A blog about the amazing things teenagers do, about writing for teens, books for teens, and occasional forays into my world and the world of publishing.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Teens Doing Great Things-- Rhema's Reality

When we hear about something bad that's happening to someone else we may feel sad, we may sympathize with them, we may wish we could help them, but how many of us would actually decide to do something about it? And what if that person was almost a complete stranger?

When Jacob Johnson heard about Rhema Butler, a girl who was the same age as he was and who was suffering from a rare form of cancer, he decided he had to do something. It didn't matter that he was only fourteen or that he had just met Rhema. Together, he and Rhema founded Rhema's Reality, a non-profit organization to raise money for childhood cancer research.

Here, in his own words is what happened.

I met this amazing teen at Rocking for Rhema, a fundraiser for Rhema's Reality. It was a well-organized event that featured local bands, local businesses, and community members, coming together to raise money for cancer research. Sadly, just a few days before this even, Rhema had lost her battle with childhood cancer.

As I talked with Jacob and Rhema's other friends and family members, I was impressed with the vibrant spirit that Rhema had projected onto all of them. I was impressed with the way Rhema and Jacob had come together to make a difference for other sick kids. I was impressed with how two kids who were so young and one so sick could do so much in such a short time.

Even though Rhema is gone, Jacob continues his fund raising efforts in her name. To find out about upcoming events or to donate to the Rhema's Reality fund go to the Rhema's Reality Facebook Page.

You can also see more about Jacob and Rhema's journey together at the Rhema's Reality youtube channel.

Jacob is a great example of everything that's good in kids and teens. He saw something that was hurting his friend and he did everything he could to make it better. He didn't let anyone tell him he was too young or that it was too hard to make a difference. He just did it.

Thank you Rhema for leaving behind such an amazing legacy. Thank you to Jacob and everyone who has helped him with Rhema's reality. You are a wonderful example of the great things that teens or anyone else can do when their heart is in the right place.

Jacob and Rhema on their way to the
Starlight Children's Foundation Prom


  1. Amazing! It just goes to show you that the future is in good hands!

  2. Jacob and Rhema's story has me tearing up. I am always so impressed by the compassion and initiative of teens -- like Gina said, our future is in good hands.

    Jacob should be so proud of all he accomplished

  3. I love hearing about teens doing great, important things like this. It inspires me so much! Thanks for posting. Am retweeting this, too!

  4. This is an amazing story!

  5. Thank you so much for posting this story! I am lucky enough to call Jacob my son. This has truly been an amazing journey for so many people. I hope people read this and realize just how much they can do if we all just come together as a community. I pray that our young teens these days all feel inspired to make a change.

  6. I want to personally thank you for attending Rockin For Rhema. The event did go smoothly due to Jacob, his family and everyone that Rhema has touched. This community came together and helped make an Amazing Event that will be happening every year! Jacob is the BEST and everyone should follow what this young man is doing....Because he is going places and changing the world!

  7. It's funny - I believe that teens are good people and that the world is filled with good people doing good things. And yet, I still teared up a little reading this. Thanks for sharing!

  8. I love it! My belief - all people have the inherent ability for compassion and love, some choose to ignore it, but it is always wonderful to see those who grow its potential.

  9. Now that's inspiring! Thanks for sharing.

  10. I think kids are amazing. Our ward launched a summertime humanitarian mission through the church philanthropies website to raise money for wheelchairs for developing nations. One of our most affluent members who could just write a check is skipping the toll roads to work and taking a much longer route so he can donate the money from his tolls toward a wheelchair instead. But it's the kids that are blowing me out of the water. They are babysitting and washing cars, throwing bake sales and setting up lemonade stands, sponsoring a day camp for the primary kids, setting up a temporary made-to-order brownie business--all to raise money for these chairs. It's crazy. They're awesome.

  11. What a wonderful thing Jacob has done for us--what a great example. Thank you for this. *hugs*

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