Every year, the whole Chap Fam community comes together to create an insanely magical week all in honor of supporting one special soul. This year we were blessed to add Jakob’s special soul to our Chap Fam. 13 years old from Parker, Colorado, Jakob is one of the most light-hearted and kind-spirited kids you will ever meet. Jakob is a very active kid and although he participates in many sports, his favorites are soccer and hockey. Jakob has also spent a great part of his life fighting his life-threatening disorder, cystic fibrosis. The first year with his disorder was a tough one, with five surgeries they almost lost him, but Jakob and his family had the strength to get through it and make it to where they are today. Keeping up with Jakob’s disorder is a daily regimen for the family. About an hour of the day is set aside for his medications and other routinely checks that help keep him on track. Due to his disorder, Jakob has missed out on a large part of the childhood everyone should get to experience, so the Chaparral community wanted to give that experience to Jakob by not only providing an amazing week to support him but by granting his wish to meet the one and only John Cena. “To me, John Cena symbolizes never giving up,” says Jakob. And Chap, we certainly never gave up on Jakob. It was a short but sweet journey down the week-long road to making Jakob’s wish come true. Starting off the magical week we all look forward to, was the opening assembly on Friday March 2, where students packed the stands making the gym a white-out. Several speakers and a stunning performance by Chap’s choir, Con Brio, led to the sensational reveal of our wish kid, Jakob. The assembly concluded with the miracle minute, where in the first minute of wish week alone, we raised $4,401. Later that night kids glided through the Discovery Park ice rink and got a delicious treat at Orange Leaf frozen yogurt. It was then rise and shine for Saturdays Chasing the Dream 5k where Jakob had a great time counting down the race for the record breaking 350 participants. The Wish Week Festival took place saturday as well, where Jakob and an estimated 500 people from Chap and surrounding feeder schools enjoyed the game booths and delicious food trucks. People chowed down at Costa Vida throughout Saturday as well. The community then brought their starving stomachs to Hangry Ohana all day Sunday. The first school day of wish week, Monday, was kicked off with an exclusive showing of Jakob’s favorite movie, Big Hero 6. 250 people helped to pack the theater for the special showing. During lunches and after school, cars zoomed to Panera, Chipotle, and Anthony's, as they were the restaurants for the day. On Tuesday, students and families showed their support by going to Texas Roadhouse, Panda Express, and Cane’s. Walking into school Wednesday morning was a sea of red as students and faculty wore red, Jakob’s favorite color, in support. Flippin’ Flapjacks was available from 8-10 am providing the perfect breakfast needed to fuel up for that night’s annual dodgeball tournament, and this year’s was epic. The stands were full to the brim with students, teachers, and families, and Jakob’s dream team made up of professional and collegiate athletes did not disappoint. They were able to claim victory over Diesel’s Only in the finals, but they couldn’t have done it without the support of an astounding 1,500 participants and spectators. After burning all those calories through a long and tough dodgeball tournament, students sought to satisfy their hunger at The Chicken Shack, Kunjani, and Cold Stone. On Thursday, students flipped on their hats for hat day and flipped over to SkyZone for a night full of jumping and fun with Jakob. The attendance was much greater than last years with a total of 186 jumpers. The exhausted jumpers then made their way to Lil’ Ricci’s and Chick-fil-a for a refreshing meal. The week flew by, and Friday, the day we’ve all been waiting for, quickly rolled around. I guess time really does fly by when you’re having fun! Students impatiently fidgeted in their chairs in all seven periods until the end of the day when students gathered in the gym, filling the stands with black, eager to see how much our time and effort paid off. It began with each feeder school presenting their big paychecks to the crowd, and they did awesome this year. Each school put in more time, effort, and donations than ever before. It then came the time to see how Chap did, and we blew it out of the water with an astonishing $83,631.31! Smiles and tears filled the room, with the total leaving everyone in a state of pure joy. Then the viking clap was used to reveal that not only are we granting Jakob’s wish to meet John Cena, but we are making 10 other fighters dreams come true! That is truly incredible. This week, as always, really was something special. So many smiles and laughs were exchanged through students, Jakob, and his family, and irreplaceable memories were made which after all, that’s what Wish Week is all about. Jakob has been so unbelievably strong in fighting his disorder, and throughout the week, whether people donated their time or money, the Chap Fam proved to be there to #Fight4Jakob.
Story by Terra Koontz