DES MOINES, Iowa — It is a fight no child should have to endure.
“To have a child that has gone through cancer and then to be around other folks that have also gone through it. Nobody understands it unless you can share that experience,” said Jean Rossow-Kinseth
Brain cancer took the life of Jean’s daughter, Jenna Falbos, in 2010. Since 2019, Jenna’s Jam bicycle ride continues to let her seventeen years of life shine.
“We want to just keep Jenna’s spirit alive and show how much the folks at Cancer Connection helped her,” said Jean.
With the route beginning and ending at Captain Roy’s in Des Moines it’s a way for Jenna’s mother, family, friends and Children’s Cancer Connection to keep Jenna’s memory alive. Jean said, “Over 750 families are affected by childrens cancer in Iowa alone and you go to camp you don’t pay for anything. There’s no burden so I want to give back and Jenna’s memory is to help them.”
Taylor Fouch met Jenna at Children’s Cancer Connection’s summer camp. “We had the same kind of cancer,” said Taylor. She added, “She was funny. She would do anything and she would climb that rock wall and get it done every time.”
The two became fast friends and the ride brings a smile to Taylor knowing Jenna is close by. Taylor said, “It warms the heart that we can all talk about great times with Jenna all the times at camp. It just means a lot to all of us.”
From Des Moines to Cumming and back, the one day twenty-five mile ride requires strength and endurance with six stops along the way. The proceeds from raffles at stops along the way provide added strength to kids battling cancer with a Cancer Connection summer camp that leaves a lifelong impact. “Fit in with other kids that have cancer. They can talk to each other about it,” said Taylor.
While Jenna’s life was cut short, the ride has created a journey of strength for others facing the same uphill climb. Taylor said, “These are kids that have had cancer. They have gone through a tough time and they are going to camp to see other kids that have gone through cancer too.”
In 2021 Jenna’s Jam helped raise enough money to fully fund two cabins full of kids at Children’s Cancer Connection’s summer camp.