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A man who beat cancer is helping to empower other young patients find the courage to do the same.

Jake Teitelbaum is a senior at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. His graduation was delayed because he had to take time off school to undergo treatment for a rare form of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.

“You walk into being admitted, you sign your name here and here, and here are your socks,” Teitelbaum told WJLA. “These are the last things I want. This is the last place I want to be.”

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Teitelbaum started wearing his own socks as a confidence boost. He said the hospital socks “represented the suffering and the hopelessness consuming him.”

“It seems absolutely ridiculous to say it out loud but socks helped me retain a little bit of me,” said Teitelbaum.

Soon after receiving a life-saving stem cell transplant, the college student launched Resilience, a non-profit that designs socks with young cancer patients. The proceeds help families pay medical bills and benefit charities like the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

Teitelbaum met 12-year-old Jack Creedon as he battled cancer at Duke University Hospital. Jack designed his own pair of socks from Resilience, complete with colorful animals. Hidden in the sock’s design was a 2-D version of Jack’s favorite stuffed animal, which was by his side throughout all his treatments.

Jack was cured by the same procedure that saved Teitelbaum. He said the socks made him feel special.

“I think of myself as a kid with a bump in the road, a huge bump, a foot-tall bump, maybe a mountainous bump,” said Jack.