JJ’s Fight Club: Branding Hope, Channeling Optimism

15 May 2014 - 2 Comments

I’ve been thinking a lot about my friend JJ Baskin. You’ll never meet a guy so genuinely pleased to meet you and so dedicated to making the world a better place. As his brother Steve describes: “JJ is a fanatical father, happy husband, spirited sports fan, convincing consultant and fearless friend. I have met few people who are interested in helping people connect and lead better lives.” The amazing thing is, it’s all true! Why JJ hasn’t run for mayor yet is beyond me.

JJ learned one month ago that he has lung cancer, and that it has spread to his brain. His response? Attack it with an aggressive campaign of HOPE.

Within a few days of his diagnosis, he announced the formation of JJ’s Fight Club and posted the Rules of Fight Club on his CaringBridge site. A designer friend created a logo and started an online store where friends can show their support.

Of course, Rule #1 of Fight Club is “Don’t talk about fight club.” JJ explained that he will post  medical updates as necessary, but won’t waste time talking about what they have and haven’t done in medicine with folks on the phone.

Rule #2, however, says: “But we need you to be a part of fight club. Be part of our team of optimists. Pray. Post messages on here and Facebook. Text JJ and Joy. We will be asking some amazing friends to post blogs and stories that inspire us and remind us of what we are fighting for.”

Friends are representing the Fight Club in 50 states and across the globe. They post pictures of themselves in Fight Club t-shirts or stabbing cauliflower (JJ’s affectionate term for the brain tumors he has been battling with three weeks of daily radiation).

They are sending him positive energy in all kinds of creative ways, like this Hitler Learns About JJ’s Fight Club video, a JJ-as-super-hero illustration contest, blog posts, and even a court ruling (defendant: JJ’s Fight Club; plaintiff: Cancer, aka Cauliflower) from a friend who is a district judge in Minnesota.

Here’s where you can help. Can you send JJ positive ammunition for his fight? Everyone chooses how they fight their own battles, and he chooses to fight his in a very public forum—and he’s asking for our help. He is drawing on the strength of friends, family and a broad community, and that positive energy keeps him going on the toughest days.  Find him on Twitter at @JJsFightClub, find him on CaringBridge and send him humor, quotes, good energy, optimism and inspiration!

I love to see JJ’s smile in his daily selfies, I’m honored to be his friend, I’m humbled by his bravery and I am proud to be a card-carrying member of #JJsFightClub.