"JACKSON, MI – Cancer has made Stephanie Maltby too weak for travel, but her pants go all over the world.
They’re the Stage 4 Traveling Pants, the most famous pair of denim jeans ever to spread awareness that surprisingly young women can die of breast cancer.
Maltby, a former registered nurse at Allegiance Health in Jackson, was the first person to sign the pants after she was diagnosed at age 30 in 2009.
Since then, the jeans have been shipped to and from five continents to be signed and decorated by dozens of young women facing Stage 4, or terminal, cancer. The pants give them a bond and an unseen support group.
“Hope,” one woman wrote on the pants. “Do not forget how strong we are.”
“Most of the girls who had the pants are gone now,” said Shannon Kegebein, Maltby’s sister and the person whose idea created the Stage 4 Traveling Pants.
News coverage often follows the pants from city to city. The jeans were displayed at a “gallery event” in Washington D.C. and at Lee Denim Days in Kansas City.
Via Susan Zager