Two simple words. “Stay Positive.”
Butler University junior Eric Day takes them to heart. So much so that he has started a campaign with wristbands featuring those words.
Day learned he had brain cancer in December 2010, and during treatment at Jill’s House in 2011, a little girl named Allison helped him go through radiation. Everyday she told him to “stay positive.”
Day said he followed her instructions through the end of his treatment last March and beyond. Upon leaving Jill’s, Allison sent him a card. At the bottom she signed it, “Stay positive.”
Last fall he began a campaign with rubber wristbands bearing those words. He also took advice from Butler senior basketball player Rotnei Clarke and added his “G3” motto, standing for “give God glory.”
The wristbands circulated a little bit on campus all year but really began to gain attention recently when junior basketball player Erik Fromm was wearing one during an interview regarding the recent loss of his father.
Leonard Fromm died of cancer the morning of Feb. 2, hours before Butler’s game against Rhode Island.
Fromm, a friend of Day, said he has supported the cause since he first heard about it.
“There’s always a lot of people that are worse off than you,” Fromm said. “Like I said on the news, there’s a lot of silver linings. With my dad, I got to spend an extra seven months with him.”
Fromm said he knows he could have spent more time with his father, but it would have been very difficult for him and his family to watch him continue to suffer.
There is a Facebook group called “Stay Positive Wristbands” that is helping the cause in its early stages. The group has reached more than 400 “likes” as of press time.
Day said the main goal of the organization is to help give people a positive outlook on daily life.
“We just help every person we can, and give them a positive outlook and remind them of the daily reminders that there’s somebody worse off,” Day said.
Fromm said he is currently going through a process to become a part of the organization due to NCAA policies.
If he is cleared to do so, the two hope to eventually make it a national organization and become recognized as their own foundation.
All proceeds will be donated to cancer research, Day said.
Day already has plans reaching far outside Indianapolis.
“We have a story a newspaper in Chicago wants to do,” Day said. “One lady from Texas has ordered 100 bands. In St. Louis, some lady wanted 50.”
Despite going through a long process, Fromm remains optimistic on becoming involved.
“If I’m cleared, then I’ll be a part of it too,” Fromm said. “Eric’s still going to do it, and all the money will go to cancer research.”
Day said he can foresee his project reaching stages as prominent as the NBA and NFL.
“We’re hoping to hook up with Shelvin Mack and (Gordon) Hayward, and I’m also close with the Harbaugh brothers,” Day said.
“ESPN loves peoples’ stories, so when we get to the tournament, they’ll hear my story, and then they’ll talk about the bands, and it could be a countrywide thing,” Fromm said.
Day said they cannot currently sell the wristbands on campus because they are not a recognized student organization.
Clarke spoke at a student-led church service last Sunday and mentioned the wristbands.
Austin Weaver, Converge president, said the wristbands will likely be available at this week’s service Sunday at 4 p.m. in the Johnson Room at Robertson Hall.