In October 2011, Jonathan Avitia was diagnosed with a rare aggressive cancer that was already advanced to stage 4. When he was diagnosed, Jonathan was a vibrant, in-shape, hardworking, 29-year-old running a design build firm in New Orleans. In one week his life, and the lives of those close to him, was changed. Upon arriving at MD Anderson in Houston, Jonathan was scheduled to start inpatient chemotherapy immediately. As the nurse handed him the hospital gown, he looked up and said, “I’m not wearing that.” Having just left everything he had in New Orleans—his home, business, life, normalcy—the thought of now losing his right to wear his own clothes was too much.
Jonathan listened as the nurse explained why they preferred the gown and the benefits it offered to the patient and the staff, but he knew he had to create a better option. He quickly sketched a design that would address the needs and benefits of the gown but would allow him to look and feel like himself, normal. The result was a normal t-shirt that was modified to allow for the shirt to be taken on and off while connected to the IV. Within a few weeks, several shirts were made, and his gown wearing days were over. Some sense of normalcy was restored!
It was evident the difference the shirts made to Jonathan’s confidence and comfort, and he knew that we had to share this others. Jonathan passed away while fighting on March 27, 2013. Jonathan left his wife, Lindsey, with one instruction and that was to share these shirts and help others suffering. Two years later, Lindsey is honoring her husband’s wishes and sharing FIYA™ with the world. Join us in battle and Fight In Your Armor!
FIYA is not just a brand with a purpose; FIYA is a purpose with a brand.
FIYA isn’t about being sick or having a debilitating disease; FIYA is about hope, encouragement and support. FIYA is for everyone—those fighting publicly, privately, in a hospital or at home. We don’t need a common disease or common problem to unite us; we need only the will to fight. I think Jonathan said it best when he said,
“There is a common thread I have discovered between all of us…MIGHT. It is the ability to do all things. It lives within us, and when the need arises to dig deeper, to be stronger, to have more faith, to fight harder, to beat the impossible, it rises up and the incredible spirit within us overcomes.”
So whether you’re fighting a disease, an addiction, or even just a bad day…you don’t have to fight alone, you don’t have to fight ashamed and if you’re in the hospital, you don’t have to fight in the dreaded hospital gown. Help us establish FIYA as community of all people, fighting all battles, uniting for one reason…to fight for this life we have been given.
Become a FIYA Fighter today and FIGHT IN YOUR ARMOR!