The Willie Bee Foundation, a heartwarming not-for-profit organization, came to life in 2017 with a beautiful purpose: to offer support to families in our local community facing the daunting challenge of a child’s life-threatening illness. The inspiration behind this incredible foundation is the memory of a young hero, Will Beeman, who touched our lives with his remarkable spirit. Will valiantly battled AT/RT, an aggressive brain tumor, for nearly twenty months, showing immense courage. His journey involved numerous surgeries, six rounds of high dose chemotherapy with stem cell recovery, and thirty proton beam radiation treatments.
Will’s parents, Christine and Clay, were forever changed. Christine says, “I became aware of a world I didn’t know existed before, and I watched my child show resilience, strength, courage, and happiness in the face of a devastating diagnosis.” Clay adds that “As a father you want to provide for your family and keep your children safe. You are supposed to be the protector. To watch your child suffer and not be able to do anything to fix it forever changes you.”
The Beemans and their friends and family created the Willie Bee Foundation to help support local families going through what they experienced. They explain, “Our love for Will is a love without end, and we miss him more than words could ever say. Throughout Will’s illness we experienced the difference that caring, compassionate, and empathetic individuals can make in a family’s life when they are facing the unthinkable.”
The Foundation’s mission is to make a difference one family at a time. By helping families with monetary, medical, and social support services they may not otherwise have access to, “We can show them that WE care and that they are not alone.” Clay explains, “This foundation [allows] Will to not be forgotten and for something positive to come out of a heartbreaking and devastating situation.”
The Willie Bee Foundation lightens family burdens by providing tailored support such as creating iPad packages for kids during hospital stays, caregiver care packages, and end-of-life comfort items. For the family, they collaborate with Splatters Studio for family keepsakes, grant "mini-wishes," handle winter plowing and so much more – everything they can to ease family stress.
The Beemans and the Willie Bee Foundation say, “It is our sincere honor and privilege to provide what we do for families. Every single child, sibling, and family we meet holds a special place in our hearts. We consider everything we do to be gifts Will is giving us.”
Find events, show your support or bee in touch at thewilliebeefoundation.org