Paying It Forward, one Apple Cookie at a time.

Did you ever hear a story that touched you, even if it was about someone you had never met? And you wanted to do something to support them, in some small way, because their story tugged at your heart strings and wouldn’t let go? Well I have. And that story is about a boy named Bo.

Apple Cookie by Melissa JoyBo Johnson was a young man who was diagnosed with a rare form of Leukemia at age 12, and he courageously battled the disease for a year before it took his life. What a year it became.

Apple Cookies By Melissa Joy CookiesBo, faced with such adversity, wanted to spread his belief of the importance of being kind to one another, helping each other, and to “enjoy life to its fullest”. His small town rallied with him and his family and soon his message would reach people not just in Door County, WI, but people from all over the country. I followed his story through his Facebook page and local news articles, and heard about how he asked us all to “love each other, help each other, have your neighbor’s back. If you see someone in need, even a stranger, reach out and help. This world can be a better place if we care and help each other,”. He moved many to action, encouraging them to Pay It Forward. It was inspiring to witness from such a young man.

GO BO cookies by Melissa JoyShortly before Bo made his transition, a few wonderful women put together a gigantic bake sale asking cookie peeps via Facebook if they would like to donate cookies to raise money for the GO BO Foundation, set up in his name. There was not a doubt in my mind that I wanted to participate, to honor his spirit and send support to his family, even if it was with a simple batch of cookies.

Apple Cookies by Melissa JoyThe response by Cookiers near and far was fantastic and I am happy to say that this year’s GO BO Bake Sale, occurring over two weekends in Door Co. next month, is even bigger than the last! There will be sweets arriving from EVERY STATE in the US as well as 8 countries. Looks like one boy’s wish to help others was fully embraced by the cookie community.

Just imagine what his message can do beyond that.

Cookies for Bo!

For more information about the GO BO! Foundation, visit his Facebook page:, or find out how you can donate at:

Go Bo Bake Sale

8 thoughts on “Paying It Forward, one Apple Cookie at a time.

  1. Ohhh, Melissa, such a lovely post! Thank you so much for not only sharing your artistry by donating cookies, but for spreading the word about Bo’s message and the mission of the Go Bo! Foundation. You are the best.

    Jill FCS

  2. Ohhh, Melissa, thank you so much for not only sharing your artistry by donating cookies, but also for spreading Bo’s message and the mission of the Go Bo! Foundation. You are the best.

    Jill FCS

  3. Melissa, I am Bo’s Mother…Annika. I cannot tell you how touched I am by your story above! It has almost been 1 year now. There is not 1 second in the day that Bo is not on my mind…with all the people out there for support, especially the people like you, who take the time to tell me how their lives were touched by my son, is the most amazing gift I could recieve. I don’t know how else to express my gratitude, and my huge “THANK YOUS” to you & all the other unbelievable bakers out there who have helped us keep my son’s dream of helping find a cure for cancer & less harsh treatments for children. It is simply such an Honor to read your post, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for helping us keep the “BOMENTUM” GOING!!! YOLO TO YOU MELISSA!!!
    Big hugs to you. Annika Johnson

    • Well, now I’m on this end of the computer with tears in my eyes after reading your lovely message, Annika. Sharing your story is the least I can do after hearing about Bo and what he wished for. Wise beyond his years! I have two boys, ages 8 and 11, and we have visited Door Co. so often that it feels like we are coming home when we stay there. I guess that’s why your story touched me so. You have been dealt with a situation no parent ever wants to face, and your courage to keep going is something to be commended. I am honored for you to have commented here, and know that I’ll be thinking of you and Bo, and supporting you from across the state. Hopefully we will be able to meet someday at Al Johnson’s, where we ALWAYS have to stop for pancakes. 🙂 xo-Melissa

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