How It Started:
In February 2007 Meaghan Edelstein, a law student at Shepard Broad Law Center in South Florida , was diagnosed with stage 3B cervical cancer. After being misdiagnosed for over two months the tumor was finally discovered by her doctors. She was told she had little chance of survival but Meaghan decided to fight. She was immediately flown to Boston where she received treatment at Dana Farber Cancer Institute. After receiving internal/external radiation, chemotherapy and numerous surgeries Meaghan was on her way to recovery. While in the hospital many people visited Meaghan, she also received many cards and gifts along the way. Meaghan credits these small touches of love with giving her the extra strength to keep fighting for her life.
Looking for a way to reach out to others Meaghan started a blog called I Kicked Cancers Ass where she wrote openly and honestly about her experience. Many began to find her on her blog and were able to receive answers as well as comfort. Realizing she was helping others began a healing process of her own. Wanting to make more of a difference she thought hard about what else she could do. Finally the answer came. Remembering the cards and gifts she received and how they lifted her spirits during a desperate time, Meaghan decided to match those who wished to give with those who needed support. Thus began SPIRIT JUMP.
The Spirit Jump Mission:
The mission of Spirit Jump is to provide hope and comfort to the many men, women and children battling cancer, one gift at a time. Spirit Jump strives to let each and every cancer fighter know that they are not alone in their battle and that there are people behind them as they fight. Spirit Jump's goal is to help cancer fighters fight strong by providing uplifting cards and inspirational gifts from our "Jumpers" to help fighters maintain the strength they need every day as they battle this terrible disease.
The Amazing Part:.
The amazing thing about Spirit Jump is that both the person giving a gift (Jumper) often has their spirit lifted just as much as the person receiving the gift (Jumpee).
Spirit Jump won the Cancer Fighters Award in 2009 for Best in South in the Regions category. It also won Best Charity Blog by Blogger's Choice Awards. But it's not about the awards, it's about the rewards. Helping others through an extremely tough time.
I remember when my sister-in-law was diagnosed with breast cancer five years ago. She had the support from a slew of friends and family. When my friend Pat was diagnosed with cervical cancer, she too had a lot of family and friends supporting her. Not everyone has that. But Spirit Jump jumps in and makes sure they do. Even those with a lot of support can benefit from this. Sometimes it's nice to hear the words "I care" or "I'm thinking of you" or "Get well soon" from someone other than family or friends. Knowing that you've touched the lives of a stranger enough for them to send you words of encouragement can be uplifting in itself.
Today, I added their "I'm a Proud Spirit Jumper" button to my blog. I also signed up to be a Jumper. If you don't want to be a Jumper there is a place to donate money as well as stamps on their website. If you need support for yourself or a loved one you can become a Jumpee. Click here to see their list of Spirit Jump Shops (many offer discounts up to 20%) and Spirit Jumper Blogs. It's humbling to see the support Spirit Jump is receiving.
My daughter's weren't really old enough to understand that their aunt had cancer but they're old enough now. It won't be just me who will be a Jumper but my kids as well. I feel this is an important lesson for them to learn. We can always find a few minutes during our busy day to stop and do something for someone else.
I'd like to encourage you to visit Spirit Jump and I Kicked Cancer's Ass blog sites. Be sure to visit How Spirit Jump Works and read the amazing and inspiring stories of some of Spirit Jumps Jumpee's.
Open your hearts and give.