Category Archives: Just Like You Films News

Your 2015 JLY Films’ Story


As we welcome in a shiny new 2016, we wanted to take a moment to reflect on you.

What did your support mean to JLY Films in 2015?

yes is a world
& in this world of yes live
(skillfully curled)
all worlds

― E.E. Cummings

In 2015, you said yes to JLY films and in doing so uncurled a more caring and compassionate world.

Look what you made happen in 2015!

Because you said yes to JLY Films, this year the Television Academy of Arts and Sciences awarded us not one but two MidAmerica Regional Emmy Awards gaining us respect and recognition in our field and opening doors to new productions and modes of distribution.  Your support made this happen.

Over 38 million people in Poland will have the opportunity to learn about, better understand and acquire the skills to accept their family, friends and community members living with autism.   We are celebrating the new year by launching Just Like You – Autyzm – Polish Translation.  Your support made this happen.

We produced an anti-bullying pledge video that prompted thousands of kids to make a personal pledge to end bullying.  We re so proud of YAB members and Shawnee Mission East Students, Julie Bond, Grace Chisholm, Emily Frigon, Holly Frigon, Kyle O’Neill and Collin Wendel for leading an auditorium of students and parents in taking the pledge.  And, we were amazed at the efforts of YAB member, Emerson DeBasio, for leading a campaign in Blue Valley North High School’s media department to make their own JLY Anti-bullying videos.

AMC theatres honored us with its 2015 AMC Cares grant.  And, with those funds we produced an MidAmerica Emmy award winning commercial, You’re Invited,  that was viewed thousands of time on cable channels across the midwest sending the message that we are all invited when it comes to understanding and accepting each other.

We are taking our production of Just Like You – Facial Anomalies to new levels by bringing on incredible partnering producers with not only national but international reach.  Thanks to the efforts of co-producer, Emily Eckles, we created new partnerships with Lisa Lori, of the Three Little Bears Organization, Operation Smile, Hannah Storm Foundation.  We are days away from a final draft of the script and have already begun shooting.  Click here for a sneak peak.

We have created incredible new alliances with organizations in other countries the Polish Autism Society, Icelandic Down Syndrome Association and Russian Down Syndrome and Autism Organizations.

This year more than ever, we have had a presence in our local community especially in our local news.  Thanks to the efforts of Alexis Del Cid and Robb Yagmin.  Alexis Del Cid, our MC of the Power of Film event, managed to put together a package for KCTV 5 and also spearheaded the efforts that led to us being awarded the KCTV 5 Take 5 to Care Grant.

Finally, you said yes to uncurling the world of diabetes and the 2015 Power of Film.  And, thanks to Anya Holmes and Wendy Zoog, our event co-chairs, the most generous honorary chairs to date, Jane and Bob Druten, all time high corporate sponsorships, a dedicated committee of volunteers and the momentum built by René and John Meara, Holly Mihalovich and Liz Orr – – Just Like You – Diabetes is fully funded and ready to begin production in 2016!!  And, we are off to a great start with the announcement of outstanding chairs for our 2016 Power of Film Event – Emily Eckles and Julie Bichelmeyer.

We can’t wait to see what 2016 will bring.  Amazing things we’re sure.

All because you said yes to JLY Films.

We’re truly grateful for all of your support in 2015 and we look forward to continuing to use the power of films to create a more caring and compassionate world in 2016 and beyond.


Jen Greenstreet, CEO, Founder and Filmmaker

Just Like You Films’ Board of Directors and Officers, Emily Baldwin, Gary Brock, Kevin Cates, Kyle Claypool, Vanessa Connell, Alexis Del Cid, Amanda Durkin, Sally Ehrich, RN, Chris Greenstreet, Bill Hans, Anya Holmes, Marcia Jacelone, Laura Jones, Rene Meara, Laura Perin, Robb Yagmin


Just Like You Films Wins National Education Award

Jen Greenstreet of Just Like You Films accepting 2014 Education Award from National Down Syndrome Congress

Jen Greenstreet of Just Like You Films accepting 2014 Education Award from National Down Syndrome Congress

The National Down Syndrome Congress (NDSC) presented Just Like You Films of Kansas City, Mo. with the 2014 Education Award at the NDSC’s 42nd Annual Convention in Indianapolis on July 12, 2014. The non-profit film company received the Education Award for the film “Just Like You – Down Syndrome.” The NDSC is the oldest organization in the U.S. devoted to individuals with or impacted by Down syndrome.

Just Like You Films is a non-profit organization that creates films and materials aimed at educating the local and global community about difficult subjects, including childhood cancer, burns, Down syndrome, and autism. Just Like You Films collaborated with the Down Syndrome Guild of Kansas City to create and produce “Just Like You – Down Syndrome.”

According to the NDSC Board of Directors, “The ‘Just Like You – Down Syndrome’ film has proven to be a wonderful tool for promoting inclusion and acceptance in the community. The film is particularly helpful to education professionals who want to teach inclusive values within the school setting.”

“It is an incredible honor to receive this award, especially because it comes from an organization whose purpose is to create a national climate that embraces and values people with Down syndrome,” said Just Like You Films’ Founder & CEO Jen Greenstreet. “This mission of Just Like You Films is to help raise a new generation of kids who are more compassionate and connected. This award is a testament to the power of film and education.”

Founded in in 2009, Just Like You Films has produced five documentary-style films featuring children with burns, caner, Down syndrome and autism (release Fall 2014). The films are told from the perspective of the children and demonstrate how they are not defined or limited by their conditions.

Just Like You Films to Screen at Tribeca Film Center

Just Like You Films announces the JLY ❤’s NYC Film Festival occurring on Thursday, May 1, 2014 at the Tribeca Grill Loft in New York City. The event will host a number of different activities during the night, including cocktails and appetizers, a red carpet arrival of local Just Like You stars, and private screenings of 3 different Just Like You films.

The night will be filled with groundbreaking videos raising awareness for burn victims, cancer patients, children with Down Syndrome and attendees will get a sneak peek of Just Like You-Autism.

Interested parties can visit the event invitation for ticket information and timing details.

Sponsorship opportunities are available for any groups interested. Contact Jen Greenstreet (816) 260.3187 or for more information.

Founded in 2009, Just Like You Films is a nonprofit production company creating one of a kind films that facilitate the physical and emotional healing of unique children by creating an environment of acceptance worldwide.  Just Like You captures real life stories in documentary style videos that reveal in compelling ways how all of us are much more alike than we are different. 

What Are Burns?

what are burns

Burns are a common wound that occurs to the skin, and is the fourth leading cause of injury in the world (behind auto accidents, falls, and violence).

What Causes Burns?

Burns can be caused by four main external sources:

  • Thermal Burns – at temperatures of greater than 111 degrees Fahrenheit, proteins within skin begin to lose their shape and break down, leading to cell and tissue damage. Thermal burns often result from fire or hot liquids.
  • Chemical Burns – exposure to chemicals such as hydrofluoric acid or common household substances like bleach or toilet  bowl cleaner can burn the skin.
  • Electrical Burns – exposure to electricity via either electrical cords and outlets or lightning can cause burns. Most of the damage from this type of burn can actually be internal.
  • Radiation Burns – long exposure to ultraviolet light, or from ionizing radiation such as x-rays, can cause the skin to burn. The most common instance of this is sunburn

There is a scale with four “degrees” of burns depending on the severity of the exposure. First degree burns are superficial burns that generally heal well within a week. These burns do not penetrate the epidermis (visible layer of skin). Second degree burns can take up to three weeks to heal and often do not leave scarring. These burns extend into the dermis (internal layers of skin). Third degree burns can take months to heal, if they do at all and extend throughout the entire dermis. Fourth degree burns are the most severe, extending past the dermis into muscles/bones/fat. Fourth degree burns often require amputation and can be fatal.

Burn Treatments

Burn treatments have been documented as far back as the ancient Egyptians using breast milk. Cave paintings and papyrus from 3,500 years ago show that honey and resin were used as treatments. Other treatments used throughout history include tea leaves, pig fat, vinegar, wine, and myrrh.

We’ve come a long way since then. The roots of modern burn treatment can be traced back to London in 1843, with the opening of the first hospital to treat burns. During World War I, disinfecting standards were established using sodium hypochlorite solutions, greatly reducing mortality rates. By World War II, skin grafting became a widespread procedure.

Severe burns can be treated with a number of different approaches combining to produce life-changing results. With the severe burns, it’s vital to keep the burned flesh from becoming infected. Cooling the burn with room temperature water in the early stages of the burn can help stop its spread. Topical antibiotics will help keep out infection. Intravenous fluids will help to keep the burn victim hydrated. Surgery to the wounds is also performed on the most severe of burns to close wounds and promote healing.

Burn Facts

  • Chemical burns account for less than 10% of all burns, but 30% of all burn-related deaths
  • More than 25,000 substances are known to cause chemical burns
  • There were 340,000 fatal burns worldwide in 2010
  • Burns are a top-15 cause of death in children worldwide
  • 70% of burns in the U.S. happen to males
  • 60% of burn fatalities occur in Southeast Asia
  • 1/3 of burns in India are the result of loose clothing catching on fire

Burn Victim Video Stories

Learn more about burns by watching our film: “Just Like You – Burns as Told by Three Children”.

What is Down Syndrome?

what is down syndrome

Down syndrome is a genetic condition found in humans that results in intellectual and physical development delays.

The History of Down Syndrome

Though there is anecdotal evidence throughout history in art and in historical accounts of humans with Down Syndrome, the condition wasn’t formally described until the 1860s. A British physician by the name of John Langdon Down first characterized the condition in a clinical sense, hence the name Down syndrome.

What Causes Down Syndrome?

Down syndrome is caused by an error in cell division known as “nondisjunction”, which leads to having an extra copy of the 21st chromosome. Currently, there is no evidence pointing to what causes this to occur.

Treatments for Down Syndrome

There is no treatment for Down Syndrome as it is a lifelong condition. There are numerous ways to help those with Down syndrome lead long and fulfilling lives though. Speech therapy, along with physical and occupational therapy from a young age can help significantly improve physical and intellectual abilities. With therapy and structure, people with Down syndrome are often able to lead independent or semi-independent adult lives.

Down Syndrome Facts

  • Down syndrome occurs in 1 in 700 babies born in the US (6,000 babies born each year with it)
  • 250,000 Americans live with Down syndrome
  • The average life expectancy in 1910 of a person with Down syndrome was 9 years old
  • The average life expectancy now of a person born with Down syndrome is 55 years
  • Down syndrome is the least funded major genetic condition by the National Institutes of Health
  • Only 1% of cases of Down syndrome are considered to be hereditary (passed from parent to child through genes)
  • 50% of babies born with Down syndrome will also have heart defects present at birth
  • The risk for having a child with Down syndrome increases with the mother’s age (data via NDSS):
down syndrome rate by mothers age

Down Syndrome Video Stories

Learn more about Down Syndrome by watching “Just Like You – Down Syndrome”

Down Syndrome Information Sources

Just Like You Blog – Help us Create a Better World

cancer and down syndrome awareness charity

Our mission statement at Just Like You Films is simple:

We want to help raise the world’s first generation of children who are more compassionate and connected human beings because they understand that people are more alike than we are different.

Our series of films, translated into 3 languages and viewed by hundreds of thousands of people around the world, are just the start. Filmmaking will always be our core means of spreading awareness, but we’re adding blogging now to maximize the tools available to us to help spread our message. Through passage of knowledge and inspirational stories, we hope to end bullying and bring us all closer together.

While the current generation of kids and young adults can get a bad rap for a seeming lack of care for their fellow human, one needs to look no further than the news to see the best of next generation at work. The video below is everything we’re working towards. Watch as a high school football team helps their water boy (who has down syndrome) score a touchdown.

Just try to read some of the amazing quotes from the story without smiling ear-to-ear.

“It feels pretty good. I am a big senior now. I’m so happy. My parents are here today and we have a big night tonight,” said VanVooren, beaming from ear-to-ear. VanVooren has Down syndrome. Yet on this field, he’s always been one of the guys.

“He’s always positive. Walking down the sideline he’ll pat you on the back and say you’re doing a great job,” said senior fullback Chet Pereenboom.

His teammates said they wanted to repay him. So they and the whole town had an even bigger surprise waiting for VanVooren on the chilly October night.

Those are the types of stories that keep us going and fighting for our cause. We’re all humans and we all deserve to be treated well, regardless of any real or perceived differences in lifestyle, culture, or abilities.

Thank you for coming to our website and thank you for supporting our cause. With a little help, we can ensure that everybody lives in a compassionate and connected world.

Please do not hesitate to share your own stories with us, as we’re always happy to give them the spotlight they deserve. Help us create a better world, and be sure to stop by often as we share more insight, uplifting stories, and videos on living with diseases/disabilities and raising children with diseases/disabilities. It can be a rough world out there, so let’s work to make it better for everybody.

If you’re interested in learning more about Just Like You Films, head on over to our “films” page to learn more about Down Syndrome, Cancer, and Burn Victims. Next up, our Autism film premieres in December!