WOW! Who would have thought that Jimmy's artwork and merchandise would be available at Mall of America? Not me, that's for sure. Thanks to Mich Berthiume for reaching out to us and making this happen. Jimmy was thrilled to see his name and logo on the "in progress" store front. We are so fortunate to have a "village" of people who help tell Jimmy's story. Debut's Shop with Kindness collection is available from May 12th through September 10th, 2017. Each vendor will donate proceeds to their favorite organization.
Earlier today, I was remembering a story from when Jimmy was in about 6th grade. Being the middle of 5 kids and surrounded by mainstream friends and family, Jimmy never really realized that he was different. In 6th grade, he was at what was the beginning of an other epic health care down turn lasting 3 1/2 years. His elementary and middle school friends were seeming to move in a different direction with social activities that no longer worked for Jimmy or his growing illness. In a moment of complete frustration and tears, he said to me "You're different from the rest, you're different from the rest!" It wasn't until this point in his life that he recognized his difference. It was heartbreaking to see this. For the next 4 or five years, especially while he was very sick, he'd repeat...."your different from the rest." I always found it hard to respond to this. Finally, it struck me after he'd had some success with this artwork. He is different and it's amazing. So, the last time I heard him say, "Your different from the rest, " was a long time ago. When he said it to me, I responded, "Yes, you are! If you were the same as everyone else, no one would know who you are. Your art is different and you stand out among the rest."
He clearly took comfort in those words. Me too!
Through Jimmy's Eyes merchandise available at DEBUT. http://www.mallofamerica.com/shopping/directory/debut . We are donating a percentage of sales to the Ann Connelly Memorial Cancer Research Fund at the University of Minnesota. Ann passed away on January 5th, 2015 from colon cancer. She fought a dire diagnosis for 12 1/2 years. She supported her family and friends while she quietly battled cancer. Ann spent her time on this earth living, loving, laughing and helping others. Her strength was passed onto many who encountered her including Jimmy Reagan and his family. Jimmy's fabrics titled, "Ann- Girl in Orange Hat" are named in honor of Ann - a true Fashionista!
|Ron Johnson - former Gopher and NFL football player, FOX SPORTS Analyst and Viking commentator wearing Jimmy's "Italian Coast" bow tie and pocket square.|