She lived for twenty years with a heart transplant; she was a leg amputee; she was a three- time cancer survivor. But Jessica, who passed away on September 25, 2019 at the age of 37, will be remembered for much more than this.
Despite her adversity, which earned her the nickname “Wonder Woman,” she never let it hold her back. Jessica graduated from Princeton University and became an internationally-known motivational speaker. Some of the advice she provided to other people battling cancer was to look for the light, even when the world seemed darkest. “If you are struggling, think about something that might bring you joy — a phone call with a friend you haven’t spoken with for a while, a book you’ve wanted to read and never had time to. It can make a big difference in your mentality,” Jessica said. “Do the best you can — some days will be harder than others — but you will also have good days to look forward to.”
“We can never be grateful enough for what we have,” Loreen Arbus, Disability Rights Activist, Philanthropist, Producer, Writer and Author, said of Jessica, who she described as always having a radiant quality about her. “Every time I saw her, it drove that point home.”
Just prior to her peaceful passing, she gave this message to pass on to everyone else:
“Thank you for all your healing prayers and well wishes.
Thank you for your support.
And thank you for giving me the opportunity to know you and love you.
“Dream as if you’ll live forever, but live as if you only have today”
Jessica is survived by her parents Thomas and Ellen, her brother Matthew, sister-in-law Jennifer, and many loving friends and family members.
A celebration of Jessica’s life will be held from 3-8pm on Wednesday, October 2nd at Joseph G. Duffy Funeral Home in Brooklyn, NY. Limited metered street parking is available, as well as a parking garage at Paramount Car Park LLC, 353 4th Ave, Brooklyn, NY. Nearby subway stops include the F/G train 4 Ave- 9 St station and the R train 9 St station.
A Funeral Mass will take place at 11am (EST) on Thursday, October 3rd at Holy Name of Jesus Church in Brooklyn, NY. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Harboring Hearts at www.harboringhearts.org/donate and Leukemia & Lymphoma Society at www.lls.org.