Jessi Rock's desire for helping families affected by cancer started
when she was just 3-years old.
"Our neighbor, my mother’s dear friend, was often ill and unable
to care for her son (my friend Andrew, also three-years-old). Andrew
would spend the days and sometimes nights, at our home and so, in many
ways, Andrew was very much a part of our family. Suddenly, Andrew moved away and I was heartbroken by the loss of my closest friend. I’m sure that my parents explained that his mother had passed away from her illness and that his father had to start new somewhere else, but all I knew was that my friend was gone. It wasn’t until I was older that I grasped the magnitude of the situation and truly understood the meaning of cancer and its far-reaching effects."
Flash forward nearly twenty years later. Working as an assistant bank manager, Jessi had an elevator encounter that would change the trajectory of her life.
"I bumped into a new co-worker in the elevator and asked him how he was liking the job so far. Through tears, he explained that his wife had just been diagnosed with breast cancer and that his insurance had not yet taken effect. With family scattered across the country and an infant at home, he didn't know how he was going to juggle helping his wife fight cancer while caring for their son."
Jessi promised him that she would do whatever she could to help...having no idea what that promise meant.
"It's like the memories of Andrew and my co-worker's experience converged and made me realize that finding reliable childcare is a paramount issue faced by families affected by cancer."
Through the encouragement of friends and family, and even a representative from the American Cancer Society who told Jessi, "I think you might be on to something," Jessi founded A Small Miracle Foundation, a 501(c)3 non-profit dedicated to providing charitable childcare to families affected by cancer.
Funded by individuals, corporations and foundations, A Small Miracle Foundation contracts professional, accredited nanny agencies to provide safe and reliable childcare at no charge to the families in need.
"We began by serving families with a parent fighting cancer, but quickly realized that siblings of children fighting cancer needed our services too." Today A Small Miracle Foundation helps families in which mom, dad or even a sibling is battling the disease. "We just want to give these families peace of mind, knowing that their healthy child or children are being well-cared for in their own, familiar environment," Jessi says.
Since 2004, A Small Miracle Foundation has provided more than 10,000 hours of free childcare to over 100 families throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, and has no sign of slowing down.
"Our dream is to expand our mission into other parts of Texas, and someday nationwide." Until then, A Small Miracle Foundation will remain committed to providing the highest quality, in-home childcare services to families affected by cancer throughout DFW.