When Jessie Rees was 11 years old, she received devastating news……she found out that she had brain cancer. She and her family began to deal with the diagnosis, and Jessie made one thing clear – that she would never ever give up. As Jessie struggled with her cancer, she realized that there were other kids like her and that if she could bring encouragement and joy to them, maybe it would help her feel those same things. Thus the idea for Joy Jars was born……
From her own experience, Jessie knew the boredom and frustration that long hours in the hospital could bring. So she began creating Joy Jars, jars filled with special items, to help make those long hospital hours a little easier for kids like her. And as she delivered these Joy Jars, both in word and in action, she spread the message of hope that she herself lived by…..Never Ever Give Up (NEGU)!
This video tells the amazing story of Jessie and her NEGU campaign.
- Here is Jessie’s website, where you can learn more about her and her inspirational efforts!
- Here is another IMK post about a girl who brings joy to kids in the hospital with her “Smile Boxes”!
Topics for Discussion:
- How do you think Jessie was able to focus on others despite her own struggle with cancer?
- Have you ever had to stay in the hospital? How did it make you feel?
- Visit the NEGU / JoyJars website to learn more about this wonderful project and how you can get involved!
- Visit the Children’s Cancer Research Fund website to learn about other ways you can help kids with cancer.
- Here is a link to a Critical Reading Skills worksheet that you can use for elementary school students.
- Here is a link to a Critical Reading Skills worksheet that you can use for middle school students.