Photo Credit: @joinourfam on Facebook
Since Ellen DeGeneres began her talk show back in 2003, she's always incorporated dance into every episode as a way to bring her whole audience together. Through the years, she’s invited many up-and-coming dancers to perform on her show, and now So You Think You Can Dance super star, Twitch, is a regular staple for viewers. Recently though, she used her huge platform to help a group of pediatric cancer patients make their dream of dancing with one huge celebrity come true. On February 20, Ellen surprised patients from Fighting All Monsters (FAM) with the chance to dance with Diddy to the kids' adopted theme song, Diddy’s 2001 hit ‘Bad Boys for Life.’
Last year, FAM’s leader Milk Tyson had the idea to start a video campaign to get the attention of Ellen and Diddy. He asked people who wanted to help get their word out to make their own dance videos or share the videos posted on joinourfam.org along with the hashtags #DanceWithFAM #FAM #FightingAllMonsters #ChildhoodCancer and tag @theellenshow on twitter and @ellentv on Facebook and @Diddy on Twitter and Facebook.
According to Tyson, FAM patients see Diddy as an excellent role model and musical artist who has proven to be resilient when faced with his own ‘monsters.’ The kids adopted his song ‘Bad Boys for Life’ as their mantra because it inspired confidence in them and proved to be empowering for all the FAM kids and families across the country. Since the song meant so much to FAM's patients, Tyson made a video of the kids singing and dancing to the song, and once he posted it to YouTube, people quickly started to take notice.
In addition to going viral, Ellen did see the kids’ video and flew patients Layla Mosley, Will Walker, Zoey Nieves, Imani Hollis, Phillip Escalante, Maddie Kelsoe, Ke’Yair Stephens, and Baylee Hankins in from all over the country to be on her show and dance with Diddy. Although, when the kids were on air with Ellen, she originally told them that Diddy couldn’t make it there because he was on tour in Miami, but he sent over a video message. In the video, Diddy promised the kids that they all would be dancing together one day soon, and the kids thanked him for sharing their video and said they’ll all be ‘bad boys for life.’
Much to the children’s surprise though, Ellen then admitted that she got Diddy’s tour dates wrong and he actually was able to
make it to the show. After surprising and dancing with the excited children,
Diddy thanked them for reaching out and expressed that he was touched that his song
had an impact on them.
‘I was so touched that this song that has helped me get through so many trials and tribulations, is fueling you guys to know the power you have in yourself, to believe that we ain’t going nowhere,’ said Diddy.
In addition, Diddy mentioned that he was bringing back his hit show Making the Band, but in a different format than the original show. Also, Ellen told the kids from FAM that Shutterfly was donating $25,000 to Fighting All Monsters.
FAM is a nonprofit organization that supports families with
children suffering from life-threatening illnesses. The organization is run by
Tyson and staffed on a volunteer basis by more than 20 moms who all know firsthand what it is like to have a child who is fighting or has lost the fight
with a terminal illness. Since the organization began, FAM has raised and distributed more than $600,000 to
help families with lodging costs during their children’s hospital stays,
commuting to medical appointments, special gifts for the kids, assistance
paying medical bills, and they have even helped with funeral costs. All of the funds raised by FAM go straight to the cause with operational expenses covered by a benefactor.
For more information on Fighting All Monsters, visit joinourfam.org .