Hello everyone! My name is Mike Shaw and I am the proud father of 9-year-old Jenesis (Jenny) Shaw. As a young cancer-fighter, Jenny was inspired by the outpouring of love and support that she received while going through treatment. When Jenny noticed that other kids didn’t have the same support system she did, she knew she had to give back — even in her own time of greatest need. That day, Jenny asked her mom and I if she could give back and our lives have forever been changed.
Jenny’s first plan of action was giving care bags to other children facing a cancer diagnosis. These care bags contain necessities like soap, warm socks, coloring books, crayons, toothbrushes, and even a handmade beanie for kids going through chemotherapy. To date, Jenny has delivered 500 care bags and over 4,000 toys to children facing cancer or other life threatening illnesses.
Our family has been so inspired by the amazing outpouring of support for Jenny’s cause and we are excited to share that now Team Jenny Bean Inc. is an official 501(c)3 certified charity. We now are able to accept more donations and in-kind services and apply for grants to support our efforts, ultimately reaching more kids and families in need. Becoming an official charity gives Jenny’s vision a formal structure, opening the doors to unlimited potential for growth!
With this new chapter comes new ideas and goals and we need your help to make Jenny’s dream of helping others come to life!
Care Kits: What started as care bags have now transformed into care kits! We’ve swapped paper bags for shippable boxes so that we can take the show on the road. In addition to hospital deliveries, Jenny will now be shipping her survival kits directly to cancer fighters at home, so that more kids can experience the celebration of hope.
Jenny has inspired themed care kits that allow kids and their families to have family celebration nights (similar to what our family did when Jenny went through Chemo treatment). Themes include game night, movie night, and even Chopped night kits inspired by Jenny’s favorite show on the cooking channel. If you know a fighter who would enjoy a survival kit, you can now nominate them on TeamJennyBean.org
Team Jenny Bean (TJB) Safe Space Center: Through our journey we have encountered many families who are severely impacted by their children’s cancer diagnosis. From financial disparity to emotional support a children’s cancer diagnosis can be devastating for the whole family. Because of our unique experience with the many challenges that come with this diagnosis we have are in the process of opening a small center where moms, dads and children can meet, share, celebrate, and learn more about the resources available. Our plan is to partner with community agencies and form volunteer alliances for support services. We also plan on offering gift cards, healthy meal classes, mommy & me fitness sessions, space for fighters and survivors to host birthday parties, bell ringings, and family portraits to capture the essence of the love families share during this fight. Our goal is to have the TJB Safe Space online by spring 2021.
TJB Financial Impact Support: As we have expanded our reach we have also encountered new needs. A part of our mission that evolved is the need of many families for urgent short financial assistance. TJB has been able to assist families facing adversity due to childhood cancer by providing more than five thousand dollars in emergency support for meals, transportation, and funeral services for fallen fighters. We plan to increase our efforts in this area to help more families in their time of crisis.
TJB Victory podcast: My wife and I decided that many of the resources and lessons that we learned through Jenny’s journey could be of assistance to other families. So we decided to start a podcast where we could share stories, resources, and information as well as interviews with thought leaders in the pediatric health care space. We have interviewed survivors, oncologists, counselors, and financial professionals who have shared their insights, tips, and strategies for families facing many challenges, as well as stories of hope and triumph. We plan launching the TJB Victory Podcast in the summer of 2020.
Lemons to Lemonade: A Children’s Book: We always wanted to share Jenny’s story of tenacity and perseverance with other kids. Her story is especially poignant to cancer fighters but, just as relevant to any kid facing a challenge. Lemons to Lemonade is an easy read for all children with a rhythmic flow that creates an inspiring earworm that kids are sure to repeat. “Sometimes sour lemons make sweet lemonade.” Jenny picked the title because she says, “Sometimes you have to go through your darkest times to get to your greatest.”
The book goes through a series of challenges that Jenny has faced over the last two years and the ways that she has found a silver lining in it all. She says, “It’s all about perspective.” We had so much fun writing this book together and are looking forward to bringing it to life and sending it to children around the country with your help.
Team Jenny Bean Mascot: Team Jenny Bean’s life-size mascot is preparing to go to hospitals, schools, and communities to provide “edutainment” around childhood cancer, acceptance, the importance of physical activity and volunteering. Jenny is so excited to bring awareness to kids in her community.
We truly believe Jenny’s story is one that can help other kids facing challenges of all sorts. No matter what the odds are, you can always give back. Thank you all for your continued love and support. We’re excited to embark on this new phase of our mission with all of you, the amazing supporters of Team Jenny Bean.