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    Mike Wrazen

    Mike Wrazen

    When you see a photo of Hamburg resident, Mike Wrazen, he will most likely be smiling with his thumbs up.

    “He is very optimistic,” says his fiancée, Jill Swan. “Always looking toward the positives, and approaches life head on.”

     But the 43-year-old learned devastating news this past January when he was diagnosed with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer, after months of unexplained weight loss. It’s what doctors call a, “silent and deadly” cancer.

    Despite the heartbreaking discovery, Mike has made a commitment to living life with hope and kindness, especially setting a positive example for the couple’s 6-year-old daughter, Gabriella.

    “We find hope in each other and in our daughter, as well as our faith,” Jill exclaims. “We really hold one another close.”

    Mike, a professional welder, has continued to work through the 15 rounds of chemotherapy, even going into work the day after treatment with a chemo bag attached to him. It’s a further example of his motto of “not giving up, and powering through the challenges”.

    Treatment for Mike failed this September and his cancer metastasized, so now the family is looking to cherish every single moment they have together. Mike is retiring at the end of November to enable him to spend undivided time with his girls. This means that support is important, now more than ever.

    “I reached out to Del, and told him our story and he put us right in the queue for a t-shirt in honor of Mike,” Jill says. “This is home. We wouldn’t chose to live anywhere else. Buffalo is truly the ‘City of Good Neighbors’. We feel the community wrapping their arms around us.”

    Mike Wrazen’s shirt launched 11/23/20 and closes out 12/6/20

    This story is written by Kate Glaser and provided in partnership with Hope Rises: https://www.facebook.com/hoperisesnews 

    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."