In October of 2012, Amy Wagner, then just 54, found out she had cancer. And worse, the doctors said that it was stage 3C metastatic ovarian cancer. Her outlook, sadly, was terminal. But in the face of this crushing news, Amy remained upbeat, an inspiration to her family and all of those around her.
When her 56th birthday rolled around this year, her daughter, Lauren Keppler, wanted to make sure that her mom knew exactly how much everyone in her life loved, admired and treasured her.
“The impact she has had on the people in her life is tremendous and I wanted to be able to show her that in a cumulative, grander way. I am not sure she will really understand how much that she has given to us,” Lauren recently said to NBC’s Today Show.
So Lauren had an idea.
Her idea was to basically to get the whole extended family, scattered in five different states and as far away as Utah, to visit Amy at her Illinois home. But Lauren’s idea was much more than that — so much more.
What if the mass visit was a surprise. And not just a surprise — an event. Her idea, stage a flash mob of family in Amy’s back yard — a dancing flash mob.
Lauren began making phone calls. She reached out first to her stepfather, Amy’s husband Scott Hindsley. She wasn’t sure he’d bite — but Hindsley was in. Next she tried her stepbrother Grant in Utah, a set of in-laws in Indiana. Everyone wanted to be part of the event.
Soon Lauren had 50 people committed to the flash mob.
Lauren and a friend worked out a dance routine to the Emotions’ song “Best of My Love.” Lauren’s husband put it on video and it went out to everyone in the family, so they all could learn the routine. The whole event came together beautifully on May 10, the day before Amy’s birthday.
But they never could have imagined the impact the flash mob birthday surprise would have on Amy.
“I thought when my stepson Grant had come out, that that was it, that he came home for the birthday weekend,” Amy said. “That 50 people would do that for me, I am really humbled.”
Watch the whole flash mob video, and keep an eye on Amy’s reactions. We promise this one will be a three-hanky affair. In good way.