June 25, 2009

Give a Spirit Jump

I can't remember how I first came across Spirit Jump. It must have been a couple of months ago. In the midst of reading stories of survivors online, I finally found something I felt like I could do.

The best way to tell you about Spirit Jump is to let them speak in their own words. So, from the 'What is Spirit Jump' section on their website:

How It Started:

In February 2007 Meaghan Edelstein, a law student at Shepard Broad Law Center in South Florida , was diagnosed with stage 3B cervical cancer. After being misdiagnosed for over two months the tumor was finally discovered by her doctors. She was told she had little chance of survival but Meaghan decided to fight. She was immediately flown to Boston where she received treatment at Dana Farber Cancer Institute. After receiving internal/external radiation, chemotherapy and numerous surgeries Meaghan was on her way to recovery. While in the hospital many people visited Meaghan, she also received many cards and gifts along the way. Meaghan credits these small touches of love with giving her the extra strength to keep fighting for her life.

Looking for a way to reach out to others Meaghan started a blog called I Kicked Cancers Ass where she wrote openly and honestly about her experience. Many began to find her on her blog and were able to receive answers as well as comfort. Realizing she was helping others began a healing process of her own. Wanting to make more of a difference she thought hard about what else she could do. Finally the answer came. Remembering the cards and gifts she received and how they lifted her spirits during a desperate time, Meaghan decided to match those who wished to give with those who needed support. Thus began SPIRIT JUMP.

Stacy Joins Spirit Jump:

Stacy Billow, a 24 year old Stage IV Melanoma cancer fighter was just one of the many people who had found Meaghan through her blog. After striking up a friendship via many emails and phone calls Meaghan asked Stacy if she would like to help her run Spirit Jump. Stacy was excited about the opportunity and immediately they began their journey together. Through Spirit Jump, Meaghan and Stacy continue to make a difference in the lives of their fellow cancer fighters.

The Spirit Jump Mission:

Spirit Jumps goal is to provide hope and comfort to the many men, women and children battling cancer. To let each and every cancer fighter know that they are not alone in their battle and that there are many of us who care and are rooting them on. When someone is struggling for strength during tough times we hope a little package of love arrives to give them the extra strength they need to get through the day.

The Amazing Part:

The amazing thing about Spirit Jump is the fact that both the person giving a gift(Jumper) often has their spirit lifted just as much as the person receiving the gift(Jumpee).

I make homemade greeting cards using photos and craft materials. At least once a month I sit down and write some letters or short notes to friends. Sometimes, just a card or note in the mail from a friend can mean a great deal to people. There are no requirements for being a Spirit Jumper. You don't have to spend a lot of money buying gifts, or a lot of time trying to figure out what to buy or donate. All you really need is a heart full of love and a few minutes to send some of that love out to someone who needs it.

I mostly send out cards, and every once in a while I can send out something more, especially if it will be meaningful. Once, a Spirit Jump request came for a woman in England and her daughter who was requesting it mentioned that she loves Africa. I was able to send her a beautiful woven basket. My Dad travels to Africa for his job several times a year, and it was one of the inexpensive souvenirs he brought back. It was something cool I had, but I hope to her it will mean something more. It just felt so wonderful to send it and know how much it might mean to someone else.

If you have some free time, please consider signing up and getting on the e-mail list as a Spirit Jumper. If you know someone who might benefit from having their Spirit Jumped, please e-mail these girls! They are making a huge difference in people's lives, and it's absolutely wonderful.


Kori said...

I just think YOU are awesome; that's it. Oh, and I tagged you for a meme.

Equidae said...

that is really a great inititative keep it up