Jonny's Table - Help Fight Childhood Cancer
$50 (NOW $75) FROM EVERY “JONNY’S TABLE” ORDER WILL GO TOWARD THE FIGHT AGAINST PEDIATRIC CANCER
This is a very special piece inspired by a very special young man.
Back in July of this year an amazing mom wrote to me asking if I could make one of my surfboards for a table top she wanted to use to decorate her twin boys’ playroom. She went on to explain that one of the boys, 8 year old Jonny had been diagnosed with brain and spine cancer the day after Christmas (medulloblastoma), and she felt like since Jonny “adores sharks and surfing” that the board adorned with the inspirational quote would be a perfect addition to brighten up the room and provide him with a reminder to keep pushing to learn new things. Well, as a father of four myself, my heart instantly broke and I decided I wasn’t just going to make a board for them to use; I was going to make the boys the coolest little table I could with the hopes of shedding just a glimmer of light on their lives.
Now here’s the cool part. In her initial message to me, Jonny’s mom asked how much the table top would cost. I simply told her that I was just going to make the whole table instead of just the top and not to worry about the cost; it would be minimal, all the while knowing that I was going to do it for free just because it felt right. You see, even though I had never met Jonny or his mom, knew nothing about them and had no idea what they were going through other than a few heartfelt words passed on to me in a simple request, the urge to do something nice for virtual strangers was just too great. Even though I was so stressed out and sleep deprived trying to save a struggling business that it was making me physically ill, the desire to spread a little joy to a child far more ill than me at no fault of his own was just too great. Even though I frankly could not afford the time or money to put everything else aside and throw myself into hours of creative dedication with the expectation of nothing but a smile in return, the compulsion to get this piece perfect and send it to a young man and his family fighting something that has completely turned their world upside down without warning or invitation was just too great. Even though the day job, the kids, the bills, my own crap, even though, even though, even though there were a thousand reasons I could have said “no, I just can’t”, there was one simple powerful reason to say “yes, I can”; compassion. The need to be a part of something bigger than me was just too great.
After finishing the table and sending it on its way, I took the time to learn more about Jonny, his family and his fight through the intensely personal and emotional stories and posts his mom shares on Facebook. Turns out that in spite of the unimaginable turmoil this little guy is going through, he’s nothing short of a rock star! Between enduring treatments that take a heavy toll on his little body and just trying to be a normal kid and go to school like all of his friends, he has been recognized by numerous professional sports teams and athletes, government officials, organizations and corporations, etc. He’s inspiring thousands of people all over the world and even though he never wanted to be “one of those kids on TV” he has said that if it helps other people then it was worth having cancer. Wow; I mean wow! Just amazing.
I was so inspired by Jonny’s story that I decided to turn our chance encounter into something incredible. I had been looking for a way to use my art in a way that makes a positive impact on people’s lives and after consulting with Jonny’s mom, I knew that this was going to be the start of something awesome. I decided to name the table after Jonny and commit to donating $50 (NOW $75) from every one ordered to aid in the fight against childhood cancer. So, it’s not just a table anymore; it’s a symbol. It’s a piece made with love and compassion, completely by hand, born from the vision of a mother’s love and inspired by the innocence, tenacity and courage of a young warrior. And this is just the beginning! I’ll be working on changing my entire business model over the coming weeks to broaden the scope of who I can reach, who I can help, who I can advocate for. It’s gonna be awesome!
Now, I’m not a pro athlete, politician or corporate exec. I’m just a regular guy and for now my reach is narrow but my heart is big, and if I can make even the slightest difference; if I can inspire even one person to go out of their way to help; if I can generate even one more smile on the face of a child or someone else in need, then I have accomplished something.
Thank you so much for your support and taking the time to read this. Thank you Jonny for being awesome, and thank you Kimberly for letting me be a part of the team. Please feel free to contact me with any questions you might have and I encourage you to check out Project Team Jonny to learn more about him and his fight.