(WSVN) - One South Florida woman turned her battle with cancer into a business that is inspiring other cancer patients around the world. 7’s Gina Benitez has this report of “Hope and Healing.”
Like most 28-year-olds, Jessica didn’t have a worry in the world.
Jessica DeCristofaro, cancer survivor: “I was 28. I was used to going out every weekend, dating, just doing things that a normal 28-year-old would do. And all of a sudden, I was diagnosed with cancer, and I’m not sure what’s going to happen next.”
In 2016, she was rushed to the hospital in respiratory failure. The diagnosis was cancer, Stage 4 Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
The cancer spread to every organ in her body. Her doctors immediately started chemotherapy.
Jessica DeCristofaro: “I think I went crazy when my hair was falling out in clumps. It was the most mortifying thing I have ever dealt with in my whole life. You just don’t feel good about yourself. It’s depressing.”
Friends say, no matter how hard it got, Jessica kept a smile on her face and stayed motivated.
Noelle Pellar, Jessica’s friend: “She kept doing her facials and kept her skin routine. She got dressed, she made herself look good. She didn’t give up.”
Now cancer free, Jessica wants to help other patients stay motivated and feel better.
She created care packages she calls Chemo Kits. Each box is put together by Jessica and her friends in her Miami apartment, then shipped out around the world.
Jessica DeCristofaro: “They write me messages all the time saying how much they love them.”
Noelle Pellar: “Going through it first-hand, she knows what people need when they’re going through this.”
Every item in the box is personal to Jessica and her cancer experience. Items like lip balm, because chemo made her lips dry.
The boxes also have popsicle makers. Jessica says she used popsicles to get rid of the weird taste chemo left in her mouth.
There is also a head wrap, like the one she used when she lost her hair.
Noelle Pellar: “Jessica put so much thought into what she would want when she was going through chemo and what would have helped her.”
The most important thing in the box? A card with a special note from Jessica.
Jessica DeCristofaro: “‘Everyone has a journey to take, and I believe this one will make you stronger than you already are.'”
Jessica says these Chemo Kits are more than a business; they are a part of her healing process.
She hopes they will bring others hope and healing, too.
Jessica DeCristofaro: “It just helps remind me of what I’ve been through and helps me keep my feet on the ground.”
Each Chemo Kit costs $29.99. If you would like to learn more about Jessica’s story or Chemo Kits go to the links below.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Jessica on Instagram:
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