The actor is helping to give hope to people tackling a personal crisis
Credit: Samuel Whitworth

Shemar Moore is helping give hope to those battling personal crises.

“When I first heard that my Bounce Back costar Nadja Alaya was diagnosed with stage 4 Hodgkin’s lymphoma, I was immediately in denial,” Moore, 46, tells PEOPLE in this week’s issue. “With Nadja, I’m like, ‘Okay, cancer exists, but not for a 15-year-old.’ But Nadja has this fire, an ‘It’s not my time’ kind of approach.”

He adds, “My team and I decided to be proactive and join Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, where Nadja is undergoing treatment, in creating the Bounce Back campaign.”

Credit: Sol Washington/The Bounce Back Movie

Moore, who stars and produces in the upcoming romantic comedy The Bounce Back, explains why he thinks it’s important to be able to give people a platform of hope.

“On top of raising awareness and money for those fighting their own battles like Nadja, it’s also a place to share how they’ve bounced back — whether it’s from cancer, lupus, MS, a bad marriage, etc.,” says Moore. “It’s giving people a voice so that they don’t feel alone, they can feel heard and be celebrated for going through some dark times and finding the light.”

The Criminal Minds alum, whose mom suffers from multiple sclerosis, continues to strive to bring joy to those suffering.

“I’m having a lot of fun telling people’s Bounce Back stories — everybody has one,” he says. “Let’s get together and laugh again. It just warms your heart and it brings a smile to your face.”