Clothing for a cause: Athletic wear inspired by mother's MS
10% of profits from Push & Pull Athletix donated to MS Society
Blake Tremere's next goal for his recently-launched athletic clothing company is to expand sales beyond P.E.I. — and through doing that, he hopes to build awareness for multiple sclerosis.
Tremere launched Push & Pull Athletix last July in Charlottetown. Ten per cent of the company's profits are donated to the MS Society of Canada.
The idea was inspired by his mother, Neva Tremere, who has lived with MS for more than 20 years.
"If not help her directly we can help others who fall in her shoes because nobody should have to go through what she has went through in her life," he said.
'She's the strongest woman I know'
Tremere has watched his mother's health decline over the years, and said it has taken a toll on the family. He said a lack of wheelchair accessibility can make something like going out to eat more difficult.
Neva Tremere's legs first started bothering her when she was 12, but she wasn't diagnosed until she was 45.
"[MS is] diagnosed much easier now than it was then, which is great, because if they can catch it early enough, there are treatments now," she said.
She said by the time she was diagnosed, the disease was too far advanced for some treatments.
"She's the strongest woman I know," said Blake Tremere. "She's been through a lot and it's been hard growing up, seeing her go through that."
'It all kind of clicked'
He said he came up with the idea for the company when he was at the gym.
"It all kind of clicked," he said. "I went home and drew a logo, came up with the idea of ten per cent going toward MS."
He chose the name Push & Pull Athletix, which he said is not only a common workout term, as "all athletes push and pull at some time," but also has a deeper meaning — to motivate and inspire.
His first step was to make sure his mom was on board.
"She loved it," he said.
Neva Tremere said she hadn't realized the impact of her MS on her son.
"I didn't realize he thought about it so much," she said. "How I was going downhill over the years, that he took it in and it probably hurt him, how he felt about me getting sicker and sicker."
Drawing attention to MS
As well as the clothing line, Tremere has also organized a series of event fundraisers for the MS Society.
"MS gets very little attention, a lot of people misunderstand the disease and know very little about it," he said.
Tremere presented a cheque for $1,125 to the MS Society on Friday, adding to $550 from an earlier fundraiser.
"I think they're doing a fantastic job just getting people to know a little bit more about what MS is," said Sarah Flohr, a board member from P.E.I.
Flohr and her mother are both living with the chronic disease — and likes that family is at the heart of the company.
"I can just see that she's very supportive and ultimately that he's doing this for his mom," she said.
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