“Remarkable Women” Finalist, Jessica Wertsch, is creating change one chemo bag at a time!

Remarkable Women

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOTV)- “There’s no need to be perfect to inspire others. Let people get inspired by how you deal with your imperfections”- Ziad K. Abdelnour

Jessica Wertsh is living proof that any individual can rise above adversity and use their personal experiences to make the world a better place! She’s our “Remarkable Woman” of the week, as her story exemplifies the true meaning of selfless giving!

I am related to a remarkable woman and hope that I can tell her story in a way that lets you know what myself, and many others she has helped, know about her.

Janet Johnson

Jessica’s Background:

Jessica Wertsch was born profoundly deaf.  When she was only two and a half years old, she started school full-time to learn how to cope with her condition.  As the only deaf child in the Marne School district, Jessica received unwavering support from her teachers and various members of the community.

Their compassion combined with Jessica’s intelligence and diligent spirit mainstreamed her into the normal curriculum from first grade- an achievement that was considered very rare for a profoundly deaf child.

Jessica continued to achieve greatness by graduating from Kenowa Hills High school and Grand Valley State University! After graduation, she began her career at Art Optical, where she still currently works.

Aside from establishing her professional life, she also built a family with the love of her life! Jessica married her high school sweetheart, Ryan, and the pair have two children-Victoria and Gavin, now 10 and 7.  

What makes Jessica Remarkable?  

Jessica is not the CEO of a major corporation, or a celebrity, or anyone that most people would know, but Jessica is the embodiment, in my mind, of a remarkable woman, who-with some major strikes against her from birth, rose above them to become an incredible wife, hands-on mother, dedicated employee, her own boss as a Thirty One Director, and the founder of her own non-profit charity-J’s Chemo Bags, a charity that provided every single person who went through chemotherapy at Mercy Health Lacks Cancer Center this year, with a beautiful bag filled with things to help cancer patients cope with the side effects of chemotherapy. 

Janet Johnson

The art of giving back

Through her own journey of experiencing hearing loss and losing her grandmother to breast cancer, Jessica learned the importance of supporting others by “helping them feel a little more special.”

Her tenderhearted spirit inspired her to honor her grandmother by creating chemotherapy bags entitled, J’s Chemo Bags, to help patients during their cancer treatments. All proceeds are donated to charity!

Many individuals receiving chemo treatments aren’t aware of items that they may need, which is why this remarkable woman was proactive in extending a helping hand. J’s Chemo Bags includes homemade hats and blankets, pillows, hand sanitizer, lotion, candy, snacks, and even encouraging messages to help patients get through the day!

Creating change in the community one bag at a time!

Shortly after the launch of J’s Chemo Bags, various members of the community learned of Jessica’s mission and wanted to offer their support!

One day, Jessica hosted a blanket making party to make blankets for the chemo bags.  Women with their mothers and children and supplies they purchased, showed up to learn how to make the blankets.  Over forty blankets were added to Jessica’s supply inventory that day, and we all had a great time getting to know new women, all remarkable for caring so much about people they would never meet.

Janet Johnson

If you would like to support this amazing initiative, visit J’s Chemo Bags on Facebook!

And to learn more of Jessica’s journey, watch her interview above and stay tuned for more remarkable stories from our other finalists every Tuesday at 11:00am on eightWest and WOTV4Women!

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