Resist and Persist is the mantra Jon Selikoff lives by. Whether it be to fight for a political cause — or to fight against his disease — Jon wants it to inspire people to stand up for something.
“The phrase ‘Resist and Persist’ just kept popping into my head and I felt I needed to express it visually,” Jon said.
Jon decided to use that visual expression to make T-shirts and use the proceeds for a fundraiser. Since Jon was diagnosed with ALS in 2015 he said picking the ALS Association Greater New York Chapter to donate the profits was a no brainer.
“When I was in the process of being diagnosed, we really struggled to find a doctor that was covered by my insurance. My mom reached out to the ALS Association Greater New York Chapter and was connected with Chapter nurse Kayvan Freeman, who in turn recommended Dr. Daniel MacGowan at The ALS Association Center of Excellence at Mt. Sinai Beth Israel. I’m indebted to Kayvan, because she led me to Dr. MacGowan who was finally able to give me a diagnosis in December 2015,” Jon said. “I had been seeing different neurologists all throughout 2015, so it was a very long year and to finally have it resolved was just such a relief. And I’m sure as my disease progresses, I’ll come to rely on the Association Greater New York Chapter more and more.”
Jon says he was shocked by the amount of support his fundraiser received. In part, he believes it’s because of the versatility of the phrase ‘Resist and Persist,’ which can pertain to everyone’s everyday struggles. The fundraiser brought awareness to his fight against ALS and in the process raised more than $4,500 for the Chapter.
“The success of the fundraiser far surpassed any goals I had. I was hoping to raise at least $500, maybe $1,000. But to my surprise in the first run, I sold 133 shirts. When the shirts arrived and people started posting pictures, more people wanted them, so I opened it up again. Frankly, the support from my friends just blew me away,” Jon said.
Jon says it’s important to continue the fight to raise awareness and funds for ALS.
“As there’s no cure and barely any effective treatments, clearly not enough is being done. I have found that not everyone even knows what ALS is. Sometimes Lou Gehrig’s Disease clues them in, but not always. It’s a challenge because it’s not lung cancer. It’s not a common disease and it’s not something you can just say, “Don’t do this and you won’t get ALS.” I wish I had the answer,” Jon said.
But he believes if people continue to ‘Resist and Persist’ in the fight against ALS there will be a day when there is an effective treatment and a cure.