Johnny embodies the true meaning of the Foundation’s Courageous Spirit Award. With a passion and drive to help others feel good about themselves, he leads by example with his amazing attitude and love of life. Johnny inspires everyone to embrace who they are and to enjoy each day THRIVING not just surviving.
Johnny, who is a HUGE Batman fan, is a young man from Tennessee working towards his dream of becoming an actor. He enjoys working out with his girlfriend and hanging out with his siblings. Johnny loves talking to people and inspiring others to feel good about themselves, however Johnny has not always felt this way.At the age of 4, he and a younger sister were playing in a shed filled with hay, which went up in flames. His older sister Leah bravely pulled him out of the fire and got help. Johnny was airlifted & placed into an induced coma for 6 months. This was followed by close to 100 surgeries and countless hours of physical therapy. Burned over 95% of his body and covered by scars, the deepest scars were to his heart & soul from cruel and thoughtless people.
Several years ago, Johnny was empowered when he made the decision not to let stranger’s words hurt him anymore. He began listening to singer Colton Dixon, whose music motivated him to keep going. Through the lyrics of one song “scars remind us who we are”, Johnny realized that being burned did not mean the end, it was just a new beginning.
It was Johnny’s lifelong dream to meet Colton Dixon & on September 28, 2017, the Courageous Faces Foundation was able to make that dream come true!
It all started at the Courageous Faces Foundation Denver SuperHeroes Gala, where after reaching out to Colton Dixon, the foundation received a video that was played as a surprise to Johnny, our Courageous Spirit Award Winner. It was a personal invitation from Colton Dixon, dressed as Batman, to join him as his guest at an upcoming concert. The foundation then provided and made the travel arrangements for Johnny to fly to Knoxville, Tennessee to both attend Colton’s Positive Air Tour performance at the Knoxville Coliseum and to meet the amazing singer whose music had changed his life.
The trip was a whirlwind 48 hours of excitement that Johnny was able to share with his sister Leah and girlfriend Josie. The day of the big event started with Johnny, Leah and Courageous Faces Foundation Senior Program Manager Dee Nichols being interviewed by Mark Packer at Channel 8 NEWS WVLT TV. The group was then whisked off to the coliseum to attend a VIP Question & Answer session followed by the long awaited personal meet & greet for Johnny with Colton. As Johnny and Colton met, the time was filled with incredible smiles, nonstop hugs, sharing of stories and exchanging of gifts. Johnny gave Colton a foundation t-shirt and hat as well as an extraordinary drawing of Colton and his wife that Johnny had stayed up all night to draw. Colton presented Johnny with a t-shirt and CD and then in an amazing surprise, asked his manager to set up a 2nd time for the 2 to get together after the concert where he could play his song Scars. The concert itself rocked the house & had everyone on their feet for 4 hours dancing & singing to Colton Dixon, Tauren Wells, Gawvi, Britt Nicole and Skillet.
The second meet and greet was as amazing as the first and Johnny got to meet and hang out with all of Colton’s band members. The 2 live streamed on Facebook together & Colton personally played his song “Scars” just for Johnny, the song that had turned his life around.
It was a night that truly fulfilled and exceeded a lifelong dream for Johnny and a privilege for everyone that got to experience it with him. Thank you for supporting the Courageous Faces Foundation!
Together we can make a difference. One person . . . One Family . . . at a time!
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