LIBSTRONG makes a name for itself thanks to friends and Dunstan Group
Whenever Josh Jones pulls on his pink LIBSTRONG shirt or sees a LIBSTRONG bumper sticker or wrist band, he feels stronger.
The shirts, bracelets and bumper stickers bear the name of his daughter, whom he lost to cancer last year.
“It gives me strength that people still remember Libby,” Jones said. “It helps them remember the important things in life: to be good spouses, good parents and good friends. That’s how we survived as long as we did with Libby and how we’re still surviving together.”
Libby was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in March 2013, four months short of her third birthday. The diagnosis started a period of 400 days in which Jones and his family did everything in their power to beat the disease in their young daughter.
The family tried treatments and medical trials, even moving to Bethesda, Maryland, to be closer to the National Institutes of Health’s primary facility.
“Of those 400 days, we spent about 325 in the hospital with Libby,” Jones said. “I slept in the bed with her for almost all of those nights because she made me.”
Shortly after her diagnosis and throughout Libby’s treatment, family and friends rallied around the Jones family. Their team at the 24 Hours of Booty ride supported them by wearing pink LIBSTRONG shirts—meshing Libby’s name with the Livestrong Foundation’s name—starting in 2013.
Jones had been a participant in the 24 Hours of Booty bike ride for three years before his daughter’s diagnosis. The ride raises funds for national and local cancer organizations.
“Someone came up with the idea to call our group LIBSTRONG at 24 Hours of Booty and then people started to get behind it,” he said. “I’m a big runner and whenever I’m running or working out, I’m trying to find a place to be happy and I want to have something associated with Libby at all times.”
Jones printed LIBSTRONG shirts through the Dunstan Group for the 2013 24 Hours of Booty. After Libby passed, a mutual friend linked Jones with company owner and founder Scott Dunstan, who organized a fundraiser for the Jones family.
From there, the two became friends. Dunstan would check in on Jones periodically to make sure he was doing ok.
“People help in different ways when you’re going through something tough,” Jones said. “Scott didn’t know me but he knew my story and wanted to help. Then he became a friend and kept on helping however he could, personally and professionally.”
“I saw him in a time of need,” Dunstan said. “I kept in touch with him after the fundraiser and I think that meant a lot to him.”
Dunstan made sure that Jones had all the LIBSTRONG gear before the 2014 24 Hours of Booty, too. The Dunstan Group made wristbands, printed bumper stickers and new LIBSTRONG shirts, pink Nike Dri-FIT shirts, for Jones and his friends.
“You get the sense that Scott loves what he’s doing,” Jones said. “I came in and he took me through everything—the design, the shirts, printing, everything. Going through all this, people did what they could for me and my family. Some cut the grass at my house. Some cooked meals for us. Scott looked at what he could do for us and he did it.
Dunstan printed a few shirts for himself as well.
“I’m LIBSTRONG when I run,” Dunstan said. “It helps keep me going when I’m feeling weak. I get to be part of Libby’s legacy.”