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    Blog

    26 Shirts and COVID-19

    At 26 Shirts we treat the health and safety of our employees and patrons with the utmost importance. We understand that you may have some concerns with regard to the outbreak of COVID-19, and we want to assure you that we are taking additional precautions to limit the spread of this virus in our community. We are carefully following all guidelines set forth by the CDC including such precautions as:

    1. Frequent hand washing with antibacterial soap for at least 20 seconds

    2. Thoroughly disinfecting all surfaces and frequently touched areas of the office including door knobs, light switches, phones, tables and desks

    3. Employees work from home to maintain social distancing

    During this uncertain time we are making every effort to continue business as usual, and continue helping individuals, families, and charities in need in our communities. Now, more than ever, we believe it is important to continue our mission of supporting those who need it most. 

    We intend to continue to release limited edition designs for our patrons to purchase to support our beneficiaries. However, recent government mandates regarding the functioning of non-essential businesses will make it impossible to keep to our standard shipping schedules. 

    Until these mandates are lifted, shipping for our time-limited campaigns must temporarily be put on hold. The moment we are able, we plan to ship all orders placed during this period of social distancing and quarantine. Therefore, if you are able, and see a design that you love, we ask that you continue to support us with your purchase, with the understanding that it will take some time before it reaches you. 

    We are all in this together.

    Your partners-in-good,

    The 26 Shirts Crew

    UPDATE, APRIL 6TH: Good news! We're happy to report that we ARE able to print and ship, it's just going to take longer than the standard 10-15 business day timeline. Rest assured you will receive your orders as quickly as possible! We are doing everything we can to get stuff out as quickly as we can. So we're at least happy to say we're not on pause, just slow motion. -Del

    New website!

    Ok, it took a little longer than we anticipated, and there's a little work left to be done, but welcome to our new website! We've moved to Shopify for a more robust e-commerce solution.

    Still a few screws to tighten, primarily getting CHARGE, "Mafia Gear," mystery shirts, and the shirt archive back online but we expect that all to be squared away in the next day or two.

    For those who have asked, YES, we will be extending the current campaigns a few days to make up for the lost sales time. We'll still ensure every beneficiary gets the opportunity we promised them.

    Poke around, have a look, and let us know what you think!

    #RisenFromRust

    The 26 Shirts crew has felt the pull for a long time to do something new, something outside the world of sports, that focuses solely on this awesome region we’re lucky enough to call home.

    It begins today with CHARGE, a new line that celebrates the new beginning underway in Buffalo. What was once thought of as a dated and dying city has now become a city on the rise with a bright future ahead of us... a future that we all as individuals get to play a role in.

    Every purchase of a CHARGE product helps support the Buffalo City Mission, an organization that helps position people who are down on their luck with their own new beginning. We're excited to begin this relationship with the Mission as they, too, look toward their own new beginning. They are right now in the middle of a capital campaign to raise funds for a new Community Center that will replace their current facility on East Tupper.

    So go ahead, check out CHARGEBFLO.COM and let us know your thoughts! Leave a comment below or feel free to email us directly: info@youandwho.com.

    Expect more from CHARGE later this year with a dedicated site that is more than just shirts, mugs and flags, but a true celebration of what it means to have #RisenFromRust.

    Jordan Berkhoudt

    Jordan Berkhoudt is in consistent and immense pain, and one of the few times that Shelli Berkhoudt manages a laugh is under the absurdity of it all.

    Here's her son, who's gone from a freshman invited to train with the Hamburg High School varsity volleyball team to a 16-year-old unable to go to school or even get out of his wheelchair on account of the pain.

    What that pain is, doctors just can't sort.

    "Jordan has seen dozens of doctors, and they all say something different," Shelli says, as lightheartedly as you could hope. "We're not sure which one of these doctors knows what they are talking about."

    What the Berkhoudts know is that Jordan has Hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos, something a lot of athletes have that means the connect tissue in your body doesn't work correctly. For those athletes, that means rare ability. For Jordan, who has an extreme case, it also means constant pain.

    He's also been diagnosed with Lyme Disease, which makes the doctors' task more difficult since Lyme can mimic other diseases.

    Oh, and that Lyme has come with an infection called Bartonella.

    "He doesn't have a loss of muscle tone, he just can't stand," Shelli says. "If he goes to stand, and he hasn't been able to try in months, the pain will knock him off his feet. He had visiting nurses for his PT for a while, but he's in so much pain that if he'd ever try... He's got a bubble of spinal fluid in his spine. Some people have and it means nothing, and others do and it means something."

    The Berkhoudts are hopeful it carries some meaning, but the rare and uncooperative diagnoses have led to a load of travel to see specialists. Husband Dave, once Jordan's coach, has quit work. The Hamburg family is racking up costs.

    A portion of the proceeds from every 26 Shirts Volume 5, Shirt 12 design "Lovin' It" goes to help Jordan and his family with costs associated with his care.

    "All of the trips are out of pocket and a lot of time the doctors are out of network," Shelli says. "The Lyme doctor wasn't covered at all. We're averaging $20,000 a year in medical bills and we had to put a lift in our house to get him upstairs."

    Getting on a plane is "horrible," but driving is not an option. It's crushing, because this kid could play: volleyball, hockey, baseball... now it's video games like Overwatch and Fortnite. And Jordan loves that, but the costs are stopping that, too.

    "He's trying to save some money to start a gaming channel and get all that equipment," Shelli said."A lot of his friends are online, video gaming, and texting. He doesn't leave the house except for medical appointments. All his friends are turning 16 and learning to drive. He's angry, and the pain takes your mind places where you don't want to go. He doesn't think it'll get better."

    "He was a smart athlete and he deserves the chance to try and get better again, even if it's not sports. It could just be going back to school. It's amazing how much this has changed our lives."

    Ben Cambria

    Ben Cambria is an outgoing, rap loving, college junior who loves to hang out with his blue-nosed pitbull, travel, play soccer, and is working towards graduating from the University of Albany, where he's an event coordinator at his fraternity.

    A lot of those loves became more difficult or even close to impossible when he was diagnosed with ALS in July 2016.

    "It's a devastating diagnosis," said Ben's mother, Becky Cambria. "There are stages that you go through, the first being denial. He wants to continue doing what he wants to do, he just has to do it differently. ... But he never complains. We've had to modify our home. Not sure if we're going to move, or put an addition on, so we're feeling our way right now."

    Ben and his twin brother are the middle children of the six-kid Cambria family. He played soccer at St. Joseph's Collegiate Institute and Kenmore West, and began playing club soccer at the Albany before a diagnosis changed his life.

    "He played soccer in Albany a little bit but got injured," said Becky Cambria. "We really weren't connecting the dots. His freshman year he was having stiffness in his hands and feet, and he would go to the clinic people would say it's stress from the exams or school. And when we picked him up, I was like 'What the heck? This is more than stiffness.'"

    It was Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), often referred to as Lou Gehrig's Disease.

    In ALS, both the upper motor neurons and the lower motor neurons degenerate or die, and stop sending messages to the muscles. Unable to function, the muscles gradually weaken, start to twitch (called fasciculations), and waste away (atrophy). Eventually, the brain loses its ability to initiate and control voluntary movements.

    Ben was fortunate enough to earn a trial of the first ALS drug trial in almost 20 years, his mother says, and this has him getting infusions every day for 2 weeks, followed by 2 weeks off before restarting the cycle. The treatment won't cure him, but could dramatically slow the disease's progression.

    "He's been getting the infusions since August," Becky Cambria said. "It's too early to tell if there have been any changes. Fifty percent of people living with ALS die in the first two years. Ninety-eight percent die because they refuse the trache.

    "We have a very strong faith life and our prayers are just that Ben is a beacon with this new drug and it will slow down this disease that he will accomplish what he wants to accomplish."

    An ALS diagnosis is a lot to handle, and life has handed the 19-year-old a lot: Handling a grueling disease with a challenging new treatment and the rigors of fighting for a degree.

    "He his good days and his bad days," Becky Cambria said. "Depression certainly plays a role with the diagnosis. Not being able to do things his peers can do easily can cause him to have very down days. Everybody just tries their best to be positive and encourage him that he can still do what he wants to do."

    A portion of the proceeds from every 26 Shirts Volume 5, Shirt 3 design "Laser Swords" goes to help Ben and his family combat ALS.