Noah’s Bandage Project
6 year old Noah was not satisfied with the bandages his hospital had to offer — the normal nude bandage or Sesame Street. These bandages “were not ‘cool’ for a 6 year old boy,” explained Scott Wilson, Noah’s father. He wanted colorful bandages — bright ones with superheroes on them — ones the hospital did not have. Receiving a bandage with his daily shots, Noah felt that, for kids battling cancer like him, the pride of wearing a cool bandage meant a lot. With that, Noah made a sign, found a bucket and started collecting bandages for the children’s ward of his hospital.
Even though the first bucket filled quickly, Noah was not satisfied. As Noah’s parents spread the word of the bandage collection on social media, the news spread far and wide of Noah and his project. Soon, a bucket on the porch of the Wilson house near Kansas City, MO was not enough to contain the flood of bandages they received. Eventually, the Wilson’s set up a PO box to accommodate donations from around the country, and Noah’s Bandage Project was born.
To Noah, the bandages represented something much greater than simply feeling cool. Noah felt that they symbolized strength, as you received a bandage after overcoming fear and anxiety, after going through something scary such as a shot or a procedure. And they also symbolized identity. As the kids of the ward went through treatment, they all began to look the same with their shaved heads and hospital gowns. Noah realized that the bandages the kids chose were representative of their interests, manifestations of who the kids actually were.
Following a battle with Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer, Noah Wilson passed away on June 30th, 2015 from a secondary cancer developed in treatment. In only a year, he had collected over $7,000 and 7,000 boxes of bandages. Even after his passing, however, Noah continues to make an incredible difference.
Noah has inspired many with his story and others have joined in to help out his cause. Perhaps the most prominent of those supporters is Noah’s favorite baseball team, the Kansas City Royals. Through a bandage collection during a Royals game in July, Noah’s Bandage Project has doubled their collection to more than 15,000 boxes. As well, Scott Wilson and his friend Ryan Zimmerman decided to partner with the Royals to make a custom t-shirt on Teespring honoring Noah.
Marked with the Royals logo along with the number 35, the number of Noah’s favorite player, Eric Hosmer, the shirt will raise proceeds for Noah’s Bandage Project. With Noah’s large network of awestruck supporters and the power of social media, his Teespring campaign, a celebration of Noah’s legacy, has been an astounding success. The campaign has raised over $15,000 or nearly 7,000 boxes of bandages!
While the numbers are impressive, no quantity of bandages or money can adequately quantify the value of the smiles, the strength, and the empowerment that Noah brought to others in the time he spent collecting bandages. It is fitting then, that Noah’s Bandage Project continues, stronger than ever, to not only raise awareness for childhood cancer causes and collect bandages as Noah once did himself, but also to continue to fulfill Noah’s desire to help others no matter how big or how small they are.