Defy the Limit with Jacob Agnew
Born three months premature, doctors didn’t expect Jacob Agnew to survive—much less walk. He defied those odds, but it wasn’t easy. Doctors diagnosed him with cerebral palsy at age one and his childhood involved multiple moves, family issues, and surgery. In spite of it all, Jacob pushed through and made it to college.
College is a challenge for many, and Jacob was already dealing with a lot. “I didn’t fit in at all, and it took a toll on my mental health which I soon came to realize was more important to take care of than college,” says Jacob. He struggled with the decision to quit college until a friend introduced him to TikTok. “I posted a couple videos for fun just to see what the platform was like; later on, I decided to make a video specifically about my disability. It went viral overnight and I’ve grown a beautiful community of 600K+ people ever since that happened. I’ve made incredible friends along the way and I couldn’t be more thankful for everyone supporting me since day one.”
Jacob’s videos about living with a disability struck a chord with thousands of people, and his TikTok shorts have garnered millions of views. With more than 750 thousand followers on the platform, he’s been given an amazing opportunity to spread his message of positivity and to raise awareness about cerebral palsy and about living with health issues in general. After a representative from Custom Ink reached out to him about creating a fundraising campaign, he knew exactly what his next step would be.
“I believe it is important to show people no matter what life throws at you, you can always ‘Defy The Limit’ and that there’s no such thing as a disability, just ability,” Jacob writes on the page for his fundraisers. While Jacob had a message, he needed to turn it into eye-catching art for the fundraiser shirts and hoodies. “The designs on my merchandise were created by Custom Ink’s creative team and I can’t thank them enough for doing such an amazing job and spreading my message,” Jacob explains.
Thanks to Custom Ink’s artists, the ‘DEFY THE LIMIT’ and ‘DISABILITY’ slogans emblazon the front of a variety of custom t-shirts and hoodies with Jacob’s monogram logo on the back. With his design ready to go, he chose the Cerebral Palsy Foundation to donate his proceeds.
Founded in 1955 and one of the biggest non-profits in the United States to benefit cerebral palsy, the Cerebral Palsy Foundation’s mission “is to be a catalyst for creating positive change for people with cerebral palsy” through translational research, clinical application, and knowledge transfer. Because cerebral palsy is caused by developmental issues or damage to parts of the brain that control balance, posture, and movement, cerebral palsy has a range of symptoms and affects people in a variety of ways. The Cerebral Palsy Foundation funds research to both prevent cerebral palsy and to provide individuals and families with the support needed to maximize independence. In addition to research, the Cerebral Palsy Foundation works to bring awareness to others on how to build a community that is both inclusive and accessible to people with cerebral palsy.
With the shirts set and the charity chosen, Jacob launched his fundraisers and provided a way for his supporters and others to rep their pride and raise awareness about people with disabilities. Since the fundraising platform also lets donors leave public comments to the creator, heartfelt messages of encouragement and stories about being personally affected helped to connect the community and bring additional meaning to people’s support. Supporters could also choose to forego the custom apparel and simply donate money, or even donate additional money on top of buying the shirt or hoodie.
Jacob’s custom gear is more than just merchandise for his supporters—it’s a way to draw awareness to his community and to the way the public views people with a disability or other health issue. With the fundraisers’ success, Jacob was excited to make one of his dreams a reality. “Ever since the launch of my campaign, Custom Ink has helped me create merchandise for my community on TikTok and helped me give back to charity, as I’ve always dreamed of helping people like me.”
You can see Jacob’s fundraiser here and find Jacob at the following accounts: @jagnew on TikTok, @jagnew_99 on Twitter, Jacob Agnew on YouTube and @agnewjake on Instagram.