Cancer is never on anyone’s agenda. Especially not in your 20’s and 30’s.
So if you’re as unfortunate as the 34 of us who get diagnosed with the disease in that age bracket each day in the UK – you find each other.
I remember leaving the Royal Marsden Hospital one afternoon and I had yet another DM on Instagram from some lad called @itsme_jmo. “You still around?” he’d asked. I wasn’t. But decided to get back to this persistent and rather gorge young man who seemed dead set on being my mate.
And oh how glad I am that I did.
After responding to Mr Jack Morgan we quickly became Marsden mates. Jack had just been given the all clear from his rare undifferentiated carcinoma and his outlook on life post cancer was nothing short of fucking infectious. Similar to yours truly, Jack was sharing his experience with the disease in a bid to uplift and support his peers. To impact change.
I invited Jack to take part in the 2018 World Cancer Day Shoot where he got to form bonds with other legends of the cancer community and made quite an impression on all he encountered. Safe to say they unsurprisingly fell too. Hook. Line. Sinker.
As cancer tends to do it threw our mate a curveball and in February 2019 Jack’s sneaky cancer cells were back. This time in his lungs. This time they weren’t playing fair.
Jack passed on 26th August 2019. Defiant and full of hope until his last breath. Leaving a bullet in the hearts of all who knew and loved him.
I had the absolute privilege of calling Jack a friend. Of having first hand experience of his courageous attitude and shining light.
Jack would often talk about survivors obligation. How that ultimately in this life it is our duty to live lives that we can be proud of and to help others. Because we have the capacity to.
Unlike the all singing all dancing GIRLvsCANCER shoots of yore. Wall-to-wall schlebs and insta stars alike. I decided to do things a little more low key for our Jack.
Smaller set up. Bigger impact.
We shot on World Cancer Day which felt fitting as this was the last GIRLvsCANCER shoot Jack joined us for. But rather than focussing our relationship with the disease I wanted to shine light on our other relationships instead. On the other one in two. Because a cancer diagnosis doesn’t just happen to the individual.
It happens to all that love and care about them too.
The ripple effect reaches far and wide. And I desperately wanted to represent that which meant instead of the usual familiar faces on set I invited down Jack’s family, friends, cancer community and medical team. A chance to hear the voices of cancer we so seldom do.
However GIRLvsCANCER wouldn’t be GIRLvsCANCER without doing things a little differently. Thus alongside the incredible campaign images shot by our resident imagery empress I invited each shoot participant to express their thoughts and feelings about Jack’s illness through the medium of spoken word. With coaching from the kick-ass crew at Moetry (run by the ledge Moe Conteh) raw emotive pieces from these unique perspectives were penned. I am next level buzzing to share it all with you as of next week. You’re going to need tissues. Trust.
Because Jack was so much more than a cancer patient. And this was so much more than a campaign shoot.
It has been an absolute privilege to stand shoulder to shoulder with Jack’s people and create the latest GIRLvsCANCER campaign in his honour.
Here’s how you can get involved…
My aim is to bring Jack’s thirst to drive support and optimism to life with a call to action.
This is where YOU come in…
GIRLvsCANCER would like to invite you to take up the challenge to #BeMoreJack this Leap Day. To make a pledge to make this extra day of the year count.
For Jack. For all those who aren’t here to do the same.
On this extra day of the year you can commit to undertaking actions big or small.
It may be to Be More Brave… and book in for the check up you’ve been avoiding (or skydive, whatever tickles you). It might be to Be More Generous… and donate a few hours of your time volunteering. Or even to Be More Sassy… by finally asking THAT person out on a date.
Please take to your social media channels to announce your #BeMoreJack pledge and tag anyone you would like to challenge to do the same.
The hope is that on February 29th 2020. This collaborative call to action will see a nationwide surge of acts of kindness and positive impact.
Fancy getting involved? Course you do! Here’s the deets…
WHERE: On your social media channels right N O W.
WHAT: Pledge to #BeMoreJack ahead of Saturday 29th February 2020.
Challenge others to do the same by tagging them.
Be sure to document yourself undertaking your pledge on Leap Day.
WHO: Tag @GIRLvsCANCER, @itsme_jmo and use the campaign hashtag #BeMoreJack as well as the person(s) you have nominated to pledge.
As well as curating a social media campaign we have also designed a two piece collection in collaboration with The Flash Pack to hero our Jack.
These two organic cotton pieces house the quote Jack would often sign off his Instagram posts with. A testament to his optimistic heart.
“I HAVEN’T COME THIS FAR, TO ONLY COME THIS FAR”.
I hope that these pieces will give its wearer a little lift when they need it most. To put fire back in their belly when they’re feeling put out.
Not that I’m biased or anything but I totally feel bad-ass when I’m rocking this merch and I defy you to find a softer hoodie in the game.
As with all GIRLvsCANCER collections 25% of profits will be donated to a worthy cancer cause.
Jack’s family’s wishes were that the donation from this collection go the North London Hospice. It’s my pleasure to offer this donation to them.
Is this GIRLvsCANCER merch right up your street? Wonderful!
WHEN: Pre-Order Available N O W.
**PLEASE NOTE THIS ITEM IS ON PRE-ORDER**
We have moved to a Print On Demand Solution for this collection.
An attempt to be more sustainable and kinder to our planet.
All orders will be put into production week commencing 9th March 2020.
G I R L v s C A N C E R C R E W
Campaign Photography by Holly McGlynn
Behind The Scenes Content by BamBam Creatives
Videography by Amoveo
Make-Up by Benefit Cosmetics
Hair by RUSH
Styling by Alessia Farnesi & Danielle Ward
Location gifted by JJ Media Group
Catering by Grape&Fig