UPDATE: Kim Jewett has been chosen as the Huffington Post's Greatest Person of the Day, which features stories of people across the nation who are confronting major issues and making a difference in their community. Congratulations, Kim!
Kim Jewett may have been diagnosed for the second time with breast cancer, but rather than dwell on it she has chosen “to inspire” instead.
Three years ago, when Jewett was 31, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. This February, she was diagnosed again.
To distract herself from her sickness, the Plainfield woman and Grande Park Elementary mom, implemented “Thoughtful Thursdays” over the summer, where she and her family and friends would do something thoughtful for others each Thursday.
So far they have volunteered at Feed my Starving Children, written letters to service men and women and hosted lemonade stands to donate the proceeds to their favorite charities.
“It started with just trying to throw myself into something to make me feel good. And now it’s brought awareness, inspiration to the community. It’s turning into a great project.”
The current project that Jewett is working on through Thoughtful Thursdays involves making fleece blankets for cancer patients and their families.
The response has been overwhelming, said Jewett, who received a letter from the family of one of the cancer patients who had received a blanket.
The letter reads:
Dear Sweet Kim, Kalli, & Tyler,
What a beautiful, sweet, thoughtful, gentle, thing you did for our family today at the cancer center. My brother-in-law and I were so touched by your gesture of presenting my sister-in-law with that beautiful, warm, cozy blanket-that matched her fingernails too! My sister-in-law is such a sweet lady, and she would have loved to thank you profusely and sincerely if she could have.
She is lying next to me in her bed now, and I thought we were going to loose her before we got her transported home from the hospital that day. She looks so pretty and content under your blanket. Thank you for your thoughtfulness. Kim, good luck in your treatment, and tell your kids they are wonderful, and have a beautiful, sweet mom.
On the back of the card, was a post-it note that said:
PS - Kathy died tonight at 11:45pm in October.
Jewett said that while such things are devastating, she’s glad to be getting her story out to help inspire and help others.
“It’s random acts of kindness,” she said. “It’s really starting to spread.”
Several local schools have become interested in Thoughtful Thursdays, and on Oct. 18 Jewett led a blanket-making event at Grande Park, her children's, Kalli and Tyler, school.
For any other schools, groups or individuals that would like to be a part of Thoughtful Thursdays, Jewett encouraged them to visit the Facebook page for all activities and events that are being put on. For November, Jewett has plans for a food drive.
As for herself, Jewett said she’s “doing good.” She finished up her last round of chemotherapy around Labor Day and had surgery about two weeks ago to officially remove her breast. She’s scheduled to start radiation treatment on Oct. 29.
“My friends tell me I’m crazy,” she laughed. “They say ‘You’re in the middle of treatment!’ But it’s all about surviving and thriving and giving back with a passion.”
Even after her treatment is over, Jewett said she plans to continue Thoughtful Thursdays.
“It’s not just about cancer. Everyone struggles with something,” she said. “We all just need to circle back to positive thoughts and do whatever we can do. That’s how we keep going.”