Community Stories: Jules Whish on the Power of Community When Faced With Cancer
Community care is at the centre of everything we do at Sperri. As February comes to a close, we share the story of Jules Whish, who reminds us that another powerful word for love is community—especially when faced with a cancer diagnosis.
Jules Whish is an eternal optimist, celebrator, and happiness enthusiast. She’s passionate about community, being creative and a proud wife and mama. She is currently battling cancer and won’t let that stop her from finding joy and creating a life worth celebrating.
Community has always been such a big part of my life. Even from a young age, I remember the feeling I would get when surrounded by people who made me feel good. It was clear that I was the type of person who would thrive off of helping, supporting, and connecting with others, which still holds true to this day. While community may look different to everyone, what we all share is the joy we feel when surrounded by people who want what's best for us.
Over the last few years, I realized just how powerful community can truly be. Through my work focusing on company culture, I was able to connect with and meet so many inspiring folks. I was building a different type of community but one that still served me in so many ways. I soon started to realize that through work, family, friendships, and the internet - that I had actually built my very own community.
"I had so many people in my corner. I had people who cared about me, my goals, my passions, and what I was putting out into the world."
I had so many people in my corner. I had people who cared about me, my goals, my passions, and what I was putting out into the world. I had curated a place that felt special, supportive, and optimistic. I never took much time to sit down and reflect on the community I was able to build and then in October 2021, I was diagnosed with stage four cancer. A day that changed our lives forever.
To say I wasn’t expecting a cancer diagnosis is an understatement. Our world was turned upside down in an instant. I knew that I was going to want to share my news with my family, friends, and my community and I am so thankful that I did. I will never forget the first few days, weeks, and months following an Instagram post I made about my diagnosis. We were overwhelmed with love from so many people - deliveries were flowing in with homecooked meals, cards, flowers, gift baskets, and everything in between. The amount of kindness from our loved ones (and even complete strangers who just knew me from the internet) was absolutely beautiful.
The power of community was shining through day in and day out. I had so many people in our corner. People who wanted to share stories of hope, pray for us, and support any way that they could. It was clear that surrounding myself with love, positivity, and hope was something that would continue to be such an important part of my life. I just knew that I needed it now more than ever.
"Connecting with other folks facing cancer became something that was really important to me. I found comfort in being able to talk with people who understood what I was going through and could relate to the journey that lay ahead."
Connecting with other folks facing cancer became something that was really important to me. I found comfort in being able to talk with people who understood what I was going through and could relate to the journey that lay ahead. Slowly, this community grew more and more and I’ve been able to connect with so many incredible people. Over time, all of these people have become such a core part of my everyday life.
When I have a tough day, or a big scan, or need anything - these people are here in an instant. They are offering words of support and well wishes, they are sending encouraging messages or checking in with me. They are lifting me up when I need it most and are a constant reminder that kindness matters.
Whether you’re facing cancer or any type of health challenge one of the greatest things you can do for yourself is lean on those who want to help. Accept their love with open arms and lean on them when you need to. In the wise words of Helen Keller: “Alone, we can do so little; together we can do so much.”
“Accept their love with open arms and lean on them when you need to."
Hear more from Jules on her blog heyjules.ca and follow her on Instagram @heyjulesxo.