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Post by Admin on Mon Oct 08, 2007 7:21 am

First there was VH-1’s Save The Music Foundation… It all began with a chance audition—he wasn’t even the one auditioning. But at the age of 6 when AJ aka Johnny stepped onto a theatre stage, he never stepped off. He went from acting to singing to dancing. Nothing was beyond his reach. Early on it was very apparent that he was a natural born entertainer. And entertain he did. Every chance he got. Back in the day when AJ (and Johnny) attended public school, music classes were a standard part of the curriculum. Not having music in school would have been unheard of. However, as we know nothing stays the same. As time passed, things changed. Suddenly, schools didn’t have the necessary funds needed to support music programs. Many classes were cut; teachers were let go; the kids suffered. VH-1 decided to take matters into their own hands. With the development of the Save The Music Foundation, VH-1 and countless celebrities set about raising the money needed to put music back into the schools. AJ aka Johnny is proud to be amongst those celebrities donating their time, efforts and energy. He knows the value of having music programs in our public schools. He was once part of those programs. He wants the next generation to have the same opportunity.
And then came the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation…
You know the sound of his voice lazily sliding over sexual innuendoes. You know the clank of his handcuffs as they rotate roughly around his wrists. You know the intensity of his black eyes as they peek out from under his fedora and bore deep into your soul. You know all of these things because they are uniquely Johnny (and because let’s face it, no one has ever made you tremble like that before!). But did you know that for all his individuality, Johnny has something in common with millions of Americans: he too has family members who suffer from diabetes.

Now it is a little known fact that Johnny No Name has no family at all, let alone relatives who have been afflicted with diabetes. However, it is a very well known fact that AJ McLean has a tight knit family and that more than one of these loved ones suffer from diabetes. It is a fact that is riddled with irony. However, given all of the other spectacular similarities these two multi-talented guys share, it is a cruel irony indeed.

This is Their Story…

Growing up in a single parent household, one becomes dependent upon a good support system. Grandparents, aunts, uncles and friends all pitch in to help a single parent get through the day. From the time he was a wee bitty lad, Johnny and his Mum lived with Grandma and Grandpa in Nashville, Tennessee. It was Grandpa who would get Johnny to and from his various extra-curricular activities. When Grandpa became afflicted with diabetes in his late fifties, little was known about the disease. The family took all of the necessary measures. Everything was done that would enable him to get through the rigors of daily life while at the same time taking care not to disrupt his daily routine. But there was always the element of the “unknown” lurking in the back of the family’s mind.

In another state not so far away, a very similar story was playing out…

AJ and his mom Denise had moved in with her parents when he was just 3 years old. While Denise worked at supporting her young son, her parents took on the responsibility of shuttling him between school, dance classes and voice lessons. Grandma and Grandpa made up a huge part of AJ’s everyday life. When Grandpa was diagnosed with diabetes, a daily medication regime was put into place and life went on.

Back in Nashville, Johnny had fallen in with the wrong crowd. As a result, there was a case of mistaken identity. This landed Johnny in prison. In his absence, his Mum and his Grandparents began suffering from “empty nest syndrome”. In an attempt to quell these feelings, they got a dog. This pet became the center of their lives. On a routine trip to the vet it was discovered that the dog had been stricken with diabetes. If little was known about humans with diabetes, even less was known about animals with diabetes. The family once again took the necessary measures, the dog continued to bring them much joy and life went on.

In sunny Florida, AJ had traveled down a very different path. While he too had fallen in with a crowd, it was a crowd bound for bigger and better things. They were on their way to super-stardom. While his day job took him to far and away places, AJ saw to it that his absence didn’t leave a void. He bought his Mom and Grandparents a puppy. They promptly named him Tobi (short for Tobie One Kenobi) and from day one he made them all so happy. It wasn’t until many years later, during Tobi’s annual check-up that they discovered he was suffering from diabetes. It didn’t matter that Tobi was an animal. He was family. Whatever it took to make him as comfortable as possible was done and life went on.

After serving his time, Johnny was released and back on the streets of Nashville. He found time to check in with his family whenever he could. It was on one such occasion that he found out some disturbing news. His uncle had just been diagnosed with diabetes. This was one of the very few people in his life who had been a constant. Johnny did not take the news very well.

Meanwhile, back in Florida AJ had just returned from touring the world when he received some unsettling news. His Uncle Bill, the one who had been like a father to him since he was an infant; the one who he knew he could always turn to, had gotten word from the doctor that he had diabetes.

Two different states. Two different families. One disease. It was an unlikely pairing---the bad boy from the streets teaming up with a reigning pop star. No matter. Their families needed them. A cure needed to be found…

And so Their Union was born. The name: The JNN Foundation.
Board of Directors:
Vice President:
Executive Director:
Directors: William Fernandez
AJ McLean
Brad Shaffer
Kelly Cline
D. Carriera, Detective M. Viera, Denise McLean



Number of posts : 526
Age : 36
Location : Belgium
Registration date : 2007-09-17

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