Phuck cancer charity. Cigar charities, quite a good number of cigar brands run or support a charity program. And there are a few distributors that either support or started charities as well. They are giving back to the community. Some are open about it, raising awareness while trying to raise funds. Others do it on the low as they are afraid it will be seen as marketing.
Ministry of Cigars feels that all the actions of the factories should be highlighted. The cigar industry needs positive stories, and we need to get the word out to the general public and politicians that there is no other industry that gives back to the community as much as the cigar industry does. And even though the charity that Ministry of Cigars is highlighting today isn’t an official charity, it shows the good nature of our industry.
If you’re on social media and follow cigar groups you must have seen the Phuck Cancer logo. If you are a follower of Ministry of Cigars you have read about it too. And if former Drew Estate art director Jessi Flores is connected with you, you heard all about Phuck Cancer as well. Ministry of Cigars wrote about it several times, and it came up in the interview with Jessi Flores a few weeks ago.
The situation is that Flores has a daughter Stephanie Nicole. Well, he has more kids, but the Phuck Cancer campaign is all about Stephanie Nicole. She is 21 years old, and that is way older than doctors in both Nicaragua and Cuba predicted. She is born with two holes in her heart, amongst other conditions. There is never the opportunity to live a normal life, so the is home schooled. Yet she’s a happy and positive child. Last year, doctors discovered tumors on her liver that needs to be removed. She’s too weak to undergo chemotherapy, surgery is the only option. Nicaragua isn’t the best country when it comes to healthcare insurance, to say the least. So without the Drew Estate salary, as Jessi left the company, the costs involved are too much for him to carry. And that’s when the cigar community came into play. Big time.
Gofundme & collaborations
Family in the United States helped Flores with a go fund me campaign. That campaign made sure Flores could hire a nurse, get Stephanie Nicole a medical bed, oxygen tanks, and prepare her for surgery. European friends of Jessi also campaigned and that money helps to pay for food, masks, gloves, and other necessities. But right before the surgery, the covid-19 pandemic hit Nicaragua. The surgery is postponed. More money is necessary so another go fund me campaign launches. That campaign is still running, and if you want to donate, click here. Individual cigar smokers reach out and have sent Flores medical equipment. Or auctioned rare cigars to raise funds.
But it’s not just the community that steps up with financial aid. Janus Coffee Roasters starts a collaboration with Flores. Over the course of a few months, two coffees came from this collaboration: Jessi’s blend and Cyclops. All the proceeds of these coffees are going directly into the Phuck Cancer campaign. And it’s not just Janus Coffee roasters that collaborates with Flores. On the online Jessi Flores store, Flores collaborates with fellow artist and cigar smoker Neal Wollenberg. All the proceeds of that collaboration go to Stephanie Nicole as well. Just like all the proceeds of the Phuck Cancer merchandise on Victms1975.
The latest collaboration is with Vintage Rock-A-Feller. Their latest limited edition carries artwork designed by Flores. In exchange, part of the proceeds of this limited edition goes to the Phuck Cancer campaign.
So you see, it’s not just distributors, retailers, or manufacturers that help people in need. The cigar enthusiasts actively help as well. In this case, it’s helping a player in the industry taking care of a seriously ill loved one. It shows that this is an industry with a heart, with a soul. It is an industry for the people, with the people, it’s personal. And that’s why the cigar industry is so beautiful.