The C_RE Needs You
When the Hope Shop asked for ideas for the next great Hope Shop T-shirt design, the response was overwhelming. Volunteers and staff, even the American Cancer Society CEO, were quick to submit what they thought was the ultimate cancer-fighting tagline. However, it was Dr. Rajesh Chandrashekaran, a volunteer from New Jersey, whose slogan proved to be both eye-catching and heart-warming: THE C_RE NEEDS U.
THE C_RE NEEDS U embodies the mission of the American Cancer Society- to help people get well, stay well, to find cures and fight back. Yet, none of this is possible without an invaluable base of American Cancer Society supporters, including Hope Shop customers.
Rajesh is personally doing more than his part to help find a cure. For over two years he has been raising money to fight cancer as a participant in the South Brunswick Relay For Life. His team is named "Sholay", which translates to “flame” in Hindi. Rajesh even coined a slogan for his Relay team: “Burning with the desire to find a cure.”
However, his relationship with the American Cancer Society dates back much further than his two years with Relay For Life. “I started researching about ACS back in 1998 when my brother, then 31 years old, was diagnosed with advanced case of soft tissue sarcoma – a rare form of desmoplastic small round cell tumor,” Rajesh explains. “He was diagnosed in October 1998 and finally succumbed to the disease in August 1999.”
This was not the only time that the Chandrashekaran family has faced cancer head on. Rajesh’s uncle died of the disease about 15 years ago in India. His father in law also battled cancer – duodenal cancer, specifically – in November 2002. “He had surgery a year later and this time the ending is happy,” Rajesh recalls. “He has been cancer free since 2003.”
Rajesh supports the American Cancer Society because, in his words, “the Society is actively involved in helping educate the general public about cancer and in fighting for a cure.” He is also heavily involved in philanthropy overseas. Rajesh and his two older brothers are trustees of a non-profit organization based in India called PramodAshraya. Started by his parents, PramodAshraya’s primary mission is to perform charity work related to providing food, clothing and shelter to the needy. “We get involved, both directly and indirectly, in a variety of projects,” Rajesh explains. Such projects have included coordinating food delivery for orphanages and senior living homes and providing supplies for a school for the blind.
Back on American soil, Rajesh works as a Professor of Marketing at Fairleigh Dickinson University. In his free time he enjoys reading, writing, making short films and spending time with his wife and two children at their South Brunswick home. Between his philanthropic nature and his creative background, Rajesh seems like a natural contender for this type of contest. Nonetheless, he expressed shock at his recent win.
“Although I had hoped to win, initially I could not believe it. I was really excited and proud,” Rajesh says. “More than anything else, I felt happy that there is something tangible out there that represents my passion to find a cure.”
Rajesh’s winning slogan – THE C_RE NEEDS U – is currently featured on t-shirts sold on the Hope Shop. A portion of the proceeds from every shirt sold will help fund cancer research and American Cancer Society patient service programs. Rajesh could not be happier about this cause. “I believe that a purchase from the Hope Shop represents an exhibition of support and a personal passion to fight for a cure,” he says. And the saying is true: the cure needs you.
To order a shirt visit The Hope Shop.