Meet Jenna, the 4,000th Wish Recipient
Jenna is a typical 16-year-old teenage girl living in Colorado. She loves hanging out with her friends and family, watching the Colorado Rockies’ games on TV and painting pictures of inspirational words and butterflies. However, when Jenna was 15, she was given some news that would change her life forever. Jenna and her family heard the words no family ever wants to hear from a doctor. “We found something…,” was all her doctor had to say for Jenna and her family to know that something was terribly wrong. After doing some scans and tests, Jenna was diagnosed with brain cancer and had a tumor in her brain. From that moment forward she was forced to look at life with a completely different perspective.
“I had really mixed emotions,” said Jenna. “I was scared and didn’t completely understand exactly what my doctor was saying to me. All I knew was that my life was about to change, but it was all part of God’s plan for me.”
In an instant, Jenna’s life and all sense of normalcy changed for her and her family. Jenna was put on a special diet; she had to visit the hospital on a regular basis; and worst of all, she could no longer go to school because of memory loss due to the location of her tumor in her brain that made doing schoolwork and other activities challenging.
“I remember my siblings getting ready for the first day of school and being devastated,” said Jenna. “I love school, especially the first day – all the excitement, new clothes, a new backpack – and not being able to experience that with my siblings was very sad for me.”
Since her diagnosis, Jenna’s life has definitely changed, but she remains positive and hopeful. She is still able to do some schoolwork in between chemo treatments and resting, but no matter what, she always looks to her religion for answers.
“After being diagnosed, I started a blog of sorts on Facebook called, God’s Got This. The blog follows my treatment and my story,” said Jenna. “My life has been affected by cancer, but I use the blog to help other kids going through the same struggles - that’s why my wish is so important to me.”
Jenna’s wish is an important and special one indeed. It fits into the “I wish to give” category of wishes and is one that Make-A-Wish Colorado® is truly honored to grant.
“I wanted to take this opportunity I was given by Make-A-Wish Colorado to write a book about my experience with cancer,” said Jenna. “Journaling is something I already do to help with my memory loss and get me through the hard times, so writing and publishing a book about cancer that I could give to other cancer patients was my idea of a wish-come-true!”
According to Jenna, she wanted to have a wish that could help her fight through her cancer and inspire others as well.
“The book will incorporate my experience with cancer – losing my hair, the pain, the treatments, my emotions – and give other cancer patients a place to journal about their experiences too.”
Jenna was referred to Make-A-Wish Colorado in October 2012. Since then, her wish coordinator, LuAnn, wish granter, Gloria, numerous volunteers and the community have been involved with the editing, designing and publishing of this unique book.
On June 4, Jenna celebrated her accomplishment at her very own book release party where guests were invited to read her book titled, “God’s Got This: Adventures in Hope” for the very first time and hear about the ideas and inspiration from the first-time author.
“God’s Got This” gives the reader perspective about Jenna’s journey with cancer and helps other teens work through their own illnesses. By being vulnerable and opening up about her experience, Jenna gives others hope for a brighter tomorrow.
Jenna’s mother, Johanna wrote the book’s forward and informs readers that they should, “Be prepared to cry, laugh, and be inspired.”
Stay tuned for more details about where “God’s Got This” can be purchased.