The Remission Project
Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing. - 1 Peter 3:9
Hi, my name is Ryan Hamner and I am the original founder of The Remission Project. After being approached many times by people showing confusion over the ownership of the project, I thought it would be best to go ahead and put the story online. I'd rather give people a dot com to go to, than tell the story 100 times.:)
Today, thanks to two key things, forgiveness and God's plan (not my own) I have totally moved beyond my old project in regards to what was done to me and how I was treated. My new project 2survive, founded in 2011, has grown exponentially and continues to grow every single day! I truly had to "Give it Up" just like one of my own songs states; with "it" being The Remission Project - And that has made all of the difference!
My Story of Remission
My story of remission is a life-long story that still continues. I received my first cancer diagnosis at the age of 5. I then went on to have the disease 3 more times before receiving a stem-cell transplant in 1997 that cured the disease once and for all. I am a 4-time survivor of Hodgkin's lymphoma.
When I Founded The Remission Project
So when was the project founded? Well, it was something I began work on in late 2010 shortly after returning from my "Hear the Heart" tour.
You see, I write and record music, and the "Hear the Heart" tour was a tour in which I toured the South and Southeast performing free shows at hospitals, Hope Lodges, chemotherapy clinics, children's camps and more. It was a lot of work but one of the best times of my life. I didn't just hope to make a difference by performing and speaking to people affected by cancer, I saw myself making a difference! - And that was what it was all about!
When I returned home from the tour in late summer 2010, I had the idea for The Remission Project. So as I said, I began working on it in late 2010 and actually sent out the first emails to Columbus Regional and the American Cancer Society in early 2011 regarding The Remission Project.
Why I Founded The Remission Project
I founded the project for ONE reason! - And that reason was to bring people affected by cancer together! This meant patients, survivors, caretakers and medical staff. There was not a limit on who could be a part of the project. If you had been impacted by cancer, you were welcomed.
How the Project was Supposed to Work
The project was designed to have an online community for sharing stories and for providing after treatment information; workouts, diet plans, tips and advice from doctors. The project was also supposed to engage people socially on both Facebook and Twitter. - It was supposed to get people talking with each other and connecting everyone to again, do one thing, provide hope and encouragement.
Another major piece of the project was to use my music and events to reach people affected by cancer. This is why I wrote and recorded the song, "Remission" (The Survivor's Anthem!) - And as a byproduct of all of these components, having "Remission Project" t-shirts and "this. is. remission." t-shirts and apparel were ideas that went along with the project. - Again though, this project was NOT driven by money!
As I stated earlier, shortly after putting together the Remission Project press kit (on my own), I approached companies like AFLAC, Columbus Regional and the American Cancer Society. (I have the emails that actually show this.) - And of course the picture above is a picture of the original 5-page Remission project press kit.
I received some feedback from some of the companies I approached and about a year later from the American Cancer Society in regards to my song, "Remission".
By the time the American Cancer Society had reached out to me, I had already connected with the folks at Corpro. - A company that manufactures apparel. They wanted to partner with me.
The original agreement was that I would retain 50% of the company and all rights to my song. I agreed to partner with Corpro under the conditions that I would not and could not put up any money up front AND I would retain all of the rights to my song "Remission". They stated this would not be a problem.
Now, during this time, I was in and out of the hospital for long-term effects of cancer treatments. 2011 was definitely hard in that regard.
One day one of the gentlemen from Corpro called and told me that they needed to lower my ownership in the LLC from 50% to 33%. I was a bit shocked, but said yes and moved on TRUSTING that everyone was honest and had good intentions.
Later, I was asked to sign over my song, "Remission" (The Survivor's Anthem!) to the company. They asked me to come in to the office and talk about it. In the past I knew that they had recorded previous conversations with others and figured that may have been what was going on here.
This again was right around the time that the American Cancer Society had become interested in the song. As a matter of fact, they had now asked me to perform the song at ACS's Executive Luncheon in Atlanta, GA. - It was a big deal.
As I met with the owner's of Corpro about my song, I was told that I must sign the song over to the company. They tried to bully and intimidate me. I was even told, "We don't need you, your song or your story, we can use my grandmother!"
After being sick for a while and not being able to find a job, I was told by one of the Corpro owners, "Nobody is ever going to hire you because of your cancer. - This is your only way out!"
At a time in my life when I was in and out of the hospital I reluctantly signed over my song to the LLC. From this point on, I was not even allowed to see the design of the website; even though I had worked as a website designer.
I have emails that talk of me being paid, etc. But nothing ever happened.
Trouble Begins After I Refuse to Sign Operating Agreement for The Remission Project
The strange thing about this whole business "deal" was that I could never get any kind of agreement on the front end like I'd asked for all along. Because of this, in the end when I was asked to sign the operating agreement that would lock me into this deal, I said no and walked. This is when more trouble began. The threatening letters, letters of intimidation, letters degrading me and my character etc. sent from Corpro via attorney Jacob Beil's office. I was even confronted in the gym by one of the Corpro gentlemen and told that a laptop loaned to me had revealed "other business deals" and was told the disability office was contacting them about my work. None of which was true! I was sick, and unemployeed.
The Show for the American Cancer Society
Remember the show at the American Cancer Society luncheon? Well, after walking away from the Remission Project, I was still slated to play this event. The American Cancer Society had asked me to debut my new song, "Survivors Survive". However, Corpro's attorney Jacob Beil sent the ACS a cease and desist letter. - But it all worked out great anyway. I went to the luncheon and met some great people. This meeting led to 2 more gigs and led to me writing the song, "Where Hope Lives" for the American Cancer Society. This song later opened the doors for me to play at the American Cancer Society's "BasketBall" Gala in 2012.
My Response to Losing My Song and My Project
My response to losing the "Remission Project" idea; to seeing my ideas on shirts and hats were at first odd I guess you could say. Now I'm at total peace, and there are several reasons why...
Forgiveness, "Giving it Up" and the New Remission Project
I once wrote a song called, "Give it Up". I always thought it was one of my stronger songs on the days I listened to it and didn't totally critique every aspect of it (us musicians do that). However, this very song talked about the importance of letting go, taking your problem, concern, anxiety and "giving it up!" - And that's just what I did!
2survive is not about making money. 2survive has brought survivors together, reached out to young survivors and surprised them with care packages, has been there for patients going through treatment alone and has provided educational material in the "Community" section of the website.
Thank you for reading my story of the Remission Project! Please check out 2survive and remember, "This is how it feels 2survive!"
The Remission Project