“Every child is blessed with a vivid imagination.” – W. Disney
Today, we are releasing our ‘Wishful Dreamers’ collaboration with Make-A-Wish Colorado, with 100% of proceeds directly benefiting the organization and the granting of more wishes.
A vivid imagination is a home for hope. Children with hope have the biggest dreams, and they can be grown into a vision. This Childhood Cancer Awareness Month we dream with children in treatment for pediatric cancer.
Over recent decades there have been major advances in the treatment of childhood cancers. The survival rate has more than doubled in the past 50 years, thanks to modern technology, research, clinical trials, and of course, hope. Maintaining hope can be a driving force for children fighting critical illness, and together we can create more.
This September, during Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, we are honored to be working with Make-A-Wish Colorado. Since 1983, MAW Colorado has granted almost 6,000 wishes to children throughout the state. Nearly 50% of the children in Colorado waiting for a wish granted are battling childhood cancer. Nationally, 45% of the children Make-A-Wish works with are fighting cancer. A wish granted can renew hope and encourage a child’s imagination to dream and believe in transformation.
With the mission of creating life changing wishes for children with critical illness, Make-A-Wish Colorado has more kids waiting for wishes to be granted than ever before. Over the past five years we have been able to help raise over $1 million with Make-A-Wish Colorado through high school Wish Weeks®. Most recently we helped raise $200,000 with Mountain Vista High School in our fifth Wish Week.
Lindsey Jaffe, one of Mountain Vista’s dedicated educators, has been working with Make-A-Wish Colorado for nine years now. She says every new year is equally as rewarding as the last. Wish Week has become a week of unity and togetherness at Mountain Vista, for students, parents, faculty and wish families alike.
“What sets Vista and Wish Week apart is that people do truly care and believe in the mission of one, Make-A-Wish and two, Be A Good Person,” Jaffe says. “Every year we are able to help give an amazing experience to a wish kid, but we also have an amazing experience as a community creating these moments for these kids.”
Je’Moni, one of our most recent wish kids, who battled a rare form of cancer called sarcoma, had a bold and visionary wish; one that matches his character. He wanted to direct and write a play, entitled “Lost.” His play was about a young boy, who runs away and becomes lost, only to find that running from his problems without first asking for help did not solve them.
Je’Moni himself is an insightful and strong young man, who is now 12 and has had clear cancer screenings for two years. Je’Moni was diagnosed with sarcoma in 2017 when he was just eight years old. Sarcoma is a rare form of cancer, especially in children, that develops in bone or soft tissue.
Shameeka Ford, Je’Moni’s mother, stood by his side while he battled the disease and was there to see her son’s play he wrote be acted out. To her, Je’Moni and their entire family, the experience of Wish Week was more than the granting of one wish. “It was amazing. I don’t even know how to describe it,” Ford says. “We’ve never had anybody, let alone an entire school to just celebrate us. It was amazing for all of us – the entire family – they took care of us all. It was really a once-in-a-lifetime deal.”
Je’Moni was celebrated by Mountain Vista in 2019, and since then he has made leaps and bounds in both his physical and mental health and wellbeing. Je’Moni has had clean cancer screening for two years and counting, has finished all his physical therapy, and is now working on his physical strength with the help of his mom, family and of course, continued hop
“He [Je’Moni] is a God-fearing, bundle of joy and light. He lights up every room he walks into. He can make the person who feels the most lonely or unlovable feel like their loved and important,” says Ford of her son with joyous tear-filled eyes. “He truly lives to make other people happy, that’s just the kind of kid he is.”
Ford believes going through what Je’Moni has at his young age made him resilient. “Being sick took something out of him, and I think that going through this experience and overcoming has given him this new boldness, this new confidence that he has. Now, if things come up, he’s like ‘Mom, I went through cancer, I’m not worried about that’.”
Ford sees a new self-assurance in her son that is here to stay, one that couples beautifully with his genuine and gracious character. With his clean bill of health, boost in confidence and instilled vision for dreaming, Je’Moni is why we, BAGP and Make-A-Wish Colorado, do what we do. This year we are honored to have our first independent Make-A-Wish X Be A Good Person project.
This month, we are releasing our ‘Wishful Dreamers’ collaboration with Make-A-Wish Colorado, with 100% of proceeds directly benefiting the organization and the granting of more wishes. This collaboration features a ‘dreamscape’ for the vivid imagination, designed by local Denver artist Becca Reitz.
With this collection we aspire to elevate hope and encourage a jog of the imagination, allowing for wishful thinking and the belief in the impossible. This September, give hope to waiting wish kids. Help us and Make-A-Wish Colorado continue to grant wishes by shopping our ‘Wishful Dreamers’ collection beginning Friday September 10th, exclusively in store at 1360 27th St, Denver Colorado.
For more information on Make-A-Wish Colorado and opportunities to donate, please click here. To check out our previous ‘Wish Week’ with Je’Moni Ford, check here.