Fighting Cancer One Gift at a Time
by Spirit Jump staff
Spirit Jump is a grassroots nonprofit organization that sends cards and gifts to cancer fighters for the purpose of lifting their spirits and letting them know they are not alone in their battle.
“Cancer is very isolating and frightening, even with a support system in place,” says Spirit Jump founder Meaghan Edelstein. Meaghan speaks from personal experience, as she is a terminal cancer survivor herself who credits receiving loving cards and gifts in the mail from family, friends, and strangers for brightening those darkest days during intense chemotherapy and radiation sessions. This experience is what led her to create Spirit Jump “because I want every person with cancer to feel supported during their battle,” she says.
How does Spirit Jump work?
A cancer fighter, called a “Jumpee,” contacts Spirit Jump, providing them with a summary of their cancer story, and requests the service. His or her story is then sent to the over 1200 gift givers, or “Jumpers,” in a biweekly e-mail and posted on the Spirit Jump website. From there, Jumpers can request the cancer fighter’s address and then mail a card or gift directly.
Spirit Jumpers can be found all over the world – from Singapore to Australia – unified with the single purpose of supporting people battling cancer. “It’s as simple as buying a stack of cards at the dollar store and sending one to someone in need,” says Meaghan. “There are no membership fees, or ‘adopting,’ or required gift outputs per month; a jumper can send a card whenever he or she feels moved by one of the stories.”
The Spirit Jump service is available to all cancer fighters regardless of gender, age, race, creed, nationality, and cancer type because, as Meaghan explains, “cancer doesn’t discriminate, and neither do we.”
As one Spirit Jumpee wrote, “My cancer is terminal, but I’m not ready to go yet. The cards and gifts and love I receive have made the difference between staying in bed and getting up and out and living again!”
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For more information about Spirit Jump, visit SpiritJump.org. To find out how you can send cards to cancer fighters, select “Become a Jumper.” Cancer fighters can select “Request a Jump.”
This article was originally published in Coping® with Cancer magazine, September/October 2010.