one by one® story: Zip With Us
Angela and Brian Degnan’s two-year-old boy was diagnosed with blood cancer. He underwent surgery for a medical implant, called a port, to be placed in his chest. Shortly after Angela and Brian’s son got out of the operating room, he was given a little zipshirt to wear to his appointments. The shirt was made by a grandmother whose grandson had also received a port in his chest. It didn’t take long for Angela and Brian to realize the significance of their son’s zipshirt. Their son wore it to nearly every single one of his treatments over a 1,500-day period. As he grew, Angela and Brian would make a bigger zipshirt for him. Later, they decided to found Zip With Us to help other children, with zipshirts shipped in washable apparel bag giveaways.
One simple shirt. A lifetime of impact.
Zip With Us makes custom zipshirts for young patients. The shirts are so simple. Whether long- or short-sleeved, a zipper starts at the collar and spans down to the underarm area. When a nurse needs to access the child’s port to administer medications, the child can keep their shirt on, and the nurse can simply unzip the zipper.
All shirts are 100% new and custom-designed to each child’s requests—from a favorite football team to rainbows to dinosaurs. The shirts are designed to accommodate specific medical access points—for instance, some children have a right and a left port or a tube attached to their stomach.
The shirts help reduce anxiety in many ways. They provide warmth and comfort. And they offer an extra layer of privacy, especially for teenaged girls, as rooms—separated only by curtains—are often shared by young patients.
Apparel bag giveaways for safe shirt shipping
Zip With Us partners with 30 hospitals across the U.S. and Canada, as well as one hospital in the U.K. Thousands of children have received custom-made zipshirts. However, each shirt must be shipped to the child—and with shipping comes potential opportunity to transport germs on the container the shirt is in.
These young recipients are immune-compromised and in isolation. They cannot afford exposure to any type of germs. That’s where the 4imprint one by one® grant comes to the rescue. With their grant, Zip With Us ordered clear plastic apparel bags that can be easily sanitized.
“As a nonprofit that’s 100% volunteer-run, there is very little time to fundraise, as everyone is working to get shirts in hands. The bag giveaways are perfect for being wiped down by staff and parents to help keep their children safe. They beautifully display our logo, and the meaning behind the bags is very special to us,” said Degnan, Executive Director of Zip With Us.
A note from Cheryl
What a wonderful way Zip With Us supports children during their hospital visits. With apparel bag giveaways, 4imprint is thrilled to have a role in safely shipping zipshirts to young patients. To learn more about 4imprint’s one by one® grant program, visit onebyone.4imprint.com.