Never Ever Give Up
The inspiring Story of Jessie and her JoyJars
by Erik Rees with Jenna Glatzer
Sometimes someone is an inspiration without ever trying and Jessie Rees was just such a person.
In February 2011, eleven year old Jessie Rees started displaying some odd symptoms - double vision and an odd head tilt. Little did anyone suspect these were symptoms that were about to alter the Rees family forever.
On March 2, 2011 the Rees family learned that Jessie had a rare cancer for which there was no known cure. The next 10 months were filled with their fight to bet the odds, to be the less than 1% who survive.
But this isn't just a cancer story. No, this is Jessie's story and story of seeking to help others in spite of her own struggles and daily battles. Jessie, who went in for treatments saw children who couldn't leave the hospital. Feeling blessed that she was able to go home and stay with her family, Jessie wanted to reach out to these other children. She wanted to give them the gift of caring and as a result JoyJars were created.
But Jessie wanted to reach out to children everywhere who had cancer and through her love and caring NEGU (knee-goo) was born. NEGU was Jessie's motto Never Ever Give Up! Her caring was inspirational and in the ten months that she had she made an impact that touched lives all over the world.
This is an inspiring and heart-touching book. You will shed tears as Jessie has moments of triumph and as her friends and family say goodbye.
In conjunction with September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month I was provided a copy of this book through Handlebar Hub in exchange for my honest review.
About the Book:
It started with a simple question: How can we help them?
It became an international movement called NEGU: Never Ever Give Up.
When Jessica Joy Rees was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor at age 11, she chose to focus not on herself but on bringing joy and hope to other children suffering from cancer. During the ten months she battled cancer, she and her family worked in the "Joy Factory" (originally their garage) making JoyJars.--packages filled with toys, games, and love for other kids with cancer. Jessie first handed them out personally at the hospital where she was being treated, but the effort blossomed quickly and there were soon thousands of JoyJars. being distributed across the United States and to over fifteen countries.
Today, more than 100,000 kids have received JoyJars., and they continue shipping each week to kids in over 200 children's hospitals and 175 Ronald McDonald Houses. Jessie lost her battle with cancer in January 2012, but her message lives on in the Jessie Rees Foundation, which has become a beacon of hope for families fighting pediatric cancer.