WINDHAM — “Stay +” is more than a word, more than a symbol, it’s the message in a new apparel line launched by two college buddies from Windham.
One of them, CJay DiPrima, 20, lived by that message to survive a rare form of cancer.
The other, Tom Mullin, 19, supported DiPrima when he was sick and is now helping him bring the message to other cancer patients and their families through the clothing line.
The two founded Stay Positive Apparel LLC last year in Windham.
DiPrima, a Methuen native, said he kept the “stay positive” message close to heart through six months of medical treatment for gray zone lymphoma.
“That was very important going through chemo,” DiPrima said.
Chemotherapy can bring a patient down, he said, and it did him.
“I was not myself,” DiPrima said. “You get depressed. You say to yourself, ‘What if I don’t make it out alive?’ or ‘What if chemo doesn’t work?’’’
But DiPrima did get better.
He’s convinced his stay-positive philosophy made a difference in his life. He and Mullin are convinced it can do so in others, too.
Their caps, T-shirts and sweats bear the simple “Stay +” message.
Since launching the home-based business last fall and going online, they have sold a couple of hundred items throughout New England.
The clothing sells for about $20 to $40 and DiPrima said customers eagerly embrace it.
“They love the whole idea,” he said.
Mullin thinks he knows why.
“They get from it the idea that staying positive is so much more important than feeling bad,” Mullin said. “They can see that instead of feeling sorry for a loved one who has been diagnosed with cancer they can stay happy and strong and positive for the person.”
That attitude is contagious and can help the patient, Mullin said.