LAKE FOREST (CBS) — Thousands gathered at Saddleback Church Wednesday night to remember a 12-year-old cancer patient who brought joy to others until she lost her battle with the disease last week.

Of her 12 years of life, it was the last year of Jessica Joy Rees’ time on earth that changed the lives of so many others.

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During Jessie’s celebration service, her father shared a story about his daughter’s tremendous courage. After enduring months of painful treatment for inoperable brain tumors, Jessie had one thought: to help other kids with cancer by giving them jars filled with love, candy and anything that felt like a hug. She called them JoyJars.

Her wish was to send one to each of the 50,000 kids in America fighting cancer.

“We ended last year with over 3,000 jars stuffed,” her father, Pastor Erik Rees, told the crowd. “I will miss making JoyJars with Jessie, but I will make sure every kid gets their jar. I promise you, sweet pea.”

Thousands showed their support by celebrating her short life that has now made a national impact. Jessie’s non-profit organization, NEGU, was named after her favorite phrase: Never Ever Give Up.

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“Not only was she a bright light of sunshine all the time, she just never gave up,” an attendee told CBS2.

She has 126,000 followers on her Facebook page and her JoyJars have been distributed in 27 states.

For more information how you can get involved visit

» Girl Spreads Joy To Others While Battling Cancer
» Girl Faces Cancer With Courage, Hope And Unyielding Love
» Girl Who Spread Joy And Hope To Thousands Loses Battle With Brain Cancer

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» Buy JoyJars
» Jessie’s Facebook Page
» Learn More About The NEGU Foundation