NEGU! An appreciation for the brief life and universal impact of Jessica Joy Rees, blogger, dead at 12, January 6, 2012.

January 13, 2012 | Author: | Posted in Dr. Jeffrey Lant’s Article Archive

Jessica Joy Rees, dead at 12, NEGU!

by Dr. Jeffrey Lant

Author’s program note. In 1970 Erich Segal began his international best seller “Love Story” with this line: “What can you say about a twenty-five-year-old girl who died?” The world shed copious, cleansing tears to find out. It was fiction in the cinemascope manner.

But my story is not fiction, it is fact, and answers this question: “What can you say about a twelve-year-old girl who died”? Plenty! And every word of it uplifting! Courageous! Inspirational!

For this is the story of Jessica Joy Rees, now taken from the world which valued her and rooted for her every minute, every single minute, of her too brief life.

And for this story, I have selected a bouncy tune from “Annie” the 1977 Broadway musical based on the popular Harold Gray comic strip; music by Charles Strouse, lyrics by Martin Charnin, and the book by Thomas Meehan. The particular tune I have selected is, of course, “Tomorrow”, a song of such unfettered, irresistible hope that we can easily imagine it bears the sure and certain touch of God Himself, who we are assured calls all such innocents unto Himself, the better to traverse eternity in love and security.

About Jessica.

While other 12-year-old girls were texting friends with the latest gossip, fashion tips, and, of course, pivotal intelligence worthy of the CIA about boyz, Jessica Joy Rees, for all that she wasn’t even a teen-ager, had far weightier things on her young mind. This Rancho Santa Margarita, California lass was wresting with the great questions of human life, riddles and perplexities even the most insightful approach with awe, trepidation and humility:

Who am I? Why am I here? Why am I who has hurt no one so afflicted?

Why me, O Lord, why me?

In her world of hurt, surrounded by adults who all wished to help, there were no sure answers to these questions… and so this slight 12-year-old girl, in constant, increasing pain, amidst a plethora of confusions and bafflements, braved her present struggle and the unknown future with an incandescent smile so radiant it might illuminate all the ages to come. And so this slip of a girl, so very young, came to know, far too soon, that the answers to these queries are in each of us… if only you look. And this young girl did look.. and found comfort aplenty, not just for herself but for the many others wresting with these great queries, as she was. Thus did Jessica Joy Rees, of just 12 winters, find her path, to care, to be a friend, to give solace, to share love… and above all to “NEVER EVER GIVE UP”, NEGU, the profound acronym that became her defiant, empowering, world-famous online sign off code and raison d’etre.

It was a sentiment that came to define the girl, why she was here, and what she could do… and would do… for all that she was only a seventh-grader.


In the ideal world of our imagining — but sadly not in ours — no 12-year-old child would come to define her world and entire existence by disease, any disease. But while our politicians posture and pose, engaging in endless forays into the trivial and insignificant, thousands of these children sicken daily; governments like ours of the Great Republic preferring the creation and use of deadly weapons to sure victories over and complete eradication of deadly disease.

For these people, who waste every resource and cannot see the error of their costly, misguided, pointless ways, Jessica Joy Rees came as an unanswerable, challenging, and completely clear voice: for thousands of years Mankind has chosen war, mayhem, chaos and misery over the healing arts and sciences. Is it not time, honorable citizens, to try a different approach, raising the banner of health… not that of enmity, catastrophe, hatred, and destruction? Will you not join those who improve, protect and affirm life… instead of those who destroy it?

Jessica’s blog.

Jessica, who should have been hanging at the mall and eviscerating the miscues and misconstructions of fashionistas, had instead a very different agenda, an agenda that would have challenged most any adult, but which to this child was child’s play indeed. Time, fleeting for us all, racing even faster for young Jessica, had its urgent necessities… and so while she did what physicians advised in order to extend life, she lived what little she had, day by day, hour by hour, outreach by outreach, idea by idea, empathy by empathy… making progress and igniting the world as her few days dwindled.

With a wisdom far in advance of her years, Jessica set up a blog… a blog where she shared the considerable insights, knowledges and realizations of her situation; transforming mere personal history into a wealth of useful information for others who shared similar burdens or worse… people who found comfort and some peace, too… in the postings as good, weighty and true as those of Anne Frank. Jessica was empathy pure and simple… empathy graced by the smile of recognition, insight, and comfort; and a work ethic all her own.

With the bittersweet assistance of her father, Pastor Erik Rees, she started a foundation to raise money for pediatric cancer research, again reaching beyond herself for the amelioration of others.

Too, she devised “Joy Jars”. Buyers got a t-shirt and filled them with “Joy” for others. These proceeds also went for research which would, she knew, find a cure… but too late for her. That did not signify, did not depress, or dismay her. Her work was to do; others would come, she was sure, to complete her important tasks.

And so a gallant girl, who might so reasonably and justifiably have chosen a very different course for her short time with us, chose instead to use what she had, and in such ample measure, to touch, improve, uplift and soothe the lives of the multitudes, from every corner of Earth, who benefited and will benefit from what she did… and will never forget Jessica Joy Rees, her struggle, her care, her kindness and the humanity which defined her, every day of her life. And this was why at her death, tens of thousands gathered at her Facebook site, gathering for far more than to mark her demise; rather celebrating the heroine and inspiration she was and would always remain. Ashes to ashes. Dust to dust. Amen.

** Your comments on this article are invited below.

About the Author

Harvard-educated Dr. Jeffrey Lant is CEO of Worldprofit, Inc., providing a wide range of online services for small and-home based businesses. Services include home business training, affiliate marketing training, earn-at-home programs, traffic tools, advertising, webcasting, hosting, design, WordPress Blogs and more. Find out why Worldprofit is considered the # 1 online Home Business Training program by getting a free Associate Membership today. Details at


This author has published 407 articles so far. More info about the author is coming soon.

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