In January 2021, only days after her 37th birthday, our dear friend Jessica was diagnosed with colon cancer. After many more tests, several weeks later, Jess was given the worst possible news that the cancer metastasized to her lungs and nearby lymph nodes, making her stage 4.
Jessica and her husband, Jeff, are already aware that certain chemotherapy drugs, immunotherapy drugs, treatments and scans/tests are not covered by our medical system. Travel within Canada may also be required for surgery if the option is not available in BC.
Everyone who knows Jess, knows she is a fighter! She is extremely determined to succeed at anything she puts her mind to. She is fighting for her wonderful family and friends who love her dearly and especially for her beautiful 2 year old daughter, Vera. You could go on and on about Jess's accomplishments and her wonderful character but in a nutshell she is a triathlete, marathon runner, ironman, animal and nature lover with a passion to help others. Her priorities have changed in recent years since her and Jeff had their miracle daughter, Vera. Jess is the most devoted and caring mother and she loves her family more than anything in the world. Jess has the most positive outlook on life. She will talk to anyone and everyone she meets and she makes new friends wherever she goes. In her professional life, Jess supports children with autism. She has cared for many children with special needs over the past 17 years. Her kind and caring nature makes her incredible at what she does. After many years of helping others, it's time to put Jess first and help her and her family as much as we can.
Jess has been incredibly brave to share her story with us and she has been overwhelmed with the love and support she has received so far. She started her first dose of chemo last week and she is feeling positive and hopeful.
Below is her diagnosis story:
Through most of 2020 Jessica has struggled with undiagnosed health issues. On an ultrasound the doctors thought she had a 7cm ovarian cyst that would go away in a few months or during pregnancy. In mid 2020, her pelvic aches seemed to subside so she did an embryo transfer when the IVF clinic opened again after lockdown (her and her husband cannot conceive naturally). To their joy, they discovered they were expecting identical twins. Unfortunately, at 9 weeks the twin girls miscarried. Through a failed D&C and multiple laparoscopic surgeries her fallopian tubes and adhesions were removed. All this time, these issues masked what was really going on. After her surgeries, her lower abdominal pain and tailbone bone pain persisted, which confused the doctors. All this time she was unknowingly dealing with colon cancer but was told by many doctors that she was too young to have cancer. After many months of pleading for tests and scans she was finally able to see a gastroenterologist this past January. After the appointment she was told she had multiple tumours in her colon along with numerous polyps. The doctor believed that she has a rare genetic condition and would need her colon removed and have follow up radiation/chemotherapy.
Follow up scans in February discovered that the cancer had spread to her lungs and nearby lymph nodes. The surgeon told her that she was inoperable and would not live past 5 years. Her BC Cancer Agency appointment wasn’t for several more weeks and this news put her in a state of despair as she was told there was no hope. Luckily, through a friend, she was able to meet with a very
senior consulting oncologist with close to 50 yrs of experience who was able to provide her with information that gave her hope to live well beyond 5 years. The following appointment at the BC Cancer Agency only gave her a further negative prognosis and again stated that she would not be eligible for surgery unless her body responds remarkably to chemotherapy.
With the help of her husband, friends, professionals and the online world she has been able to build a network of advocates, experts and supports to help her towards NED (No Evidence of Disease). She needs financial support to try to achieve this.
Jessica is sharing her cancer journey on Instagram @jessfightscancer.
Thank you for supporting Jessica, Jeff and Vera ❤️
- Jordan Hooper
- Ashley Zibrik
- Fraser and Dayna Elliott
- Francesca Cerisano
- Alicia Anderson
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