Mr. Harry’s creates Maddie Shura tributes

Myers teacher and YouTube star uses channel to assist the Shura family

Kindergarten+teacher+Mr.+Pete+Harry+is+using+his+YouTube+channel+to+raise+awareness+and+funds+for+Maddie+Shura+in+her+fight+with+cancer.

YouTube photo

Kindergarten teacher Mr. Pete Harry is using his YouTube channel to raise awareness and funds for Maddie Shura in her fight with cancer.

Ethan McGee, Staff Writer

In Bellwood-Antis community and beyond, many people are aware of Myers second grader Maddie Shura and her fight with cancer.

Many individuals and groups have rallied to her cause over the last year, including Mr. Pete Harry, who is using his YouTube channelto raise money and awareness.

Mr. Harry, a kindergarten teacher at Myers, runs a YouTube channel called Harry Kindergarten Music, creating educational music videos to share with teachers for their class nationwide. His page has almost 120,000 followers and his videos often reach more than a million views.

Recently, Mr. Harry released a few songs about Maddie and her battle with cancer.

One video, called “Honor and Support Maddie Shura,” is a song raising support for Maddie, cheering for her, and promising to stand by her side.

Harry Kindergarten Music

In the song, he sets the hip-hop beats aside and is personal with his audience. The video gives background about Maddie’s situation and how quickly it arose. He then goes into his personal feelings about Maddie as he’s seen her every day for the past couple years.

”I’ve been affected greatly by Maddie’s story,” said Mr. Harry. “I’ve been trying to teach my Kindergarten class and my own children at home the importance of empathy that nobody walks alone and in Maddie’s case, nobody fights alone.  If we can put ourselves “in the shoes” of others, rejoicing with them when things are going well, and trying to feel their pain when things aren’t going so well, we become a genuine community and not just individuals living our separate lives.”

There is also a song called “Cheer for Maddie.”

I’ve been trying to teach my Kindergarten class and my own children at home the importance of empathy that nobody walks alone and in Maddie’s case, nobody fights alone.”

— Mr. Harry

“The reason of I created the “Cheer for Maddie” song/video was to bring attention, prayers, and donations to Maddie’s situation.  My YouTube channel has a gigantic audience (126 million views and 120,000 subscribers) and my hope was that I could utilize the influence I have over teachers nationwide to share Maddie’s story and ultimately raise more funds,” said Harry.

Mr. Harry is a YouTube mastermind, registering over 61 million views in 8 years, with 11 million of those millions on one single video. He felt his platform on the internet world is a great way to share the story of Maddie.

Harry Kindergarten Music/YouTube

“The reason of I created the “Cheer for Maddie” song/video was to bring attention, prayers, and donations to Maddie’s situation.  My YouTube channel has a gigantic audience, and my hope was that I could utilize the influence I have over teachers nationwide to share Maddie’s story and ultimately raise more funds,” said Mr. Harry.

A huge amount of financial support has been raised for Maddie and the Shura family. Mr. Harry was able to help by getting the word out about Maddie, and promoting Daniel Bryson’s children books.

“The videos I created point people directly to local author Daniel Bryson’s Amazon page online, where people can purchase his children’s books, ‘The Adventures of Pistachio Mustachio,’ and ‘Cashew Manchu,'” said Mr. Harry.  “I was blown away when I found out in the summer that 100% of Bryson’s proceeds go directly to the Shura family, and that the books were written specifically to help Maddie.”

Daniel Bryson’s book sales have raised over $7,000 for Maddie, and they’ve seen a definite increase in sales since the “Cheer for Maddie” video went viral. Mr. Harry hopes that with huge numbers of traffic across his YouTube page will bring more donations to Maddie and her family.

Mr. Bryson started down this path with his own children as a way show that no matter their differences, he will always love them. Bryson then received a phone call about Maddie and her story, which ignited his ambition to get the stories illustrated and published.

“I recieved a phone call from my sister-in-law about Maddie. I previously worked at an Altoona hospital at which Maddies mom also worked at, though we never crossed paths. After hearing Maddie’s story, i wanted to get this done right away,” said Daniel.

Creating these books was the best way that he could Daniel Bryson could give to Maddie.

“Like many others, I don’t have a platform to use my voice to gain support and donations. I knew the books would be a way to help contribute to the Shura family,” said Byson.

Daniel took it into his own hands to get the book written and illustrated. He then self published it so that he didn’t have to waste any time with the lengthy process of submitting to a publisher.

It’s very clear how the community come together for Maddie Shura. Stories like Mr. Harry’s demonstrate that at Bellwood-Antis, no one fights alone.