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Number of Pages: 240
Publication Date: 2014
|Dimensions: 7.10 X 4.70 X 1.00 (inches)|
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It started with a simple question: How can we help them? It became an international movement called NEGU: Never Ever Give Up. When Jessica Joy Rees was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor at age 11, she chose to focus not on herself but on bringing joy and hope to other children suffering from cancer.
During the ten months she battled cancer, she and her family worked in the Joy Factory (originally their garage) making JoyJars®packages filled with toys, games, and love for other kids with cancer. Jessie first handed them out personally at the hospital where she was being treated, but the effort blossomed quickly and there were soon thousands of JoyJars® being distributed across the United States and to over fifteen countries. Today, more than 100,000 kids have received JoyJars®, and they continue shipping each week to kids in over 200 childrens hospitals and 175 Ronald McDonald Houses.
Jessie lost her battle with cancer in January 2012, but her message lives on in the Jessie Rees Foundation, which has become a beacon of hope for families fighting pediatric cancer.
Join the movement at www.negu.org.
bpudsey5 Stars Out Of 5Painful times lead to a powerful storyMarch 20, 2016bpudseyQuality: 0Value: 0Meets Expectations: 0This is a moving book and a tesimony to what Christ can do in a person's heart. Jesus loved little children and this child embraced him. This story will give you, hope , make you cry, make you laugh at times and also laugh in a few parts.
NatePoland, MEAge: 25-34Gender: male5 Stars Out Of 5An incredibly moving bookSeptember 28, 2014NatePoland, MEAge: 25-34Gender: maleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5What would you do if you learned that you had an inoperable brain tumor? In his book, Never Ever Give Up: The Inspiring Story of Jessie and Her JoyJars, Erik Rees tells the inspiring story of his daughter, Jessica Joy Rees, who succumbed to an inoperable form of brain cancer in January 2012 at the age of 12 after a 10-month-long battle. Rather than focusing on her own problems, this incredible little girl focused on what she could do to help other kids who were suffering. Her efforts became an international movement called NEGU: Never Ever Give Up and led to over 100,000 children receiving JoyJarspackages filled with toys, games, and love for other kids with cancerso far in over sixteen countries.
In case there was any question in your mind, this is an incredibly moving book. Rees describes, in heartbreaking detail, the events of those 10 months. Throughout the book, we are brought into many family discussions, doctors offices, and even Eriks own thoughts. We cry with the family, but we also smile and at times even laugh. The book is a moving tribute to a beautiful gift that God gave not just a family, but the world.
Never Ever Give Up has given me a new appreciation for what a family dealing with pediatric cancer goes through. I consider myself a reasonably compassionate person, but after reading this book, I will forever find a greater level of sympathy for families with a child with a terminal illness.
Jessies story has also inspired me to take a more active role helping those who are less fortunate than I. Im not sure what that will look like yet, but I am committed to doing more.
At the end of the book, Rees lists 25 Ways To Help a Family With a Child Fighting Cancer. Everyone should have a copy of this list ready to be used to support those around us.
I highly recommend reading Never Ever Give Up. It will change you forever.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Handlebar Marketing. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing these things in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
Cindy NavarroCullman, ALAge: 55-65Gender: female4 Stars Out Of 5Inspiring Legacy & Celebration of Jessie ReesSeptember 27, 2014Cindy NavarroCullman, ALAge: 55-65Gender: femaleQuality: 4Value: 4Meets Expectations: 5This is the story of Jessica Joy Rees, as told through the eyes of her father. When Erik noticed that Jessie was having problems seeing, the family expected an adjustment with glasses and perhaps a few eye muscle exercises to take care of the problem. Jessie was a healthy, active 11 year old who shared her older sister's love of swimming. Both were on swim teams with promising futures as athletes. Jessie was at that age of enjoying fashion and shopping like her sister, but still willing to play games with her younger brother.
The news that her eye problems were due to an inoperable brain tumor devastated the family, but they were determined to take whatever measures necessary to prolong her life. Two things happened that proved Jessie was both a fighter and a giver: a friend encouraged her with the words, "Never Ever Give Up", which Jessie made into a slogan---NEGU, (pronounced 'knee-goo') and her determination to help cheer up other children she saw in the hospital who did not get to go home as she did (following radiation treatments). This, and her love of shopping, led to the creation of JoyJars. Her goal was to make sure that every child with cancer received one.
The book itself is the family's journey through Jessie's 10 month battle with cancer, both the ups and the downs. Of course there is sadness, but this is mostly a celebration of Jessie, and the certainty the Rees family has, through their belief in Jesus Christ, that Jessie is now healed and that they will one day be reunited. I recommend the book, and I certainly recommend you get involved with the Jessie Rees Foundation at www.negu.org. Remember, Never EVER Give Up! #NEGU
I was provided with a free copy form Handlebar in exchange for an honest review.
bookwomanjoanOak Harbor, WAAge: Over 65Gender: Female4 Stars Out Of 5Written from a father's perspectiveSeptember 20, 2014bookwomanjoanOak Harbor, WAAge: Over 65Gender: FemaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 3Jessie Rees was eleven years old and on a competition swimming team when one day she had trouble seeing. An MRI revealed a tumor located in the pons, right in the middle of the brain stem and interwoven with the nerves diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma. It was inoperable.
Jessie's dad, Erik Rees, shares Jessie's story through his eyes. He writes about the diagnosis and the prognosis of twelve to eighteen months. Jessie saw other children fighting cancer and asked what they could do to help them. JoyJars were created, plastic jars stuffed with goodies for kids. Treatments began. A Facebook page was created and an early comment resonated with Jessie: Never ever give up. She adopted it as her mantra and shortened it to NEGU (knee-goo).
Rees is very honest about the toll on his family and the stress placed on relationships. He's honest about his arguments with doctors originating in his frustration with their failure to offer experimental treatment. He writes about the lessons they learned from their use of social media, the bad experiences with thoughtless responses from others. He shares his anguish of praying for healing again and again and his struggle with doubts about God.
He takes us through the treatments, the victories, the defeats, the second tumor, and the decline. He writes about his determination to see his daughter's mission to bring joy to juvenile cancer patients fulfilled.
This is an inspiring book about the difference one young cancer patient has made in the lives of many. Rees has written this book with the goal of increasing awareness of childhood cancer and increasing hope in people who are dealing with difficulties in their lives.
I believe if we take the time to listen to our hearts about the things that bother us in the world and make the decision to do something rather than just feel bad about it, we can make life so much better for others and or ourselves. (84)
The only thing that makes this book less than perfect is the concentration on the father's experiences. He has included a chapter about himself, titled becoming daddy. I felt his wife and Jessie's mom, Stacey, was absent most of the book. Finally, on page 165 he writes, This reminds me to say that my wife, Stacey, is simply amazing. He goes on with his admiration of her but it just seemed odd to me that most of the book centers on his experiences and his feelings. About Jessie's headaches, he writes, Thankfully, she didn't have any on November 19, which was my forty-third birthday. (171)
I received a complimentary copy of this book through Handlebar for the purpose of an independent and honest review.
cathyKansasAge: 55-65Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5Never Ever Give Up by Erik ReesSeptember 10, 2014cathyKansasAge: 55-65Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Never Ever Give Up by Erik Rees is the awe inspiring book about the life of his family in the year following the diagnosis of his 11-year-old daughter, Jessie's brain cancer. This book takes the reader from Jessie being an average normal little girl who had a vision problem to being a girl who had an incurable brain tumor in a matter of days. This book tells of how Jessie during a time in the hospital noticing that some of the children had to stay in the hospital and not get to go home as Jessie did to her family. After spending time at the hospital preparing for the treatment Jessie asked the simple question, "How can we help them?" Her parents teared up and didn't answer and quickly placed that question on the back burner as they contemplated how they were going to handle family life with a child with cancer but Jessie continued to ponder how to help them. That night when the parents entered the kitchen to start dinner there was Jessie surrounded by brown paper lunch bags decorating them with stickers and markers and filling them with small toys which included her entire prized beanie baby collection. Jessie was prepared to give away what she prized in order to help out other children who had cancer. Erik, pastor at the Saddleback Church, was in the business of helping people and knew there would be rules governing gifts to children so he told Jessie he would help her by checking into what those rules were and then they would go from there. They decided that the gallon plastic jars that pretzels came in would make a better container that the lunch bags and requirements stated that the gifts had to be new. Jessie lost her battle with cancer in the following 10 months but during those 10 months Jessie's goals would go from trying to make a JoyJar, which is what she ended up calling her gifts, for each child in the Children's hospital in Orange County California to supplying a JoyJar for each child in America. By her death the Never Ever Give Up movement started by this young girl in California went world wide. This is what one person can do. Jessie did not let a death sentence stop her from doing good.
I loved this book though I often couldn't see it because I was so teary eyed. This book makes the majority of us ashamed of what we do with our time when such a sick child could do this in the short 10 months that she lived from her decision to help others until her death. This book is well written by her father. He also includes how the family functioned as a unit though the bad times and tips on treatments for children's rare cancers. This is a difficult book to read because it is a true story of a little girl's fight with cancer and her eventual death but if you can make it through it is a book well worth reading. This review could have been done a few days earlier but I needed to mull over the emotions of the book.
I received this book from Handlebar for this review.