When Jessica Joy Rees was diagnosed with brain cancer at the age of 11, she was surrounded by her family and loved ones as she spent her days receiving clinical trial treatment and battling for her life. And in the midst of the chaos, little Jessie was concerned. She looked around the pediatric cancer ward and noticed many patients were downtrodden. She learned that a great number of the children are unable to go home even after receiving treatment and she asked her parents, “How can we help them?” Jessie kicked off the idea of creating a baggie stuffed to the brim with toys selected from her own collection to bring to the children with the sole purpose of cheering them up. The baggies soon turned into Joy Jars and the mission to NEGU – Never Ever Give Up – became the mantra that propelled the Jessie Rees Foundation to spread their operation into a globally celebrated charity.
Since 2011, the Jessie Rees Foundation distributed over 260,000 Joy Jars to children in hospitals and homes across the world, partnered with a number of professional sports teams and celebrities to help pediatric cancer patients live out their dream of meeting their favorite superstars, assisted families and caregivers throughout the various stages of fighting and coping with cancer, and uplifted the spirits of hundreds of thousands of children through their unique, care-focused services.