Ribboning might just become this year’s planking.
In an effort to raise awareness and support for those affected by cancer, MyLifeLine.org, an online community that serves to empower cancer patients and caregivers, launches its inaugural International Ribboning Day today.
Inspired by the story of couple Jen Garza and Britton Thomas (pictured above), the nonprofit dreamt up this call-to-action, which prompts individuals to post a photo of themselves in a “ribbon” pose on their social accounts.
“So much of cancer is about the treatments, tumors, medications and so forth, that sometimes people forget about the individual,” Garza tells PEOPLE of the idea behind the initiative. “There was a desire to humanize the cancer journey.”
In the case of Garza and Thomas, the pair has a personal connection to #Ribboning: They were introduced to each other via the support group’s founder, Marcia Donziger, after each lost a spouse to cancer. What started out as a platonic friendship eventually grew into much more.
“Marcia had been instrumental for Britton and me during very dark chapters in our lives,” says Garza.
So far, the social campaign has garnered 300 ribbons in all 50 states and seven continents, which MyLifeLine credits to its strong multiplatform community.
“We were instantly drawn to the idea of #Ribboning, since the goal is to honor, celebrate or memorialize someone affected by cancer in our own lives,” adds Thomas.
Now Garza and Thomas are getting married. To honor their big day, the couple is foregoing traditional wedding favors and are instead making a donation to MyLifeLine.org, the organization responsible for bringing them together.
“Cancer is a disease, but it’s also a community,” Thomas tells PEOPLE. “Research indicates a strong support community is critical for cancer patients.”