This Christmas was a special one for Jhene Aiko and her family. The 3X Grammy-nominated songstress and her loved ones launched the WAYS Foundation. The foundation pays tribute and honor to her late brother Miyagi Hasani Ayo Chilombo, who passed away from cancer at a young age.
Aiko, her brother Jahi Chilombo and his girlfriend, her parents, and grandparents, made a visit to the home of Lily Olive, a five-year-old girl from Eagle Rock, California. Aiko and family gifted Olive and her family with a surprise donation of $15,000 to cover medical bills for cancer treatment in efforts to make their Christmas a little brighter.
The Olive family is known for volunteering and helping out their community. The news of Lily’s leukemia came as a shock to the loving family during the Thanksgiving break and she has undergone very intensive treatment since the diagnosis. The family continues to hold on to hope and has remained in good spirits. Lily’s grandfather even showed up to school dressed as Harry Potter, her brother started a GoFundMe page to raise money, and she was just named ‘Student of the Month’ at her school in October.
“This Christmas, I decided to gift my family with the ‘WAYS Foundation,’ something my family and I have had in the works since the passing of my brother. I decided to make a donation on my family’s behalf in which we plan to continue to help people and families affected by cancer.” – Jhene Aiko
WAYS is an acronym for “Why aren’t you smiling,” which is something her brother, Miyagi tweeted during his diagnosis and treatment. Miyagi aimed to find the humor and joy in life no matter how tough his situation was. Aiko and her family plan to continue on this Christmas tradition through the WAYS Foundation by donating to families in need as well as giving back in numerous ways throughout the year in efforts to help bring hope, comfort, compassion and financial assistance to those affected by cancer. This will be a great way to create ‘WAYS’ for people to smile through the pain.