Bigger Than Sneakers // Nike’s Mark Smith & Kim Kovel Launch ‘Hello My Name Is Cancer’ Coloring Book

words // Nick DePaula:

Two longtime Nike employees are looking to bring some laughter and support into the lives of those facing one of the hardest battles one can fight — cancer.

After being diagnosed with a rare form of blood cancer last January, Nike’s Senior Material & Color Innovator Kim Kovel began to write out a series of puzzles and activities to keep her occupied and push through the strenuous process of chemotherapy and radiation.

“I realized that I wanted to define cancer, not the other way around,” says Kovel. “So I wrote this coloring & activity book, full of puzzles, coloring, mazes, word finds, dot to dots, and other fun stuff. Because it turns out, the best way for my friends, family, doctors, nurses, and me, to beat cancer into a pulp, was to laugh.”

Hello Cover BDuring that process, Kovel soon turned to Mark Smith, Creative Director of Special Projects at Nike and the graphic mind that worked alongside Tinker Hatfield on such classics as the Air Jordan IX outsole, AJ XI, AJ XX and many, many others. Together, Kovel and Smith created a 72-page book for hospital patients to come together and empower their attitude during the fight.

As the duo dubs it, Hello My Name Is Cancer is “the 1st cancer coloring & activity book for adults, because laughter is the best medicine, and it’s contagious, unlike cancer.”

To date, the tandem has raised nearly $40,000 on KickStarter — absolutely crushing their initial $15,000 goal — 100% of which will be going to help fund the printing and distribution of coloring books to American Association of Cancer Institutes centers across the country.

Check out the video featuring Mark and Kim below, along with selected works from the likes of Tinker Hatfield, the Nike Color Design Group, Keegan Bradley, Shane Victorino and others.

To find out more about the Hello My Name Is Cancer coloring book and get involved, you can check out the effort’s official KickStarter page. 

C Keegan Bradley
by Keegan Bradley
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C Nike Color Design Team
by Nike Color Design Team
_____C Robert Patrick
by Robert Patrick
_____C Shane Victorino
by Shane Victorino
_____C Tinker Hatfieldby Tinker Hatfield