PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Aaron Sweatt is a normal 18-year-old. He plays the piano and loves sports. But he’s also dealing with serious health issues.
“I had passed out,” said Sweatt. “And they rushed me to the hospital and they did a CT scan and they found an abnormal growth in my brain. So they rushed me to Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia and they found out I had 2 brain tumors called Germinoma.”
The Allentown resident was diagnosed with that form of brain cancer in 2015. After graduating high school and completing treatment, Aaron’s cancer came back, this time on his spine.
“I would go through intense chemotherapy which is five days of high-dose chemotherapy and then have a blood stem cell transplant and then have radiation again,” said Sweatt.
But through it all, he’s stayed smiling.
“When he goes to the hospital no matter how bad he feels,” said Aaron’s grandfather, Thomas. “He encourages the people at the hospital, and it’s like he’s a celebrity. He walks around and talks to the receptionist, everybody knows him.”
Aaron’s cancer is currently in remission. But they still need help paying for medical expenses. That’s where Jake Teitelbaum comes in.
“I’m a lymphoma survivor, and over the last two years, I’ve spent more time in the hospital than I would have liked,” said Teitelbaum.
The 23-year-old started The Resilience Project, a way to give patients an outlet to design their own socks.
“I took a particular distaste for the hospital garb. I chose to wear my own socks and as crazy as it sounds the socks kind of helped remind me that I ultimately had some control over that experience.”
In just nine months, Resilience has worked with helped raise over $22,000 for patients dealing with life altering issues. Aaron, a self-described sock junkie, jumped right on board.
Aaron says he’s feeling great, so with his new socks and an upbeat attitude, he and his family are again full steam ahead.
“He doesn’t desire to be the light that’s in the room,” says Thomas. “But he will not shade any light that’s in there either. He’s very, very positive.”
You can buy the pair of socks Aaron designed at https://www.resilience.gives/.