My name is Annika Johnson. Yes, I am the daughter of Al & Ingert Johnson. For those of you that don't know, my son Bo passed away from an extremely rare form of cancer called EM/AML Leukemia at the age of 13. While he was going through treatment, we were humbled by the generosity of our friends, our community, and complete strangers. Through them, we were able to bare the harsh treatments and never lose sight of hope. Unfortunately there was no cure for Bo's cancer. After a Bone Marrow Transplant, and him giving 110%, he passed away surrounded by family & friends on September 28, 2012.
Not knowing how he could ever thank everyone, he came up with the idea of turning "the GO BO Fund" that his classmates created to raise money for him, into the GO BO Foundation, which he planned to help kids with cancer & life threatening illnesses 18 & under in Door County. He wanted to "Pay It Forward".
When Bo found out he was terminal & would pass away from his disease, he asked if I could still run the GO BO Foundation to make sure no other kids or parents walked in our shoes. To this date, we have been able to help roughly 10 kids and their families endure their treatments.
The GO BO Foundation brings hope to children with life-threatening medical conditions by funding research, supporting treatment, and helping their families during times of financial need.
Paying it Forward...this is Bo's dream.
The GO BO Foundation fulfills its mission by:
- Funding the cutting-edge research on cancer and related blood disorders at the MACC Fund
- Supporting state-of-the-art treatment in a child friendly environment provided by doctors like David Margolis at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin
- Assisting the families of Door County children through the GO BO Family Assistance Program
Right now, we are getting ready for our 8th annual GO BO Foundation's Cookie & Bake Sale! The history of this event comes as a "Pay It Forward". A woman named Jill Wettstein from the Funky Cookie Studio, Sarah DeNamur from Flourgirl Patissier, and Jill's husband John (all living here in Door County) heard my son Bo's speech he gave to his classmates while in hospice. His message was of kindness and helping others. He told us what it's like to be living, what it's like to be dying, and what we should all do with our lives.
The GO BO Foundation Cookie Sale is an annual event in which Jill sends out a request on her facebook page Jill FCS to all her cookie artist friends to donate 1-2 dozen Halloween or Fall themed cookies for our fundraiser. Cookie artists from all over the world and all over the United States can participate. Each year we sell out! It's a 5 day event...run by volunteers on Columbus Day weekend Saturday & Sunday and again on our Fall Festival weekend Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. It happens to be September, which is Childhood Cancer Awareness month. "GO GOLD IN SEPTEMBER" To date, our little foundation has raised $179,016 and donates a guaranteed $25,000 to the MACC FUND for a High Frequency Malignancy Program for a pediatric cancer research project through the Blood Center of WI.
The Go Bo! Foundation is a way for each of us to give back; a community of people gathering together to “pay it forward” because Bo reminded us how to live each day. Through the dedication of The Go Bo! Foundation, Bo’s spirit is alive and well and his legacy of caring and love lives on.