A poetry filled film that inspires

Jadon Fimon and his mother Michelle hold the book Jadon’s poem “Gone” was featured in, and a sticky-grabber toy similar to the one the poem features. The poem has been made into a short film. Jenae Hackensmith/jenae.hackensmith@austindailyherald.com

Jadon Fimon and his mother Michelle hold the book Jadon’s poem “Gone” was featured in, and a sticky-grabber toy similar to the one the poem features. The poem has been made into a short film. Jenae Hackensmith/jenae.hackensmith@austindailyherald.com

Jadon Fimon didn’t know that a poem he wrote when he was 6 years old about his mother’s cancer would be turned into a short film to inspire more people and children than he ever thought possible.

Jadon, now almost 11, wrote his poem, “Gone,” about his mother, Michelle Fimon’s breast cancer, and was the youngest poet in an award-winning national anthology, “The Cancer Poetry Project 2.”

“I wrote it so I could express my feelings and so others know how I felt so that they could get through it too,” Jadon said. “And I did it because my mom was doing it and I just wanted to help others too, and I was doing a poem and I wanted to share what I felt.”ah.03.06.a

“Gone” will premiere on Tuesday at Gilda’s Club Twin Cities. The two-minute film, directed by Matt Collings and edited by Ben Thompson from Ditch, includes live action, original music, and animation, all created by local film industry professionals. Jadon and Michelle plan to attend the event.

“Definitely, couldn’t miss it,” Jadon said.

“He’s going to be all decked out in his jacket and looking the part,” Michelle added.

Jadon Fimon holds a sticky-grabber toy similar to the one his poem “Gone” features, and the book his poem was published in. The poem, about his mother’s cancer, has been made into a short film. Jenae Hackensmith/jenae.hackensmith@austindailyherald.com

Jadon Fimon holds a sticky-grabber toy similar to the one his poem “Gone” features, and the book his poem was published in. The poem, about his mother’s cancer, has been made into a short film. Jenae Hackensmith/jenae.hackensmith@austindailyherald.com

The poem, which takes place during a trip Jadon and Michelle took to the local Perkins one day, talks about a toy he got from a quarter-venting machine.

“When we came to Perkins I got the sticky grabber, it cost one quarter, it came in a little plastic egg and it looked like a little lizard,” Jadon said. “It was a green chameleon. I was playing with it at the time, I was talking about it. ‘He’s so great, he can just like, fly in my imagination, I can stick him to anything I want.’ And that’s actually a line in the poem. And I started swinging him around like a helicopter blade.”

This reminded him of Mayo’s helicopter, Mayo One. He also at one point hit his mom with the toy, which made him think about the last line in his poem — “I sling my sticky grabber onto my mom. Maybe it will take her cancer away … ”

Michelle was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008, when Jadon was 3 years old. He saw his mother go through many trials, with surgeries, chemotherapy, memory issues and more. In February of 2015, Michelle was diagnosed again, this time with thyroid cancer. Throughout everything, he and his mother have grown very close.

Michelle explained that during her many trips to Mayo for treatments, she would read poetry out of “The Cancer Poetry Project,” which had poems from cancer patients, patients’ families and nurses and doctors. When the second book came around and there was a call for writers, Michelle and her son both offered up a poem and both made the book. Michelle said it was no surprise to her that her son made the book, as he’s had a way with words ever since he was young. He even won the Eberhart Poetry Contest one year.

“That was already there in him, and I’d recognized that he had a talent that way,” she said.

Jadon was excited to learn his poem was going to be made into a short film that might help others in his or similar situations.

“I’m very happy that it’s going to inspire, it’s probably going to help other kids if either they have cancer or their parents have cancer, and they are confused and don’t understand and stuff,” he said. “They might read my poem and be inspired to not give up, to keep fighting on.”

Michelle said after everything they’ve been through, seeing her son prosper in this area has given her hope that something good can come from it. She questioned whether he would be writing poetry at all if he hadn’t went through this experience with his mother.

“For me, watching him … it makes me feel that there is a purpose, and I know that sounds so cliche but that when we go through these difficult times, that there is something that can come out of it,” she said. “That we can give back to others. And I think sharing that experience is huge.”

“Gone” will be used to garner attention for a new in-the-works project: a children’s poetry website that will focus on coping with illness. The site will give children and teens a place to post their poetry and poetry videos and reach out to other kids dealing with the same issues — whether it’s them or their loved ones who are sick. Karin Miller, editor of “The Cancer Poetry Project,” also hopes the film will attract sponsorships from the healthcare industry for the web-based forum.

The film was shot at two locations — Frankie’s Pizza in New Hope and Lutheran Social Services and Children’s Home Society of Minnesota. Many people helped out with the film, including Ruggiero Models and Talent, animator Jeffrey Grutter of Gaardhouse, and composer Joey Verskotzi, along with producer Maya Khaira and executive producer Leah Rogers.

Jadon is nowhere near finished writing, though, as he is currently working on a book series about another universe, with villains and heroes and everything.

For more information about Ditch, visit ditchedit.com. To learn more about The Cancer Poetry Project, please visit cancerpoetryproject.com. For information about Gilda’s Club Twin Cities, a nonprofit that offers free social, emotional and psychological cancer support, please visit gildasclubtwincities.org.

 

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