Posted: August 23, 2022
Credit: Shedneck Foundation
Founded by Jim O’Farrell in 2020, the Shedneck Foundation is bringing adventure, hope, and love to teenage cancer patients in the Plymouth-Canton community of Michigan. According to Hometown Life, as an executive in the logistics industry, O’Farrell wanted to do something “deeper” with his life and upon recognizing the need for support services for teen cancer patients, he began organizing the nonprofit with compassionate individuals like himself who wanted to help give a giant dose of happiness to teens battling cancer. By providing fun experiences for ‘warriors’ and their friends and families, the Shedneck Foundation is helping them forget about their worries, even if it is just for a moment in time.
According to Hometown Life, “to connect with those who could benefit from opportunities offered by the Shedneck Foundation, O’Farrell works closely with the Adolescent and Young Adult Oncology Program at the Rogel Cancer Center at University of Michigan Health in Ann Arbor, where a social worker helps to identify patients from the Plymouth-Canton community.” Most importantly, the Shedneck Foundation ensures that the activities set up for the ‘warriors’ are strongly related to their interests and the foundation is dedicated to working with local businesses to make it all possible.
The foundation offers two options the teens can choose from including either “A Day Away” or “A Night Out.” Choosing “A Day Away” may be that they attend a professional or college sports game, go on a fishing trip, or enjoy a day at a spa, the mall, the zoo, museums, or other fun places. “A Night Out” may be to have an elegant dinner and movie, or go to a theater or a concert. Regardless, the Shedneck Foundation provides the funding for the teen and their family or friends to enjoy the special experience.
The mission of the Shedneck Foundation is to unite the community in an effort to give back and make a difference in the lives of those facing a struggle. When a special event is organized for a ‘warrior,’ the gift it gives goes beyond the experience and into their hearts and minds with the compassion others have shown them. The opportunity to forget about one’s struggle allows for rejuvenation and restores hope that more wonderful experiences await them in the future.
Autumn Waack, her boyfriend Gabe and friends take in The Lion King.
Last December, seemingly out of the blue, Lane Kleinglass found himself with a broken leg. He’d been experiencing pain for a while, but knew he hadn’t done anything to injure himself.
Nevertheless, x-rays showed a clean break in his left shinbone.
“Since there was no explanation for the break, the doctors did a bunch of tests and found out it was diffuse B-cell lymphoma,” 18-year-old Kleinglass, a 2022 Salem High School graduate, said. “It was shocking and overwhelming. It was the last thing I thought it would be.”
Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma is the most common type of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a fast-growing blood cancer. Essentially, a tumor ate away at his shinbone, causing the break.
The feelings of shock and overwhelm Kleinglass experienced are common for teens and young adults diagnosed with cancer. That’s why, in 2020, Canton resident Jim O’Farrell started the Shedneck Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing smiles to young people dealing with the physical and emotional toll of the disease.
After missing prom, Zoe Weber was treated to a night out with her boyfriend Spencer Vos.
As we have in past years members of The Shedneck Foundation braved the freezing Michigan winter and "Rang the Bell" for the Salvation Army. Always a great cause to be a part of. We always look forward to seeing our friends and neighbors out and about in the Canton community. We had a great time and it always means so much to do some philanthropy during the holidays. Look for us "around town" ringing the bell again next year.
Some of the guys from The Shedneck Foundation having a great night ringing the bell.
For the second year we will be honoring our second warrior Autumn and her memory with a toy drive. An amazing event that we are very excited to partner with Autumn's family and friends. All the toys get donated to Mott Children's Hospital in Ann Arbor. Please see our events page for more information.