Raising Cane

A feature interview I covered for SUNY Purchase’s literary and arts magazine, The Submission Magazine, in April 2011.

A row of eye-catching canes hanging across the open closet are revealed as the brown apartment door opens. They’re vibrant oranges, blues, purples, and greens, each in different patterns and sizes. From behind the door peeks senior graphic design major, Nicole Wynn, with her hair pulled back and glasses half way down her nose. After shutting the door, she walks by the collection of canes and heads for the living room.

She jokes that she took over the “messy” room as she looks around at the patterned canes and walkers up against the walls. A wheelchair is between the two couches. It was once black, but is now covered in an abstract design of the sun, its rays bursting. In total, there are 40 fashionable medical aids, most of them being canes that Wynn has designed for her senior project, along with a self-published book about her collection titled, Raising Cane.


Since birth, Wynn has been living with Multiple Hereditary Exostoses (MHE), a rare genetic condition causing multiple bony lumps and tumors to grow on all of the long bones of her body, most of the bones being irregularly shaped. According to Wynn, one in 100,000 people suffer from the condition, which comes with lots of pain and fatigue.

“The main reason I walk with a cane is because I have no hip sockets,” Wynn says. Instead, she has tumors growing in there. Read More