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Local Heros

A local mother-daughter duo don their creative caps to bring dreams to life.

Jan Rogers and her daughter Lauren share a genuine compassion for children who are battling serious illnesses. Through Dreammakers for Life, this mother-daughter team is determined to nurture every child’s dream.

The idea for Dreammakers came after a visit to Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital in 1999. Jan and Lauren were visiting a terminally ill child and learned that the child’s roommate had recently been admitted.

“We went over to visit with him and he told us what he wanted to be when he grew up,” says Jan, co-founder of Dreammakers for Life. “My daughter on the way home said, ‘Mom, these children have no hope. They have no dreams.’ I said, ‘Well Lauren, we’ll be dream makers.’ And that’s how Dreammakers for Life got started.”

Dreammakers for Life was created as a non-profit outreach that currently spans nine children’s hospitals from Miami to West Palm Beach and includes hospitals in Ft. Myers, Orlando and Birmingham.

“Our mission statement is to inspire serious and terminally ill children to envision a future abundant with hope. And we do that through “Dream Packs” that we provide to children’s hospitals,” says Jan. 

A “Dream Pack” is a tool the organization provides to children’s hospitals that consists of a clear PVC backpack for sterile purposes, a dry erase board coloring book, a journal and special markers. The coloring book is broken down into three basic chapters, “Where I want to go,” “What I want to do,” and “What I want to be when I grow up.”

“These illustrations are everyday things that these children in the hospital 24/7 don’t get to do,” says Jan. “So they can draw and erase 24/7 and answer the questions – this is an opportunity where they can look to the future with a tremendous amount of hope.” 

On average, every children’s hospital admits 10 seriously ill children each month. These Dream Packs are provided to serious and terminally ill children throughout the U.S. and overseas to every major children’s hospital. 

“Our goal is, for the children who survive their trauma, that they will be ready to pursue their dreams. For the children who do not, they leave a legacy of joy and wanting to pursue their dreams for their families,” says Jan.

Dreammakers for Life provide these Dream Packs to the hospitals at no cost to the hospital or patients.

“We want to do this as an act of hope and not an act of burden. We are like a tsunami of hope and joy that comes into a very dark place, so it’s a privilege to be able to provide these to the hospitals. It’s worth all the effort that it takes to do that. That’s my passion,” says Jan. 

That passion was recently ignited again when Jan attended a Child Life conference in New Orleans. “We were challenged to expand and find out what the need is in the U.S. and overseas and to raise the funds to do that,” says Jan. “We had an overwhelming response – 65 hospitals showed interest that attended the conference.”

With plans to expand their reach, Dreammakers for Life has done more than just instill hope in these children for a future – it has started a movement that will leave a lasting legacy.

 “We are going to go throughout the U.S. and overseas, but just think, we started here in Coconut Creek,” says Jan. 

 

For more information about Dreammakers for Life, visit dreamforlife.org or call 954.821.6857. To see the full interview, visit CreekTV’s YouTube channel.

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