Each month, the non-profit group Go Shout Love selects a family with a child suffering from a rare illness and helps rally emotional and financial support for them. In November, the organization selected the Macan family, whose 5-year-old son Bo has a series of medical issues as a result of genetic disorder.
The SM North community in which parents John and Carolyn Macan grew up and now send their own four children to school took the opportunity to make sure the Macans felt every bit of love it could muster.
When SM North Principal Richard Kramer let the school community know about the Go Shout Love opportunity, first-year girls basketball coach Brian Macintosh started organizing right away. Go Shout Love sells tee shirts through its website, and all of the proceeds are donated to the family of the month. Macintosh arranged for all 54 members of the girls programs to purchase shirts. At $30 a piece, that meant more than $1,500 for the Macans as they continue to face high bills to treat Bo’s condition.
“We’ve had the most amazing following,” said Carolyn of the support SM North has shown the family. “And now that my daughter [Leksi] is a freshman here, it seems like the following just keeps getting bigger and bigger.”
Staff at other schools in the area rallied, too. Teachers at Hocker Grove Middle School, where Bo’s brother Johnny attends school, all purchased shirts as well.
With the proceeds from the Go Shout Love operation and support from local businesses and organizations, like Fusion Fitness, the Macans were able to finally get a diabetic alert dog that they’d been waiting 17 months for. The 2-year-old dog, Gia, can sense when Bo’s blood sugar is moving out of a safe zone, and will alert Carolyn or John that they need to take action.
“When you’re diabetic you put off a scent as [the blood sugar] is rising,” said Carolyn. “Her tail will start wagging and she’ll start hitting my leg with her nose. She’s saying, ‘You need to do something to fix this.’”
On Thursday, members of the girls basketball teams met with Bo and his family between the junior varsity and varsity games against SM East to pose for a picture with him as they wore their Go Shout Love shirts.
“Having this kind of support is something you just can’t understand,” Carolyn said. “You can’t pay for that…They genuinely care about us. It’s an amazing community.”