BOISE, Idaho — Some people who are facing cancer have a bucket list. A list of things they want to do or accomplish before they leave this earth.
That's not the case for Jenny Giese of Boise. Giese is not a fan of bucket lists, she has what she calls a LIVE LIST.
"I like the idea that we can all have this live list, like what do you want to experience in life now, to feel like you are really living and making the most of your time," Jenny said. "Things on there that I would love to be able to do or experience before it is my time."
You may recall we featured this young wife and mother as our 7's Hero back in October of 2022. She is fighting stage four metastatic breast cancer at the age of 39, she was diagnosed when she was 37. She has the most amazing and inspiring attitude, and she shares it with the world on social media. It's been five months since we checked in with Giese, her husband Dustin, and their two little boys.
"Henry is four, he will be five in April, and Jack is two, he will be three in September," Jenny about her young sons said. "As of right now, we are totally kicking cancer's butt, my chemo is working, I have my good days and bad days but we have everything to be grateful for at this moment in time."
Jenny is grateful for so many things, one of them being that she just returned home from the family Disney World vacation of her dreams. It was made possible by her family, friends, and people she doesn't even know. They just wanted to give.
"So the community, our family, our friends came together and created a GoFundMe, that raised more than enough money to provide us with an absolutely incredible experience, and we just got back from spending two weeks in Disney World and it was amazing," Jenny said.
So many people who saw Jenny's story here on KTVB donated to that GoFundMe. It reached over twenty thousand dollars. Jenny said she couldn't believe it.
"I was in tears. As the Go Fund Me started to accumulate, I was overwhelmed, I couldn't believe the generosity of people I knew, let alone people I didn't know. To be on the receiving end of that was amazing and we were able to have the trip of a lifetime and then some," Jenny said.
Her little boys were over the moon, and so excited about the trip.
"They could not stop talking about it," Dustin Giese, Jenny's husband, said. "Once we got there, they were crazy with excitement, they rode rides that we never thought they would be able to ride. They were just tall enough to make it on certain rollercoasters. It was just amazing."
"We have very brave kids, we discovered," Jenny added. "I don't think I've ever seen that amount of joy and that really got to me."
Disney World holds a very special place in Jenny's heart.
"Meeting Mickey for the first time on the trip, I knew would be really emotional because I knew I would have this flashback of all the times I had been there," Jenny said. "I mean we got engaged there. We have so many memories. That was a difficult moment but a beautiful moment for sure. To share it with both of our boys, we just kept looking at each other and saying do you believe this, this is amazing."
The trip was two weeks of pure joy. Jenny felt great because she was on a break from her chemotherapy treatments. She said it was the best she had felt in a long time.
Then, on the way home, something else really special happened. Jenny and her sons were invited to go to the cockpit.
"Sitting in the cockpit was also a random thing that was on my LIVE LIST," Jenny said. My boys were in the co-pilot seat and I was in the pilot seat, Jack was pretending to steer the plane. The captain allowed Henry to push some buttons. I was coming home from this trip with a heart that was so full, I can't explain. I felt like if things went in an unfortunate direction with my cancer, I would feel like I had a very special family experience that I could take with me that would make me feel full inside."
Jenny is now back in Boise, and back to her chemotherapy treatments. Her goal is to extend her life as long as possible. Right now, she's doing just that.
"I truly believe that a lot of it is mental," Jenny said. "It's a lot about coming to peace with it and it takes time, I was certainly not a peace for a long time, but I think I'm starting to embrace that a little bit."
The Giese's want to thank everyone who donated to Jenny's LIVE LIST trip of a lifetime.
"Thank you, thank you, thank you," Dustin said. "I can't thank you enough, it has been amazing it really has."
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