy” of many talents.
But it wasn’t until he was going through cancer treatment, he says, that he leaned into his sock-designing skills.
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.”
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.
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.
“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%.”
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.”
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