Our campaign was founded by Jennifer Shirley on July 28, 2010. Just 19 at the time, she had only been a fan of Corey's for about two years. Nonetheless, when he passed away in March of 2010, and was slighted by both Oscar and Screen Actors Guild Award memoriams, she had the determination and perserverance to set out on a journey much bigger than herself, for a man she never met, but believed in so much. Staring at the tremendous feat, she knew it would be no easy task. On Twitter she found fans like herself, ready to fight to get Corey Haim every last bit of recognition he had long deserved. Together, we are known as the Haim Army.
Growing up, she always had an honest voice, and a strong will to make change. Anyone that knows her would call her a fighter. For that's all she's ever known.
Born in 1991, almost twenty years Corey's junior, Jennifer is no stranger to struggle. She acquired brain damage at birth, due to the ambiblical cord strangling her at the neck. Shortly after, she was diagnosed with mild to moderate cerebral palsy, a condition that she will have for the rest of her life.
Currently at 22, she's had both legs broken four different times, in surgery, both hips replaced and multiple hamstring and tendent lengthing procedures. The doctors told her parents that she'd never walk, but she's proudly up and about today, and takes every day in stride.
She is the oldest of three children, and always described her family as close-knit. But when she was eleven, her picture-perfect world had ended, as cracks surfaced, and her parents separated. But life had thrown her one more major curve ball, and by the time she was fifteen her father was out of the picture for good. And all of this coming during very formative years, it took a toll on her emotionally.
She graduated high school in 2009, and went on to complete just one semester in college, in which she was hoping to major in Psychology. The stress was too much to bare at the time, and she returned back home to get herself back on track. For a period of six months, she seeked help of a Psychologist, "classic case of 'shoe on the other foot'...", she jokes.
The following is what Jennifer had to say when she was asked why she started the petition:
"I created the "Give Corey a Star" petition in July of 2010. I always knew who Corey Haim was, quickly dubbing him my "80's crush". But it was in September of 2008 that I had been following his story more closely, after seeing him on The Two Coreys.
My heart just went out to him; episode after episode I watched as he struggled to get back on track, with both his career and his personal life. And it soon broke my heart, seeing some closest to him, constantly cutting him off at the knees, when all he wanted was to stand. And coming from that place myself, from that moment on, I vowed that I would not stop until people knew who the REAL Corey Haim was. I wanted people to know the true, genuine, kind of person he was, and know him for that, not the mistakes that seemed to brand him.
That September (of '08) is when I first launched a fan site for him via MySpace, and I've considered myself his "advocate" ever since.
So when he died in March of 2010, I knew it was even more crucial that I carry out what I started. I immediately began writing a book in Corey's memory, and almost five months later, this idea for a petition came about. I saw this video on YouTube that inspired me actually, and from there, it all seemed to make sense. I was already pushing to prove so much (in my life), why not go for this too? By then, MySpace had long died out, so I took to my Twitter to launch this campaign. I launched the petition that summer, but it wasn't until March 2012 that it began really taking off. Corey Haim was a shining light, and it's time that he finally gets the credit he should have gotten all along."
Right: Jennifer's PSA Commercial explaining the campaign. Shot in June of 2012, at the request of Fred Terling, ring leader of Barnabus Bailey's Greatest Show Unearthed, (below), we've seen a drasic spike in numbers since then. Click here to see BB's PSA tribute!