If Jess was still with us, I think it’s fairly safe to say that she would have long since outgrown her favourite clothes and no doubt some would have made their way into capes/dresses etc for some of her bears! So when I heard about the option to turn some of Jess’ old clothes into a memory bear, it seemed perfect and very fitting for Jess… pardon the pun! Today I received the finished articles – two matching bears made from 6 of Jess’ items of clothing – and I love them! They captures Jess’ ‘into everything’ spirit perfectly. One has taken pride of place in my newly created office… ‘bearing’ down on me as I work! Jess never did get to come and work with me like she wanted, so all in all it feels like another perfect way to keep Jess’ memory living on. The other has gone alongside her brother’s memory box along with some other special keep sakes. Massive thank you to 3 To Thread, we’re delighted with our new additions (although 1 out of 2 people might be too cool to admit it publicly) 😀
If you’d asked me a couple of years ago, I’d say I’d never been too bothered about anniversaries and dates. Of course, I’d mark the key ones, but smaller dates often passed me by, only for me to realise a few days later. Since Jess got ill, I’ve never been a fan of the 18th of the month; Jess was diagnosed on the 18th of September and passed away on the 18th October. Today is not only the 18th, but also 18 months to the day since Jess was diagnosed. Too many 18s, you might say, but wanting to mark the occasion, I decided to take dedicate some time to doing something in memory of Jess.
A few months ago, the Harvey Hext Trust very kindly made us a memory box for Jess’ brother, to store all of his favourite Jess memories. Of course, when I asked him what he wanted to put in there, the list was endless – so many precious memories, how do you capture them all and put them in a box? I’m still not sure we’ve got the optimum inventory (it feels a bit like answering the question what would you take to a desert island!) but at least we’ve made a start and the lid closes now so that’s definitely progress. Thanks Harvey’s Hext Trust, it’s lovely to have an extra special place to save some of the fondest memories.
After what feels like a never ending lockdown 3, Christmas seems like a very distant memory, even though only really a matter of weeks ago. So it was lovely to hear from Jess’ old school yesterday, with news of their amazing Christmas jumper fundraising in memory of Jess for Children with Cancer UK. Another £626.80 to add to the totaliser is an amazing result! Thanks Westerton, and so heartwarming to hear that Jess’ memory lives on with you too.
Jess would be proud of her friends and teachers raising a fantastic £384 for a Children with Cancer UK by holding a fancy dress day at school. Jess loved dressing up, here’s a photo with her brother when they dressed up as Where’s Wally for World Book Day a few years ago. Ironically, it was the Where’s Wally Books that took Jess’ mind away from the blood tests in the early days. Thanks Westerton, fantastic effort!
Today was the first ever Day of Memories that I’ve attended. I’ve been invited to a couple of, ‘remembering days’ held by other groups since Jess passed away, but never quite felt in a place where I could go. But I felt different about today’s event, held by Candlelighters. For the month of Jess’ illness , I saw more of the Candlelighters and hospital team than anyone else I know. And whilst being in hospital is no fun for anyone, the team really did do their best! I will never forget the kindness shown by such a fabulous team, so it felt fitting to join their event. All the same, I was apprehensive about what to expect. Like the other families, watching the event meant we are part of a club that no one ever wanted to be a part of in the first place, and to be honest I wondered if remembering so many lost children would be too much; one loss is tragic, never mind more. But I was surprisingly comforted by the Day of Memories, the unity of it all and of seeing some familiar faces who looked after Jess so well when she was in hospital.
With it being my first event. I can’t comment on the differences between a virtual event and an in person one, but it running remotely meant complete strangers were spared my rather unattractive ‘bawling my eyes out’ look, so that part was probably a benefit . 😀 It was nice to see other people’s memories and to write my own tribute in the memory book too. I lit my beautifully fragranced candle and made a Jessica bracelet. It’s the first time I’ve done anything remotely like that since Jess was here in person, and it reminded me of times we used to sit and do things like that together 😀. When we chose to support Candlelighters with fundraising shortly after Jess passed away, I knew how valuable your service was and how much we’d already benefited from you being there in the short time Jess knew you. Today only reinforced my sentiments. Thank you for all you do. ❤️
I am delighted that we have just passed the £20K fundraising point and we’re still going strong 😀. Never in my wildest dreams did I think we’d raise so much (and be able to help a number of charities too), so a massive thank you to all those who have supported us! With the challenges that COVID has brought, charities need our support now more than ever.
So today was the original date for the Team Jess Sheffield 10k to raise money for Children with Cancer UK. Sadly, ‘corona chaos’ means that the event has been postponed until next year. Whilst we will patiently wait and run as planned next year, we couldn’t resist the opportunity to mark the original date with a run too. It might not have been the 10k we had planned, or even the reworked plan that we had planned (another strike from corona chaos!), but it was a mighty fine work around with independent runs happening across the north and coming together via zoom afterwards. Thanks to this lovely bunch for doing a virtual 10k event with me….. and a special shout out to Sandy for completing your first ever 10k. Jess would have loved that we managed to find a way to run in spite of the challenges. Thanks to all those who sponsored us…… It seems that with us running two races, the 2 for 1 concept is infiltrating even the sporting world these days 😂. As for all events these days, I’ve marked the event with a poem. Click here to take a look.
For anyone wanting to see some live video evidence, here you are! We’ve even added the trusty Team Jess Anthem to recreate the running experience!
A massive well done to Jack, school friend of Jess and son of one of the Team Jess runners. Not only has Jack been running each week to help his mum train for the Team Jess runs, but he’s also managed to find time to complete a sponsored swim too! Jack jumped into the water with his friend Euan to raise funds for Marie Curie and Cancer Research UK, swimming 1500 metres (a phenomenal 60 lengths!) in memory of friends and family affected by cancer and Team Jess. That will make a massive splash as it jumps into the fundraising pots of both charities. Well done Jack and thank you for being a super fundraiser… with a swim and lots of runs under your belt, maybe your next venture should be a triathlon….. 😉
A huge thank you to Pomfretian for their kind donation to the Team Jess fundraising and for publishing a centre page spread about the Team Jess campaign in this month’s edition too. Jess has been in two publications now and they say things comes in threes. I wonder who could be next 🤔. To read the article visit the Pomfretian website.
Team Jess is in full flow with fundraising and today sees another venture take the plunge in raising funds in memory of Jess.
On 5 September, one of Jess’ Grandads, Brian, will be swimming the full length of Coniston Water which is in excess of 5 miles! Open water swimming , as anyone who’s had a go knows, is no easy undertaking, so he really is jumping in at the deep end! What’s more, if COVID 19 means the organised event is cancelled, he’s planning to swim the same distance in a local lake instead. If you want to support Brian in his fundraising for Children with Cancer UK, or read more of his story, you can click here.