Mina Miami Beach sits down with the creators of FKCNCR (F@#! Cancer) and talks about their new foundation and how locals can come out and show their support. With so many families being affected by this sickness, its refreshing to see Carlos and Laz's almost playful and light way of taking it on and saying F@#! CANCER!
What inspired you two to create FKCNCR?
I guess I wanted to do an edgier, hip foundation for our generation that do wonderful things but wanted to keep it PG, and we totally respect that but our foundation says what we all are feeling, FKCNCR. We understand it's a strong message but for once lets have our true human emotions come out because somehow we have all been affected by cancer.
Carlos how long have you been fighting cancer and how has it affected your life?
I was diagnosed with Hodgkins at the age of 21. I'm turning 33 this year and I'm still fighting so it's going to be 12 years now. As far as how it has affected me, I have mixed feelings. Traveling to see doctors and all the numerous treatment centers, transplants, and test that I have done suck but what kills me the most is how it affects my love ones around me. I hate to see my mom cry, my dad stressed, my sister down, or friends and family worried about me. This is why I am always positive and joking around, it's who I am but it is also so that those around me can keep high spirits. I know this may sound a little crazy but I'm sometimes thankful for what I have been through because it has not only made me a stronger person, but most importantly this experience has allowed me to meet Laz, and his amazing wife Suzy, and tons of great friends. Cancer has been a curse and a blessing at the same time.
What made you guys choose such an edgy name for your foundation?
We have always loved challenges and hate the typical cookie cutter style. We love pushing the limits to see how close we can get to the stars. I know FKCNCR isn't perhaps the most professional title, but IT IS the way the way that people feel without having the courage or ability to speak their minds.
How long have you and Laz known each other?
I'd say too long, lol. We have known each other since 2002 where we both attended art school together. We immediately clicked when we made fun of my hand drawn animations. I don't have a brother but because of my cancer I now do, and I am forever thankful for that.
How was FKCNCR created?
Carlos was enduring one of the toughest experiences in his life with the cancer and jokingly began to say "F" Cancer. His comment stuck and became a new way of dealing with his condition. It slowly developed into a facebook fan page and is continuing to grow more than we had ever expected.
If you know Laz and I you already know that we're out there. We are kids at heart, and constantly joking around, and enjoying life as much as possible.
Who's idea was it?
Laz came up with the FKCNCR title. I thought it was awesome because it said how we felt, but did not look offensive and it had an edgy vibe to it. Carlos made the logo for it so that we could make shirts for ourselves. I thought it would be funny to do a hand giving "the bird" with the middle finger having a cancer ribbon tied around it.
Tell me a little about the event you two are planning to launch the FKCNCR movement.
The event is pretty much a coming out party. We are hoping it will be the first of many. The reason behind them is simply to raise money so we can help those finding ways to end their battle against cancer. Since our foundation is a bit more cutting edge and because of who we are, the events are going to be more up beat and livelier than your traditional fund raising events. We are going to have a DJ, silent auctions with some great items, models wearing the latest FKCNCR gear, and a fashion show hosted by Mina Miami Beach. The event will take place at The Stage. Tickets will be on sale shortly, stay tuned for more details.
How can locals help?
It's pretty simple, donate money. The more money we raise the more we can help those in need. Local companies can donate their services in the silent auction as well. It could be a laundry service, restaurant, gas station, travel agency, or whatever. Not only will they be doing it for a good cause but they will have their names out there for the hundres of FKCNCR followers too see.
Is there a website set up where people can get a little more information on FKCNCR organization?
We are in the process of doing that. We have the domain www.FKCNCR.org it is currently under construction. For the time being you can like us on facebook or follow on twitter and Welcome to the FKCNCR family.
Laz, we know cancer hits home for you. What advice would you give to the families and friends in dealing with love ones that are going through a tough time with cancer?
A positive attitude is always the best medicine. No matter what you are going through, a smile, a joke, a hug will always help you cope with the situation. Having a support system is very important, especially when they remain positive alongside you. I see Carlos and live based on the example that he has shown me, treasure every moment you have making a difference, and share those times with those closest to you instead of making the situation more difficult on yourself and your loved ones.
Carlos, one of the most impressive things about you is how your spirits are always so high. What advice would you give to those in your similar situation?
I always feel weird when people tell me I inspire them and that I'm their hero. I ask myself why? Because I want to live? I guess the best advice I can give someone going through what I'm going through is to look at those around you. Your family, friends, even pets! Don't you want keep living to spend time with them? Don't you want to enjoy life? I understand it's easy to quit and not fight but where's the fun in that? Life is full of challenges and that is why it is exciting. Life is a gift. Don't give away that gift so easily.