Newark family to appear on ‘The Dr. Oz Show’

COURTESY OF BRENDA SCHOOL

What started out in jest when Newark Middle School sixth grader Madison Shade put lots of blank Post-it Notes inside her home last September has turned into something that touches a lot of people’s lives, including TV host Dr. Mehmet Oz.

Shade and her stepdad, Christopher DeRenzo, will appear on “The Dr. Oz Show” at 9 a.m. July 12 on CBS. They will explain why they put up more than 6,000 Post-its on the upstairs hallway and stairway in their home with the names of people around the world whose lives were touched by cancer.

Shade first peppered her upstairs hallway with the Post-its. She, DeRenzo and her mom, Jenna Booth, decided to put them to a meaningful use by putting the names of family members and others close to them who are affected by cancer.

The upstairs hallway covered with Post-it Notes.

Shade and DeRenzo created a TikTok about their project. Little did they know their story would gain traction on the social media platform. They have 106,000 followers on TikTok, as well as a couple hundred on Instagram. 

“People whose lives have been touched by cancer like the fact that someone is remembering them in this way,’’ DeRenzo said.

They receive messages from people who want their names or the names of a loved one on a Post-it. That includes some of Shade’s teachers and friends. Gary Mandell, who has Shade in his PRIDE homeroom, ELA and social studies classes, gave her packages of Post-it Notes to help the cause.

A show producer for “Dr. Oz” saw a video and messaged them through Instagram. After determining the request to appear on the show was legitimate, DeRenzo and Shade agreed and taped a five-minute Q&A session with Oz via Zoom. 

Madison Shade with her stepdad, Christopher DeRenzo.

DeRenzo and Shade spend hours on the project each week, often with help from Booth, answering messages, posting new names and sending photos of the Post-its to individuals who ask for them. They say it is worth the effort and have no plans to stop anytime soon. 

“I love doing this and it makes me happy,’’ Shade said. “It’s nice to give back and do something positive for so many people.”