NECC Observer

The student news website of Northern Essex Community College, Haverhill and Lawrence, Mass.

NECC student creates apparel brand

By: Cleo Brigham

Staff Writer

For many students it’s a struggle to stay positive with the stress of homework, part time jobs, and maintaining time for extracurricular activities, but for CJay DiPrima, staying positive is a way of life.

In 2012, DiPrima was diagnosed with a rare case of Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma called gray-zone.

He was nineteen at the time, and had to undergo half a year of intensive chemotherapy and radiation treatment.

DiPrima began remission in the fall of 2013, and soon after created the first T-shirt design for his company Stay Positive Apparel alongside his longtime friend Tom Mullin.

“This was an extremely difficult situation both physically and mentally, one where keeping a positive attitude seemed almost impossible,” DiPrima expressed on Stay Positive’s website.

“However, I learned quickly that being negative would get me nowhere. Also, my family and friends would always tell me that thinking positive would help me through the entire process. Needless to say, they weren’t wrong.”

Stay Positive Apparel was created to inspire those who need positive thinking the most, as well as to give back thirty percent of proceeds from each sale to Massachusetts General Pediatric Oncology Program, where DiPrima was treated.

DiPrima is currently an Art major with a focus in multimedia, but he will be graduating this spring and intends to transfer to Southern New Hampshire University to major in graphic design and media art.

Stay Positive’s T-shirt design is printed on tank tops, winter hats, baseball caps, sweatshirts, wristbands, and visors for both men and women. The merchandise is produced locally by Body Rags in Pelham, N.H. DiPrima has a shipping station in his home, and is able to ship Stay Positive apparel all over the world.

The Stay Positive logo’s lime green color represents the color for lymphoma awareness.

However, the color of the positive sign on their merchandise can be changed to bring awareness to the other types of cancer. DiPrima stressed the importance of recognizing other cancer colors besides pink for breast cancer as a way to provide support for everyone who struggles with the disease.

DiPrima’s goal for Stay Positive Apparel is to touch more people, become a household name, and raise as much money as possible. They are also currently in the process of trying to convert the business from an LLC to a non-profit. This process can prove very costly, so DiPrima has set up a GoFundMe account. “We just want to change lives for the better.” DiPrima stated.

Donate to Stay Positive Apparel’s GoFundMe at