Promo Marketing, Industry Members Come Together for Friend in Need
We frequently hear about promotional products distributors and suppliers working to do good in the world. We hear about companies donating money, food or clothing to people in need. We hear about people raising awareness for important concerns, like the Ice Bucket Challenge. It's clear that we are an industry of helpers, and we look out for our own.
That's why when we learned that our friend and colleague, Tee Hamilton, owner of Creative Alchemy, received a tough diagnosis, we felt it was important that we share her story and take the opportunity to help her in a meaningful way. To do so, friends of Tee set up a GoFundMe page in support.
Tee was diagnosed with a form of cancer that started in her appendix. After an intense surgery, she has had to travel to several different facilities in different cities in Florida to North Carolina that specialize in this type of cancer to work out the type of treatments that she will need.
Expenses are starting to rack up, from travel to bills that insurance won't cover. While she’ll be receiving chemotherapy treatment in her home state of Florida, her doctors advised her that, should it prove ineffective, she’d have to have additional surgery and treatments in North Carolina. On top of all of this, her current insurance is set to run out on Dec 31, and it's unknown if the new plan will cover many of the additional charges, such as possible travel; new, high copays; medicines; current treatments; some of the doctor bills and more, making the ordeal even more difficult.
While Tee stressed the severity of her situation, she also stressed that she is neither down nor out, and wants the industry to know that she still plans to work to the best of her ability and is still very much an active member of the promotional products world.
"I just want to make sure that people are aware that I am perfectly able to work," she said. "I'm not, like, bed-ridden and can't work. My scariness is just saying, 'Hey, I need to go through cancer treatment.' Keeping busy with creative work and connected with my friends and colleges will help me stay positive!"
Due to the intense treatment, she can’t take on the usual, 24/7 workload she’s used to. While she’d like to take on 10 projects at a time, it would just be a bit too much until she gets back on her feet at 100 percent strength. Through help from friends and colleagues, she could supplement that income and continue her battle a little more worry-free.
She's received an outpouring of support from her industry colleagues, as well.
"Not only do I consider Tee a respected colleague, but also a respected friend," said Nichole Stella, president of the Promo Marketing Media Group. "We have worked together on a variety of projects over the years, and I can honestly say she is a true creative force in the industry. Not only is she committed to providing top-notch creative services, but is always willing to pitch in, offer great insight and volunteer her time. She has given a great deal of her heart and soul to our industry and I firmly believe in giving this level of commitment and support back to her."
"[Tee and I] have worked together in both for-profit and nonprofit roles," said Danny Rosin, co-owner of Brand Fuel and member of PPAI's board of directors. "She is as committed as anyone I know because she truly cares about her work and her client's brand. Plus, she has an ability for helping clients consider outcomes, which ultimately is what matters most."
"I have worked with Tee for over five years on varies projects, from PromoKitchen to Commonsku," said Mark Graham, chief platform officer for Commonsku. "She has produced some of the most brilliant art and design I have seen in my career in the promotional products industry. She's fearless, curious, creative and bold with her imagination, and this comes through in everything she does. Tee is one in a million and represents all that is good about the work we do in this industry."
To support Tee and offset some of the costs that insurance will not cover, Promo Marketing and Friends of Tee have set up this GoFundMe campaign.
"The first word that comes to mind when I think of Tee is 'fighter,' Graham added. “She's a fighter for great design. She's a fighter for authenticity. She's a fighter for elevating our industry. She's a fighter for artists. She's a fighter for her friends. And this fight she brings to everything in her life will help her to overcome this crappy disease. Tee, keep fighting. I admire you like hell. Stay strong."
"It's not my end of days nor the end of my business," Tee said. "I'm working. I'm working as much as I can to make ends meet. But, it may be a long road back to normal.”
All donations made to Tee to help her in her fight will be so greatly appreciated. All funds will go to assist Tee with medical expenses that won't be covered under her insurance, treatments not covered and/or travel for treatment.
If you know and have worked with Tee, then you know why we have set this page up on her behalf. If you don’t know Tee, then we highly recommend getting to know her and her creative work, and supporting her at this time.
Again, thank you. Your support will mean so much to her and her fight.