In late 2010, at the age of 38, Jessica Main’s world turned upside down when she was diagnosed with HER2+ breast cancer, a rare form of breast cancer affecting nearly 300,000 men and women every year. With little time to grasp the gravity of her diagnosis, Main began intensive chemotherapy and targeted treatments over the course of 8 months. This is where Jessica’s journey began.
The first morning of chemotherapy terrified her, not knowing what the first day entailed and how the drugs were going to affect her body. “It was time to go into battle and become a warrior,” she said. To keep her occupied and comforted during the long treatment time, she had packed herself what she described as a “safety bag” to take to chemotherapy with her. The contents changed over time after observing the different effects the drugs had on the body.
After completing chemotherapy, the tumor shrunk and was removed by doctors during surgery. The journey, however, was not over. She had to undergo 35 rounds of radiation and continued for another year on a targeted drug called Herceptin, specifically for HER2+ patients.
After the two-year battle that took its toll both mentally and physically, Jessica found a way to channel her experience by helping to build the nonprofit organization, Blessed Bag founded by Kristina Azur Mete. Applying her knowledge and experience with cancer, she helped to assemble bags for others undergoing chemotherapy.
12 years after her journey began, Jessica is living her best life and helping others by leading Blessed Bag. As the nonprofit continues its mission to provide comfort and encouragement to those undergoing chemotherapy, her drive to help others is fueled by the positive feedback she gets from those who receive the bags. Today, Blessed Bag has distributed over 2,500 bags all over the United States.