Meet Jessica, a mother of two young children and entrepreneur who was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma at 24. Cancer is a scary and challenging experience for anyone, let alone a mother, but Jessica's story of not just surviving but thriving has inspired millions around the world. Jessica was always proud of her long, luscious lashes and found that losing them robbed her of her "signature beauty." When she first applied our Jackie lashes however, she felt "the most beautiful and confident she had ever felt—even without hair." Jessica is the reason why we at Thrive are determined to positively impact the lives of woman going through cancer treatment. With our donation, Jessica not only regained her confidence, she wore them for the first time ever in front of millions of people on ABC’s The View.
If someone walked a mile in your shoes, what would their journey look like?
If someone had to walk a mile in my shoes, it would be an exhausting but extremely rewarding mile. Their short glimpse into my life would be filled with an immense amount of blessings and love alongside a few difficult, trying times.
Who inspires you to thrive?
My fiancée, Brett. He has been my rock through the hardest times in my life. We started dating four months before he left for the Marine Corps, and we managed to continue and grow even while long distance. His genuine support and unconditional love has helped me realize my true potential and that I can achieve anything I put my mind to. He pushes me to thrive in every aspect of my life.
How has getting diagnosed with cancer changed your perspective in life?
It has changed my perspective by showing me to slow down, and enjoy every second. Eight months ago I was a business owner, fiancé, new home owner, and a mother of two beautiful, feisty babies under the age of two. I was chronically stressed and my days were often filled with worries and what ifs. Cancer forced me to take time for myself and realize the best way to take care of my babies and my business was to take the best care of myself as possible. I had to take four months of chemo to really focus on me and my health, so I can be the best possible mother to my children.
When you look at yourself in the mirror, who do you see?
I see a woman I never expected, in the best way possible. Growing up, I was never the most confident or driven student. I have achieved above and beyond what I ever would have expected at 24. If you would have told me at 15 what I would end up achieving in the next 10 years, I never would have believed you. Today I see a mother who is confident, strong, and most importantly, happy.
What are some simple mantras you live by to stay positive?
Every day in every way I am better and better, higher and higher. You can either continue to live, or you can lose yourself in your illness. "Our existence is not a story of suffering. It’s a journey of growing life out of the soil we are given to stand in."
What's the best gift you ever received from your kids?
The best gift my children have given me is a lesson in unconditional love. There is no love in the world like the immediate and immense love you have for your children. They kept me sane in the most insane way possible through my cancer journey. Days when I didn’t want to get out of bed, I would hear their little footsteps and knocking on the bedroom door for mommy to come play, and they gave me that strength to continue with my life and not succumb to my illness.
What’s the best advice your mom gave you?
That beauty is far more than skin deep and who you are inside is much more important than physical beauty. Be independent, strong, and know your worth. Stand up for yourself when needed, but stay humble.
What are three tidbits of advice you'd give to a new mom?
- You’ll never be perfect, and that’s okay. Do not beat yourself up over giving your child the occasional lollipop; if it’ll provide you with a few minutes of sanity, it’s worth it.
- Take time for yourself. The healthier and happy you are in your personal life; the happier you’ll be for your children. Don’t let yourself resent motherhood, avoid this by taking time for yourself and with your partner.
- You won’t always like being a mom...and that’s okay too! Some days your kids WILL drive you insane and you WILL ask yourself...what the heck is going on with my life? But the second your baby looks at you, or calls you mommy, you immediately know it’s all worth it.
Anything else you’d like us to know?
Wake up every day thankful. I truly believe life is all about perspective. If you continue to remain optimistic and positive, that’s what you will ultimately obtain. To me, this is the key to happiness.