FAQs


Simple. It best conveys the joy, innocence and simplicity of life that all kids should experience. It conjures up an immediate image of a certain harmony, youth, good feeling – a vision of childhood and experiencing happy memories. Moreover, it speaks to shared new discoveries and experiences – even adventures. Additionally, there is symmetry with the Founder Jon and his wife Jill and their two children Jake and Jamie – the meaningful and unfortunate inspiration behind the organization – this purpose.

JAJF has become a base for families with a mother or father diagnosed with late-stage, limited-life expectancy cancer. A foundation offers these patients and their loved ones the needed sincerity that is often absent from commercial enterprises. As a national 501(c)(3) public charity, JAJF operates with a loving purpose, resources and stability. Support from our generous donors has allowed JAJF to support the needs of this fast-growing population by providing families a timeout from their cancer.

The Jack & Jill Late Stage Cancer Foundation addresses kids under 18 who have a mom or dad with late-stage, limited-life expectancy cancer. While the children do not have cancer physically, their worlds have been turned upside down by their parent’s disease. When mom or dad is diagnosed with late stage cancer, children are faced with the reality that the rest of their lives will never be quite the same. Parents find worry about their children’s future. Jack & Jill understands the stress that cancer can place upon the family structure and provides families a chance to spend quality time together in the face of these hardships and uncertainties.

The family unit is at the heart of the Foundation: "Treating the families, not the cancer."


Research confirms that each year, more than one million Americans find themselves directly affected when a mom or dad is diagnosed with late-stage cancer. By definition, this is a poor prognosis with limited life expectancy. “Never again” begins when a mom or dad dies. When “never again” begins, memories become our greatest inheritance. The Jack & Jill Late Stage Cancer Foundation provides memory opportunities and experiences for these families, enabling them to step back from their cancer diagnosis and enjoy a few precious moments together.

The Chairman of the Board for Make-A-Wish has supported and confirmed that the Jack & Jill Late Stage Cancer Foundation is distinct from other organizations and truly fills a void. Make-A-Wish’s mission is to grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions.

 

 

The Jack & Jill Late Stage Cancer Foundation differs from Make-A-Wish in two fundamental ways. First, JAJF’s focus is on children who have a parent dying of cancer – an overlooked population. According to a recently released study by the American Cancer Society, nearly 571,000 Americans died of cancer this past year – more than 1500 each day. There are too many children who will lose a parent to cancer. JAJF is definitely filling a void and meeting a need. The memories created from WOW Experiences remain with the children as they grow and serve as the principal pay-off to our investors.
 
The foundation also differs from Make-A-Wish in its choices of memory opportunities for families. These memory opportunities are “warehoused” and ready to distribute. They are not “made from scratch orders,” which could be inefficient for extremely time-sensitive cases. Our model is more conducive to serving the late-stage cancer population. The organization focuses on securing agreements, contractual obligations, alliances and in-kind commitments rather than a series of individualized requests. This model is more efficient for donors and more time sensitive for families in need.
 
There are countless ways to create cherished, long lasting and indispensable memories. They don't have to be original wishes: a simple, positive timeout from the throes of late-stage cancer and a chance to share experiences with mom and dad together can do wonders for suffering families.  
 

 

A first-rate team of business professionals works with JAJF. Our diverse Board includes those with non-profit, executive and medical expertise. Additionally, our Medical Board of Advisors includes several nationally acclaimed leaders in the oncology field, who are dedicated to making a difference for cancer patients worldwide. JAJF’s Board of Directors and Advisors believe JAJF is an organization filling a void and meeting a need with lasting, measurable results. 

Please see the Foundation leadership section for individual Board biographies.

WOW! Experiences® are shared family experiences such as much-needed vacations, VIP tours, privileged guest appearances, tickets to musical performances and sporting events, and celebrity meet-and-greets.

Families remember WOW! Experiences for a lifetime, providing them with precious moments to share with future family who never got to meet the affected individual.
 
Families have been sent on WOWs including beach, lake or mountain houses; behind-the-scenes tours; going to a “live” movie set or music recording studio; being with a CEO, chairman, governor or mayor for part of a day; riding in a vintage car and enjoying a picnic; cruises on private yachts or rides on planes; resort stays; concerts; The Grammys, The Oscars, American Idol, The X-Games; professional and college sports, cruises; theme parks and attractions; even private tours of the White House.
 
Imagine all the festivals, concerts, amusement parks, farms, guest ranches, helicopter rides, private plane excursions and other attractions that could serve as a memory experience for families coping with late-stage cancer.
 
Personal physicians approve WOW experience options as part of the selection criteria (please see separate section). 

Memories become an annuity – the legacy, a measurable return on investment. JAJF wants you to experience the realized gains from every WOW! Experience and will continue to document and offer donors a chance to measure the very real results they have created. You will gain an appreciation of the true importance and value of this Foundation from:

 
•The children’s perspective
•The care-giving spouse, and
•The patient
 
So, we ask the candid question: Why is this Foundation such a great idea?
Facing the realities of late-stage cancer, families hope to experience meaningful memories while they can.  The entire family realizes the importance of these memories and how significant the experiences are when the patient, spouse and older children realize the high possibility of a mom or dad dying prematurely. Even younger kids, who may not fully grasp the limited life expectancy during the experience, will cherish the precious moments spent with loved ones once in the future. 
 
When the inevitable happens, these particular memories and experiences are essential to the grieving process. Memories near the end become so much more vivid and long lasting. 
Professionals have positioned this organization as “preventative care,” addressing the psychosocial health of the children, caregiver and the patient. 
 
As the Armstrong Foundation says: “We believe in life. Your life. We believe in living every minute of it with every ounce of your being. And that you must not let cancer take control of it.”

Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, JAJF treats families all across the country. Patients are referred to JAJF by a coalition of 191 leading oncology hospitals and centers in 44 states across the United States. JAJF has developed a unique process and only accept referrals from oncologists. Based on the criteria established by JAJF’s medical advisors, late stage cancer patients with limited life expectancy are approached by their own medical team to become a recipient of our WOW! Program. Oncologists give “permission” to the families to live and prescribe JAJF as part of the treatment protocol and process.

For more information on the referral process, please visit the referral process page under the Oncologists section of our website.  

The Oncology coalition referral method ensures only qualified candidates/families are served by the foundation. The process allows JAJF to be responsible and consistent when selecting families and providing WOW Experiences®.

Cancer does not discriminate. Late-stage cancer is an equal opportunity offender. The Jack & Jill Late-Stage Cancer Foundation treats all families facing this dreadful disease. JAJF is about living in the moment with your children. While JAJF provides memories to many who otherwise would never be able to afford such important experiences, the foundation touches lives across a broad socio-economic range. A large number of patients find it difficult to take time and escape the chaos of cancer. With never ending medical bills, many patients do not have the access or financial means to participate in the activities JAJF provides through Wow Experiences.

JAJF will continue to treat one family at a time. JAJF has received national recognition for its lean and efficient business model and resolute work ethic. It will grow as it continues to accumulate WOW! Experiences across the country. Sadly, with the high prevalence of cancer in our society, the search for moms and dads facing late-stage cancer is far too easy. The fundamental mission of the Jack & Jill Late Stage Cancer Foundation is to provide warm memories that will help ease the inevitable pain of loved ones lost. 

JAJF welcomes volunteers who are dedicated to our mission and hopes to provide them with a rewarding and enriching experience as they fulfill essential roles within the organization. JAJF needs volunteers to assist with: 

 
•Photographers
•Fundraising
•Event Planning
•Chaperoning WOWs
•Technology Assistance – website, IT support, etc.
 
For more information on current volunteer needs, please visit the contact us section of our website to submit a form informing us of your interests.

 

 

JAJF was inspired by Jill and Jon Albert’s real life story. With an M.B.A. and as an executive in the corporate world, Jon found himself, his wife, Jill, and their two young children Jake and Jamie facing Jill’s Stage IV metastatic breast cancer. Jill and Jon realized early on in her fight the disease was not just attacking her body, it was also affecting their entire family. Two miserable and cruel side effects of cancer were playing out: the children were being robbed of positive time with their Mom and Dad and Jill was afraid her kids would forget her while dreading the fact she would miss the milestones of her children’s development… of their life. They decided they needed to treat their family along with the cancer. The Alberts knew that for their kids, Jamie and Jake, strong memories of special times together would be their greatest inheritance. After seeking the advice of experts in the oncology field and completing extensive research, The Alberts discovered a tremendous unmet need in the cancer community for an organization that specifically focused on supporting families with children who will lose a young parent to cancer. There was a need for a holistic, patient-centric and family centered approach to cancer care and to the quality of life during late stage cancer. From this notion and inspiration, the Jack & Jill Late Stage Cancer Foundation was born.
 
A graduate of Vanderbilt University and the University of Florida, where he earned his master’s in business, Jon spent a number of years building marketing experience with Frito-Lay. He then moved to Atlanta in 1989 to establish and launch the Georgia operations for PageNet, which grew into a wonderful success story. Jon also had the unique opportunity to serve as a director of the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games (ACOG----a $1.8 billion start-up). In 1996, after the Olympics, Jon joined Clyde Rodbell’s company as the president of the Builder Division of Apex Supply. Jon was actively involved in the sale of Apex Supply to The Home Depot years later. Those who know Jon best attribute the success of JAJF to his opportunistic and resourceful attitude. 
 
When not dedicated to promoting the growth of his foundation, which Jon describes as exceptionally rewarding professionally and personally, Jon’s primary extracurricular is coaching youth sports—which has been another passion of his for more than 20 years
 

 

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