People and Places
02/09/2021
Jess’s view is powerfully positive
by Nikki Fisher

​​​​​​​Show off your stuff and shine online

For results driven advertising put your products here

Book your Winter Deep Clean Now!

Having a cleaner environment will help keep your family healthier, happier and more comfortable at home. Contact us today to know more 1300 910 971

​​Plant the seed and reap the rewards

Results-driven online and in print advertising available now

​Every month we have special features

Designed to amplify your business

Create connections online in print and on social media

Your event can be listed on our What’s On pages
 

Jess Van Zeil

When Jess Van Zeil was a student at Mount Eliza Primary School, she set her sights on representing Australia at the Olympics. The young judo star had no idea the goal-setting and visualisation skills she learnt as a junior athlete would hold her in good stead for the battle of her life that was to come.

In 2015 at 21, Jess was diagnosed with conjunctival ocular melanoma, a very rare and aggressive form of cancer. “I was overseas at the time on my gap year visiting my dad, who lives in South Africa. I saw an eye specialist two days after landing in South Africa and had surgery the day after that.”

“Eye Won” by Jess Van Zeil

Jess feels lucky to have fitted in a road trip of the South African coastline with her best friend for five weeks before receiving a formal diagnosis. “The oncologist was extremely blunt. He said to me: ‘You need to know melanoma kills. You’ve been very lucky to catch this early, but it is a cancer that kills if it spreads’.”

With her trip cut short, Jess came home to Australia, a world leader in melanoma research, where treatments available were superior to what was available in South Africa. After a brief reprieve from the cancer after some localised surgeries back in Australia, nothing could have prepared Jess for what came next. The cancer returned a few months later and Jess was faced with deciding whether to have her eye removed and the eye socket closed over, or to have less than five years to live. Jess’s initial thought was that losing an eye was the worst thing that could ever happen, but then a realisation struck her. “It was as if a switch flipped in my mind – I realised I’d been given a second chance. I decided I wasn’t going to let it beat me . . . and I’d have the most incredible collection of eyepatches ever.”

Unfortunately, a year later with no warning or past history, Jess had a seizure. Scans revealed cancer had spread to her brain. “I was diagnosed with stage four cancer in September 2016. I was lucky because of the treatment available at that time. If I’d been diagnosed even the year prior, my prognosis would have been six to 16 weeks.”

To say Jess has overcome more than her share of adversity is an understatement. In her book Eye Won, Jess shares her story so that other people facing hard things feel less alone and have hope. In her work as a speaker, Jess shares her PATCH method for building what she calls “holistic resilience”. Jess isn’t a fan of the ‘just push through’ brand of resilience; instead, PATCH stands for Positive, Adventure, Thankful, Creative and Honour. These are the pillars of holistic resilience. When it comes to being thankful and having a gratitude practice, she says: “I always underline the word ‘practice’. It’s not something you can do willy-nilly and hope it will make a difference. I do it every single day.

“Two years after I took my first step in the hospital when I was relearning to walk after brain surgery, my partner and I completed the Kokoda Track. It feels difficult to see what life will be on the other side of COVID but there’s going to be amazing opportunities and amazing things come of this time. Life feels different right now but it doesn’t mean it’s going to be this way forever.”

For more information about Jess’s work as a speaker or to buy her book, visit her website at www.jessvanzeil.com

Jess’s view is powerfully positive

Online  in print  on social media

Banner ads now available on our site

​Thinking of online advertising?

Try a multi media package. Smart advertisers choose Mornington Peninsula Magazine

Step up and shine online

Put your brand or super special offer here

 

Advertise with us and book your online advertising spot

Promote your business or offer here - Food Wine Produce

Banner Ads now available

Perfect to promote your business to our online readers

Related Posts

Join our VIP club

Automatically go in the draw for a monthly members only prize!

Receive occasional emails to update you on events and special member offers, plus every month a link to Mornington Peninsula Magazine e-version days before it is released.

Opt out at any time. We promise, no spam!

Advertise with us

Target the affluent and discerning consumer who prefers local products and services.  Showcase your brand in Mornington Peninsula Magazine, online and on social media with one booking.

List your event

No matter what type of event you want to promote we have an option to suit your event size and budget.