Jess & her daughter, Summer, in 2014
Jess is a beloved, determined 27 year old single mom, daughter, friend, girlfriend, fighter. She’s got a smile that lights up a room and a personality to match. She’s also Bill’s niece. In May of 2013, as Jess was finishing her final weeks of college and looking forward to starting her career as a dental hygienist, she found a lump in her breast. After a biopsy she was given the devastating news that she had Infiltrating Ductal Carcinoma: “Breast Cancer.”
Jess underwent a double mastectomy in June of 2013. During her recovery her body rejected the donor tissue that was placed in preparation for her reconstruction. That involved a second surgery to remove everything that was placed in preparation. After recovering from both surgeries she began chemotherapy.
Chemo started in July, 2013. Jess had eight sessions over 18 weeks, which was a difficult time between the sickness it caused, her immune system taking a major hit, and losing her hair. Her beautiful smile defied what was happening to her. When chemo was completed, radiation began. Radiation was five days a week for 37 days.
Jess with her parents, Barb (Bill’s sister) and Jeff
It was a painful, exhausting process, but with the mastectomy, chemo, and radiation, Jess received the news that she was cancer-free on February 6, 2014. A day she will never forget!
Jess wasn’t able to begin her career as a hygienist while receiving treatments. But in May of 2014 she was thrilled to get a job in her field and start that part of her life.
Due to her body rejecting the donor tissue back in June 2013 and the infection it caused, Jess’ doctors said that her reconstruction had to wait a full year. She had the first of two reconstruction surgeries on March 13, 2015. She was informed that she couldn’t work for two months while recovering. Her next surgery will be sometime in late summer 2015 and she’s not to work for one month after that either.
Jess’ daughter sending wishes to her mommy the morning of surgery.
With her parents before going in to reconstruction surgery.
The morning after reconstruction.
Three days after reconstruction.
Jess’ medical expenses have added up tremendously and the financial burden she is facing is overwhelming. She decided that she couldn’t afford to be off for two months so she went back to work in the office for the dental practice.
This makes her mother very nervous…
When Bill heard about the extent of Jess’ medical costs, he immediately started talking about raising money for her. He thought this year’s extreme challenge would be just the way to do it. He entered the first ever Grand Slam of 200s – a series of four 200 mile endurance races – and wanted to fund raise for Jess throughout the series. As I wrote about in the update, the details of the plan have changed but Bill is still pledging to race 800 miles for Jess and donate $1 per mile.
We would so appreciate your support for his niece through a donation of any size to defray Jess’ growing medical bills!
Here’s where you go to donate: