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Circus Mojo Providing Opportunity of a Lifetime for Local Teen

It seems like before our children are even born we are looking for activities to sign them up for. Will I have a soccer player or basketball player? Will they be on the chess team or Odyssey team? Should I sign them up for gymnastics or football? What about science or the drama club?  We are willing to shovel out thousands of dollars throughout the year for these activities; some that our kids don’t even enjoy, but they know they are expected to participate.

My 14-year-old Joey has tried it all – soccer, basketball, baseball, chorus, chess team, Taekwondo, gymnastics - none of it was his “thing.” Eventually, we did find his “thing” – CIRCUS.

Joey and I met the Circus Mojo team when he was 10 while sitting in the waiting room at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. Joey was fighting Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis, a rare cancer that attacked his hip bone. Paul Miller, Circus Mojo owner, and his team taught Joey how to balance a feather, spin a plate and have fun while waiting for the doctor. He would beg me to schedule his appointments for when Mojo would be at the hospital. So I did.

We actually won a week of summer camp at Circus Mojo in Ludlow from a local blogger. Joey, 11 at the time, was still in physical therapy, dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder from his disease and having a lot of pain. He started camp that week in a wheelchair and using the crutches some. He was so determined to participate in all of the activities – German Wheel, silks, stilts, juggling, wheel walking, tight rope, acrobats, unicycle – he pushed himself. By the end of the week, Paul was balancing the wheelchair on his chin and Joey the crutches on his finger.

Joey has been a part of Circus Mojo ever since. He trains with them regularly and performs in the community. Circus is Joey’s “thing.” It challenges him mentally, gives him a physical outlet and allows him to be part of a team. The performers must work well together to ensure each other’s safety. It has helped him tremendously with his physical therapy and PTSD.

Circus Mojo has even helped Joey set goals. He is running off with the circus to Germany this summer. Mojo is providing the opportunity of a lifetime by taking Joey to train with Circus Pimparello. Joey is working any odd job he can find - performing at birthday parties, babysitting, yardwork, dog walking - so that he can raise money for his trip. He is also very focused on school since there are expectations in order for him to go to Germany. In addition to getting to travel the world, he has met performers from all over the world. Mojo currently has volunteers/staff from Mexico, Cuba and Germany.

Circus Mojo offers classes on Saturdays for ages 7 and up. Joey loves it so much that I wish I would have discovered Mojo when he was younger. It would have saved us a lot of time (and money) in the Taekwondo studio and on the soccer field doing something he didn’t enjoy. Instead of signing your child up for yet another activity they aren’t going to enjoy, consider Circus Mojo. I promise they will have fun, learn to work as a team and acquire a lot of really cool skills.

Visit www.circusmojo.com or call 859-360-7757 for more information.

Written by Gina Stegner, mother of Joey, a Circus Mojo performer/Photos provided

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