Jessica (Jessie) Joy Rees is known to thousands as a leader and a spokesperson for childhood cancer awareness and her story has inspired thousands to join together to support children fighting cancer around the world. More importantly, Jessie is a hero to the estimated 500,000 children and their families affected cancer all over the world. In March 2011, Jessie was diagnosed with Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG), which is a brain tumor within and around the brain stem, making it inoperable.
She was only three weeks into her own difficult treatment, when she asked a question that would forever change the lives of thousands of kids, “How can we help them?”—referring to the other children in treatment at Children’s Hospital Orange County. Jessie began to create the beginnings of her JoyJars. JoyJars—named after Jessie’s middle name Joy, are plastic jars filled with age appropriate, hospital approved toys, games, and activities, along with a special note and bracelet—with her personal motto and inspirational message to NEGU, Never Ever Give Up.
Jessie and her family received tragic news in September 2011 that there was a second inoperable tumor. Jessie had only a 1% chance of beating this horrific disease. But this did not stop Jessie from continuing to fulfill her dream of encouraging children fighting cancer to Never Ever Give Up. She and her family personally stuffed and delivered over 3,000 JoyJars to kids in children’s hospitals.
During her courageous 10 month fight with two brain tumors, 12 year old Jessie Rees asked her parents to help encourage every kid fighting cancer to Never Ever Give Up. Jessie’s Wish is the sole mission of her foundation.