Never Ever Give Up: Author Q & A

Recently on my blog I reviewed the touching and heartwarming story of Jessie Joy Rees, who tragically passed away from cancer. However, before she passed away, she began the JoyJars and NEGU (Never Ever Give Up) movement, and her short life is still touching and blessing others around the world. Today I'd like to post a bit about her father, Erik Rees, who is carrying on Jessie's mission, and an excerpt of a brief interview.


Erik Rees is the Chairman of the Jessie Rees Foundation, better known as

“Jessie’s daddy” to the 310,000 Facebook fans he talks to weekly. Through Erik’s

leadership, Jessie’s mission to encourage every kid fighting cancer to “Never

Ever Give Up” is becoming a reality. He is the author of S.H.A.P.E.: Finding and

Fulfilling Your Unique Purpose for Life and of Only You Can Be You. He and his

wife, Stacey, live in Orange County, California, with their children, Shaya and JT,

and their four dogs.

Here is an excerpt of a Q&A session with him:

Never Ever Give Up is immensely personal. Why is it important to share your daughter’s story? I had three goals for sharing Jessie’s story; increase awareness of childhood cancer, give people facing

personal hurdles in life hope and to create a wave of compassion through personal acts of kindness.


Where did Jessie come up with the idea of creating JoyJars? Why did she do this, instead of focusing

on herself?

Jessie came up with the idea after she started treatment and learned there were lots of children that couldn’t leave the hospital. She just had a burden for them and wanted to help them. The name actually came from taking her middle name “joy” and adding it to “jars”. She choose to spread joy because she knew life was about giving not getting.

Jessie had a strong faith in God. How did she draw strength from her relationship with God during

her treatment?


Jessie did have an amazing faith in God which inspires me daily. She would pray for herself, listen to worship music during treatments and do her nightly devotions with her mommy. She drew her strength from Phil. 4:13 and asked God daily for support.

Unfortunately, cancer strikes 1 in 300 children before the age of 20. What advice do you have for

others who want to help a family with a child fighting cancer?


In the book I list all sorts of simple ways to help families with children fighting cancer. Families need help but don’t want to have to add “managing” the help to their already chaotic lives. The best thing to do if you really know the person is show up and do something. Don’t ask, “how can I help you?” Just help.

Tell us more about the Jessie Rees Foundation. September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness

month. How can we help?


The Jessie Rees Foundation is a global childhood cancer charity dedicated to ensuring every child fighting cancer has the support and resources to Never Ever Give Up. We fulfill our mission by 1) encouraging courageous kids to NEGU, 2) assisting courageous families to NEGU, 3) rallying communities to NEGU for courageous kids, 4) mobilize athletes to NEGU for courageous kids and 5) inspire the world to NEGU for courageous kids.Each year in the US, the month of September is dedicated to “childhood cancer awareness”. If you have a social media platform, please join our Going Gold campaign and help raise awareness of this devastating disease.

Please consider checking out Rees' book, Never Ever Give Up, and supporting the Jessica Rees foundation so they can continue sharing JoyJars.

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