What started out in jest when Newark Middle School sixth grader Madison Shade put lots of blank Post-it Notes inside her home last September, has turned into something that has touched a LOT of people’s lives including the popular television show host Dr. Oz.
On July 12th at 9 a.m on CBS, Shade and her stepdad Christopher DeRenzo will be featured in a brief video appearance on the The Dr. Oz Show. Pre-taped earlier this month, they will explain why together they have put up more than 6,000 colorful, 3x3-inch Post-it Notes on the upstairs hallway and part of the stairway of their Newark home with the names of people from all over the globe on them whose lives have been touched by cancer.
The individuals are either currently battling with, survived, or lost their battle with the disease.
Here’s the backstory:
After Shade playfully peppered her upstairs hallway with Post-it Notes, she, DeRenzo and her mom, Jenna Booth thought it might be a nice idea to put them to a meaningful use by putting the names of some family members and others close to them who’ve been affected by cancer.
Because Shade and DeRenzo enjoy making and uploading Tik-Tok videos, they decided to create one about their desire to bring recognition to and remember those whose lives have been personally impacted by the disease.
Little did they know their story would gain such traction on the social media platform to the point that they currently have 106,000 followers on Tik-Tok, not to mention a couple hundred on Instagram.
Consequently, they are constantly receiving messages from people literally all over the world who want their names or the names of loved one and sometimes messages added to their walls. That includes some of Shade’s Newark Middle School friends and teachers and others in Newark who want a Post-it Note remembrance.
Gary Mandell, who has Shade in his PRIDE homeroom and in his ELA and Social Studies classes is amazed at what his student and stepdad have accomplished. He has even given them packages of Post-it Notes to help the cause.
Once one of the Dr. Oz show producers saw one of Shade and DeRenzo’s videos, she messaged them through Instagram asking if they would be interested in sharing their story on the daily television program that focuses on medical and health issues.
After determining the request was legitimate, DeRenzo and Shade said “yes”, and on April 9th they were videotaped in a five-minute question and answer session on Zoom with Dr. Mehmet Oz.
The popular television doctor kindly talked with both of them before the actual interview was taped.
Both DeRenzo, who lost his job in February after the company he worked for downsized in the wake of COVID-19 implications, and Shade never expected to receive such attention for their unusual endeavor that literally they spend hours on each week, often with help from Booth, answering messages, posting new names and sending photos of Post-it Notes to individuals who ask for them.
Both say, however, it is well worth the effort and have no plans to stop anytime soon.
“People whose lives have been touched by cancer like the fact that someone is remembering them in this way,’’ DeRenzo said.
“I love doing this and it makes me happy,’’ Shade said. “It’s nice to give back and do something positive for so many people.”