In 2014, 45-year-old James McNaught was being treated for throat cancer and had to use public transportation every day to get to and from the hospital in London. He was feeling understandably ill but looked more or less healthy, and he could not speak to other passengers due to the radiotherapy he was having done on his throat at the time. This made it difficult to communicate to other passengers on the Underground trains he rode that he was in need of a place to sit down.
McNaught was used to seeing pregnant women wearing “Baby on Board” badges on public transportation systems in order to get priority seating, and he joked with his friends that he needed to get his hands on one of these badges and pretend to be pregnant in order to be able to rest a little easier during his daily commute.
But what started out as a joke turned out not to be a bad idea. McNaught began to think about the possibilities and eventually developed his own “Cancer on Board” badge to wear. What he wasn’t anticipating was the reaction he would receive for it.
Watch the video below to learn about the surprising responses McNaught has gotten from other passengers on public transportation since inventing his “Cancer on Board” badge. Plus, find out about the interesting next step he’s planning to take with the product!
Elizabeth Nelson is a wordsmith, an alumna of Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, a four-leaf-clover finder, and a grammar connoisseur. She has lived in west Michigan since age four but loves to travel to new (and old) places. In her free time, she. . . wait, what’s free time?