The Relay Refresh Road Trip rolled into Stratford, a city in Ontario, Canada and birthplace of Justin Bieber, to visit with JennyDearest. The town is well known for being the home of the Stratford Festival, previously known as the Stratford Shakespeare Festival. Stratford is also among the best places to retire in Ontario.
A strong Christian woman, Jenny is the proud mother of five adult children, four of whom her and her husband adopted as newborns. She shared with us the amazing stories of how each of her children came into her family. She told us of the many answered prayers over the years and her “calling from God” to open her heart and her home to her adopted children. Always wanting a large family, she explained how she was “given the gift of faith” and just watched as God filled her home with five beautiful children.
A cancer survivor, Jenny is Relaying in Second Life “for the very first time” this Relay season. She told us about her friend Tessa, also a cancer survivor, encouraging her to “get busy doing something” and suggesting she “do something with Relay For Life of Second Life”. Jenny spoke to some people and asked lots of questions. She did not see what she could do “that was of value” until someone pointed her to The Relay For Life Volunteers group. It was there that she realized that Relay was many different people doing lots of different things. Once she realized she could be creative in her own way, she was off and running as a new Relayer.
Click here if you would like to join The Relay For Life Volunteers group...
Jenny came to Second Life some 10 years ago after hearing about it on a CBC news story. Her first avatar quickly became a clothing designer, after a chance meeting with Nonna Hedges, shortly after she arrived inworld. She recalled how she “bumbled her way into Nonna’s store” and to her surprise, Nonna was there. They quickly struck up a conversation and while Jenny was telling her how much she liked her creations, Nonna started giving her dresses to help her get started in her Second Life. They quickly became friends and with Nonna’s encouragement Jenny began to design and sell clothing herself. They still remain friends to this day and have even met in real life.
Realizing that content creation was “all consuming” and “ate up a lot of time” she took a break from Second Life for a while and came back as JennyDearest some three and a half years ago. Believe it or not, she told us she rarely uses her cell phone, instead preferring her landline phone. She traverses the grid with a Windows 10 HP desktop computer which is home to her 62,526 item inventory. She is a huge Neil Diamond fan and his Jonathan Livingston Seagull album is one of her favorites. We were not surprised to hear that The Big C on Showtime was high on her list of favorite TV shows. The show follows Westhill High School teacher Cathy Jamison – a reserved, suburban wife and mother – who is diagnosed with melanoma. The realization of this forces Cathy to really begin to live for the first time in her adult life.
When asked what makes you laugh, Jenny replied “good clean humor”. She loves The Big Bang Theory and she told us that George Burns and Gracie Allen are two of her favorite comedians. As the conversation turned to heroes, she spoke about those people who “step outside of themselves and do extraordinary things”. She admires people “who believe in something and forget about themselves for a minute”. All of which, in our opinion, are also characteristics of this strong Christian woman.
Flash back three years. Jenny’s husband had an opportunity to transfer to London. In preparation, Jenny scheduled a visit with her doctor to “get a check up” and make sure she was “up to date” on all her shots. The doctor noticed something of concern and ordered some tests. After having an “ultrasound and biopsy”, she was “diagnosed with breast cancer”. “With the help of the Canadian Cancer Society and a Cancer Centre in London”, she received the needed surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. Flash forward three years, Jenny is a cancer survivor and a first time Relayer in Second Life.
Once Jenny decided she definitely wanted to be involved in RFL in Second LIfe, she was off and running. Her first idea was to bring back her “Ritz New York Club” that she so loved on her first avatar. She was able to use a platform over the Sci-Fi Expo sims, rez her club and hold numerous events with all proceeds going to Relay. Her next idea was to draw on her designer skills and design a 2018 Relay Gown.
The 2018 Relay Gown may be purchased here...
Once the gown was finished and for sale in a Relay Vendor, Jenny was ready for her next big idea, The 2018 Relay For Life Dream Home. Jenny has been soliciting donations from home builders, landscapers, content creators and decorators from around the grid and has put together three “Dream Homes” that will be put up for raffle with tickets being available on Relay Weekend - July 14th and 15th. This lady is on fire for Relay !!!
The model homes can be visited and donations accepted at Official Relay for LIfe Kiosks here...
As a first year Relayer, we asked Jenny what she thought about her experiences so far. She told us what has impressed her the most about Relayers is “the kind heartedness and the willingness to support the cause from the very bottom of their hearts”. She told us, “Relayers believe they can make a difference and they are all working for the same things”. She shared with us that she has “met so many amazing people that have helped her to be successful”.
Before she had cancer, Jenny “did not realize there was so much love in the world” and through her involvement in Relay she sees the same love inworld. When asked if she could say one thing about Relay, she quickly said “it is the most worthwhile thing I have done in SL and it has given me purpose”. Before, she was here to just have fun, dance and chat with others. Now Relay has made what she does here “important” and she is “grateful to have found this path”. As a cancer survivor, Relay has given “real meaning to SL” for Jenny.
JennyDearest has been without doubt a strong Relayer right out of the gate. To her fellow Relayers, Jenny says “you are doing a great thing… be proud of what you are doing… help one another… do not be afraid to share your ideas and work with others… teamwork will make Relay a bigger success… and above all, continue to support those with cancer…”
JennyDearest is evidence of how Relay has successfully changed this year… how it is now open for anyone to do anything… to do Relay their way… a community of people… one team… working together… full of love… family… supporting one another… not to compete against each other… and with people like Jenny, we will become the best Relay on the planet !!!
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