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TO GIVE, TO INSPIRE | Local Teen Creates Shoe to Honor Grandmother with Pancreatic Cancer

Updated: May 4, 2020




W3S SHOES FOR PANCREATIC CANCER IN NAPERVILLE So many of us have had a family member or a friend that has been touched by cancer. I know first-hand how devastating that news can be and how helpless you can feel. When 12-year-old Wes Selby’s grandmother, Lee Lee, was diagnosed this last summer with stage 4 Pancreatic Cancer, this Naperville boy wrapped his feelings around wanting to help and wanting to honor her. Combining his creative design talents with his love for sneakers, Wes spent his Christmas break designing a shoe he named the Moonflag12 to celebrate his grandmother. “She always told us she loved us ‘to the Moon and Back’,” says Wes. “So, I put a photo of man on the moon on the inside tongue and made the shoes red, white and blue like the American Flag.”



Wes’s idea was to sell the shoes and have all the proceeds go to Pancreatic Cancer Research in hopes of finding an early detection test. He diligently searched and found a place in Italy that would have master craftsmen custom make his shoes. He was told he needed to sell seven pairs for the shoes to go into production. “I truly didn’t think this would go anywhere,” says Kiersten, Wes’s mother. “When Wes got 4 sales on his own, he asked me to post them on my Facebook page, and he sold a total of 10 pairs, so the shoes went into production!”



Knowing the shoes can be expensive, Wes wanted to make items everyone could wear or use that would help the cause and be reasonably priced. He created his brand, W3S, a take on his name but with the number 3 instead of an E as a totem of good luck, and designed a line of streetwear including hats, shirts, stickers, cinch saks, etc. “It shows that kids can make a difference,” says Wes. “I like that even at my age (12), I can help not only Lee Lee, but so many other people who have been diagnosed with PanCan.” To shop the W3S brand or for the Moonflag 12 sneakers, visit w3s.shop or follow Wes on Facebook at www.facebook.com/W3Sofficial/ . Mindy’s May Giving Inspiration: During this pandemic crisis, search out those more at risk and help them with their needs and supplies, so they do not have to venture out. ABOUT THE WRITER Mindy Kyle is the owner of Be Inspired Studios and is passionate about helping people discover what brings them joy and to live a full, healthy and happy life. She has her Masters in Fine Arts degree in creative writing from DePaul University and lives in Naperville with her husband, three children and the cutest dog in the land.


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