By Luke Kenton
This stage two breast cancer patient found a new meaning being the emotional ballad ‘Amazing Grace’ during her heartfelt rendition of the famous song, as she celebrated her final day of chemotherapy.
Though a ceremonial ringing of the bell is the traditional way to mark the end of one’s cancer treatment, for Jessie Rhye Recny, a different sound was echoing around the hospital halls in Atlanta, Georgia, when she completed her eighth round of chemotherapy: her voice.
Though her strength may have been once lost, it is certainly found again when she unleashed a powerful rendition of ‘Amazing Grace’ in front of nurses, friends and family at the Winship Cancer Institute on October 19.
Stopped initially by intermittent moments of overwhelming emotion, 34-year-old Jessie manages to hold back the tears as she howls out the
meaningful line, ‘Was blind, but now I see’, leaving not a single dry eye in the room.
Watching on in awe, life-long friend and sister-in-law, Amanda Rhye, who herself once suffered from cancer, said: “It was a beautiful thing to watch her sing in front of the bell – I’ve watched her sing many times before, but this time it was just different.
“It was just such an emotional experience, she’d been asked by the nurses for months to sing and she finally pulled enough courage to do it.
“It was special and a declaration of hope for all that heard it in that hospital ward.
“There were other patients in that ward still going through their treatment and Jessie really wanted to bring hope to them too, it was a real ‘you can do it too’ moment.”
Diagnosed with stage two breast cancer in June this year, Jessie has since gone through eight rounds of chemotherapy, and as of November 15th, following a successful tumour removal, is currently enjoying life cancer-free.
Amanda said: “She is currently recovering from surgery and is set to have radiotherapy in January.
“I was diagnosed with Leukemia when I was 11 and I was given only two weeks to live – by some miracle I managed to survive.
“When I was sick in hospital, Jessie and her brothers used to come visit me after seeing their dad in the hospital across the street.
“I started an organization called ‘HOPE xo’ to help kids suffering from cancer and Jessie is a huge part of the team.
“From what I went through and what she’s going through now, we believe we can help bring hope and a smile to those who are fighting for their lives.
“I like to say it like this, ‘If I can, you can.”