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Making wishes come true

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Flower Mound artist and North Texas Wish Kid Janvi Shahi is only 12 years old, but she has already survived leukemia and raised more than $45,000 by selling her original artwork in exchange for donations benefiting the Make-A-Wish Foundation of North Texas.

The McKamy Middle School seventh grader decided to give back to the community after she herself was granted a wish to go to Disney World with her family at the age of four. Now, she sells her paintings and raises money for granting wishes for other kids with a life-threatening illness?. Janvi’s art work will be on exhibit at the Lewisville Library this month.

The only child of Sandeep and Manu Shahi of Flower Mound, Janvi was diagnosed with leukemia when she was two years old and spent a lot of time in the hospital between the ages of two and six.

Her mother said that she first started painting in the hospital as a recreational diversion. In the ensuing years, she has taken art lessons and honed her gift. Janvi says her favorite artists are Picasso, Da Vinci, and her art teacher Anita Robbins. “She isn’t very famous, but she’s really cool,” Janvi said.

Today Janvi’s health is excellent, and her mother said she is very proud of what her daughter does. “The fact that she grants wishes to make other children smile makes me smile,” said Manu. “As a mother, that’s the best gift I could have.”

Janvi, too, says she feels good about what she is doing. “It makes me happy because I know how special it makes you feel. I know how important it is to feel special when you feel yucky. It washes the bad feelings out of your head,” she stated, adding that she has very good memories of her Make-A-Wish trip to Disney World. “I remember being pulled on stage for the Lion king show and getting to shake the maracas. I remember being scared of the beast and I also got to see the genie from Aladdin. He made Aladdin and Jasmine appear out of nowhere and I got to go on a carpet ride with them,” she recalls.

Resounding Harmony is putting on an event this month benefiting the Make-A-Wish Foundation of North Texas. Resounding Harmony is a volunteer choir who has two performances a year with proceeds going to their charity of choice.

During intermission, they will auction off some Wish Kid paintings and have a raffle for one as well.

The event will be on Tuesday, November 22nd at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center in Dallas. See their website for more details: www.resoundingharmony.org.

Each spring the North Texas Make-A-Wish Foundation has their own fundraising night, and Janvi’s art will be on the auction block there as well. Manu said the bidding wars can get fierce.

If you are interested in getting “a Janvi” in exchange for a donation to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, you can contact Manu Shahi at 972-333-4663.

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