It’s 4 a.m. and Angela Angelfish is awake. She has chemo at 6 a.m., and her mother is asleep in the hospital bed next to hers. She reaches for her iPad to go to Whalewishes.org to check her “Fishnook” mailbox to see if she has any “Whale Wishes” from people around the world. Yes! She has 14: two from Japan, three from Europe and the rest from the United States.
Angela’s heart beams. She is not alone — people care. She can make it through this. She lays back down, hugs her mother and goes back to sleep.
This is not from a book. It is an example of the vision behind Finny the Flying Fish Foundation, a child-friendly environment created by Chuck Smith to bring joy to the daily lives of children in hospitals with life-threatening illnesses.
The idea is to add an intangible factor to the healing process through a website, stories, songs and activities providing lots of things to do and see. There will be things to create, things to imagine, things to share and things to give away. “We want the children to make it what it will become,” says Smith. “We have gotten it started, but it is up to the rest of the world to make it all happen.”
Part of getting it started was creating "Finny the Flying Fish," a 10-book series in rhyme that was inspired by and as told by an imaginative and interesting man who lived long ago, M.R. GreenJacket. He loved children and the sea and wrote stories during storms and hurricanes on corners of sails, the backs of envelopes and torn-up paper bags.
The stories were all collected through dreams, channeling, and other amazing experiences by Smith, a cancer survivor, whose “Finny team” made them into videos, foldabooks and e-books. He was totally healed during the experience and has donated all of the Finny material to the mission of helping children heal faster through daily encouragement and fun activities. He credits modern technology, M.R. GreenJacket and Finny the Flying Fish with his healing.
HEALING HEARTS AROUND THE WORLD
While Finny wants to “fly free” like a bird, explore the world and partake in exciting adventures, Smith is quick to point out that Finny is more than a character in a book. “Yes, Finny is a book character, but one with a real live mission that extends beyond the book and into the entire concept of providing joy and intangible healing for kids with serious illnesses,” says Smith.
Just like Finny’s dream is to be flying free, that expression serves as a nice metaphor for what Smith hopes his brand can help do for the kids.
“Finny is a mischievous and adventurous fish who makes friends easily,” Smith writes. “He is not just a cartoon character, though Finny faces the unknown with boldness, courage and determination and will give those who face challenges an example to emulate during times of difficulty.”
Smith’s goal for the foundation and WhaleWishes.org is not to make a slight nick of goodness in the lives of these kids but to literally change lives to whatever degree is possible. He asks: “What if children in hospitals greet each day with Joyful Expectation? If each child in treatment gets hundreds of well-wishing messages and gifts from other children and adults every day? If there are groups of kids around the world doing projects for kids in hospitals?”
“If we all participate — parents, grandparents, friends, neighbors and children — and make this vision work,” he says, “that new dimension of healing can appear, and we will all find that not only do those in need benefit, but those who have participated benefit as well.”
Join in and be part of the movement to help kids in need. Smith has provided some great tools, and you’ve got what it takes to use them. To learn more about the Finny the Flying Fish Foundation and how to participate, visit www.WhaleWishes.org.