"Oh my goodness... Colorado is AMAAAAAZING. We actually packed up the kids in an RV and hit the road!
Best. Trip. Ever.
So much fun & the kids thought it was the best thing in the world."
Jess Haag, February 2020
About Just Jess Foundation
Why Fund Family Vacations? Hear from Steve:
Amidst the second year of navigating a critical cancer diagnosis, 2019 was the best year of our life. How could that be? Because that critical cancer diagnosis pushed us into seizing every moment and chasing memories all over the United States. First, we were blessed to go on a vacation with family members to Florida. We got to take the kids to Disney World and we spent time at our favorite place—the ocean. Over the Fourth of July, we went on a spontaneous trip to St. Louis. Jess woke up one morning and told me, “We need an adventure.” So, we hopped in the car a 48 hour door to door trip, packed with a kid’s museum, fireworks and fun. Later that summer, we spent time at a cottage on a lake with Jess's family hanging out together. Finally, with support from family and friends, we got to go on our most memorable RV trip to Durango, CO with memory making at the Mile High Stadium and Mt. Rushmore, among many other places.
Yes, we dealt with cancer on the daily, but our family vacations were cancer free. Sure, my kids were very little and let’s be honest, they may not remember the details, but I do—AND, I have those cancer free details to give my kids. The pictures. The videos. The stories. Their mom in her best form.
While I have known since August 13, 2020 that I wanted to do something in Jess’s memory, it has taken me two years to figure it out—a foundation that funds family vacations for parents experiencing a critical cancer diagnoses. I want other families going through this to have the same memory making, life-changing opportunities we did.
WHO IS ELIGIBLE?
Parents who reside in Wisconsin with a medically confirmed critical cancer diagnosis. A MD/DO letter of support will be required. Preference will be given to families within a 75 mile radius of the Fox Valley.
WHO CAN APPLY?
Patient/patient’s partner must submit the final application for consideration.
CAN SOMEONE BE NOMINATED?
Yes, a nomination form can be submitted, but ultimately it will be the family’s choice to pursue an application.
WHAT WILL WE FUND?
Family vacations for the patient, their partner (or an adult support person), and their children.
HOW WILL APPLICATIONS BE APPROVED?
Applications will be reviewed at minimum on an annual basis by the Board of Directors after which families will be notified and connected with our selected travel agent to plan their vacation.
WHEN WILL APPLICATIONS BE ACCEPTED?
Applications will be accepted on an ongoing basis and reviewed as needed.
IS THE JUST JESS FOUNDATION A 501c3 TAX EXEMPT ORGANIZATION?
Yes, we are a private foundation and a 501c3 as deemed by the IRS.
Meet The Team