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Keeping Cancer Classy

A charity in honor of Allison Ruddick Grote

When Allison was diagnosed with Colorectal cancer at 31, she made it her purpose to turn this into a positive.  To say she succeeded would be an understatement, inspiring and helping countless people.  Allison believed in always finding the silver linings.  She taught us how to do that, and today we strive to spread silver linings in her honor.

Allison kept a blog to share her story and let others in the same boat know that they are not alone.  She reached people through her blog, social media, published articles, and speeches. Her reach and impact went further than she could have ever imagined.  She has saved lives through her advice, advocacy, and inspiring outlook.

We have recreated her blog here to help keep her message alive.  We will continue to add more of her writings over time.  While it is only a taste of the love and magic she put out into the world, we hope it helps provide some inspiration for those who need it.  We are also working on projects to honor Allison in ways that we know she would love because it is what she did best...helping others.

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Why "Keeping Cancer Classy" you ask?

We'll let Allison explain...

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I’m just a girl that coordinates her outfits to her chemo IV…

Shortly after being diagnosed with stage III Colorectal Cancer at age 31, I started using #keepingcancerclassy on my cancer-related social media posts for my friends and family. I tried to inject a small amount of humor into the situation as my way of maintaining some dignity while being poked and prodded on a regular basis. It was also an effort to keep some semblance of self when “cancer patient” threatened to takeover my identity.

Two recurrences, two IV ports, 5.5 weeks of radiation, almost 20 rounds of chemo, two major surgeries and countless complications later (but who’s counting…), I’m finally writing about it all. Not because the world needs another cancer story, but because I believe the world needs to see cancer in context. Yes, I’m a cancer patient, but that shouldn’t put me on some pedestal.  I’m not special. I got cancer, and it wasn’t hereditary. It can happen to anyone, this is just my playbook.

Most importantly, I was (and still am) a person that went to the internet to hunt down answers when I was diagnosed. But the answers I was looking for weren’t about miracle cures, they were about how to live with cancer. I searched for other patients that could prove to me that life wasn’t over once you receive a diagnosis…because it’s not. Since I got the news in 2014, I’ve fallen in love, gotten engaged, moved to NYC and started down a path towards advocacy work that I never thought I’d find myself in. Life with cancer — despite the tears, pain, nausea, frustration, etc…– can be good if you just let yourself see the silver-linings. But don’t worry, my posts aren’t going to be all cotton candy and rainbows, those drive me nuts. Obviously, cancer sucks and I’ll be real about that. They’re also not going to all be about cancer, I have so much more to say, and stories to tell. This is all about the context.

Anyway, there are so many other brave souls out there that have opened their lives up to the scary world wide web. They have made this easier for me without knowing it, and this is my way of paying it forward for the next person looking for answers.

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Allison's Showhouse

We hope to be able to share news on this project in Spring 2024!

Allison was a shining light in the home industry.  She worked with hundreds of interior designers and furniture manufacturers, always with an upbeat personality and creative spirit. Diagnosed with colorectal cancer at 31, Allison had the dream of combining her two passions: design and cancer advocacy. Before she passed away in 2022, Allison wanted to create a permanent showhouse in NYC that would highlight the talents of the interior design industry, and provide a haven for patients as they undergo treatment far from home. Allison understood what it was like to be a patient, and how a beautiful room could help lift her spirits and soothe her soul. 

With Allison’s Showhouse, we will make her dream come true. We are working with a major cancer charity Allison would volunteer with on this tremendous project that she had started and we hope to finish.

While we can't announce this project just yet, we hope you consider picking up a shirt to help us start fundraising!

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In Support of Keeping Cancer Classy


T-Shirts, get your T-Shirts here!

Our logo is inspired by the peony, Allison's favorite flower.  Please consider getting a shirt to help us help others!

Upcoming Fundraiser for Keeping Cancer Classy

Please check back soon for an update on our first Keeping Cancer Classy event coming in 2024!

Here is a picture of Oslo while you wait, you're welcome!


Want to help?

We sure love donations but if you would like to help in other ways, we are happy to listen!  Please let us know what you have in mind below!

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