Why we created the Strong Athletic Chronically Ill Design
The Strong Athletic Chronically Ill shirt was requested by Ashley Perrin. Ashley reached out to Strong Athletic to see if we could make her this custom shirt, once other people in her community got word of the shirt, we were flooded with requests to make it for the public. With Ashley's blessing we did so. A portion of profits from each shirt sold is donated to American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association.
Why make a shirt that says "Strong Athletic Chronically Ill"? There are millions of humans who live with "invisible" illness, many of whom are athletes. These illnesses are called "invisible" because they are not necessarily obvious to others. Some people with these illnesses go years without being properly diagnosed. Due to misunderstandings and biases toward their illness they are sometimes labeled as apathetic, lethargic, low-energy, over weight, clumsy, absent minded or worse. Even with diagnosis, life doesn't necessarily become easier. The entire world was designed for people who do not need assistance to walk, see, hear or function in the world. Depending on where they live in the world or your socioeconomic class, some people might have access to proper care and treatment and others do not.
There are millions of people with chronic illness who compete and participate in sports and athletics. Many sports were not designed with accessibility in mind. Athletes living with chronic illness not only have to train hard to compete, but they also have to do everything that they can to stay healthy. Sometimes they have to take time off of their sport involuntarily due to illness. This can be heartbreaking to have to "push pause" on their dreams, forcing them to spend time away from teammates and their community they rely on and are a part of.
We're happy that Ashley asked us to make this shirt. At the end of the day it helps people tell others more about who they are. It also helps to start discussions that might not otherwise have happened. Regardless of if you wear this shirt to the gym for everyone to read it, or you wear it in the comfort of your home, we're happy that you feel part of this community of empowered athletes.