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Beaver Dam teen remembered for her sass

Posted at 5:49 PM, Dec 06, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-06 18:49:59-05

Home videos of Jessica Helmbreck show a girl who loved to dance.

Her mom Jackie says she also loved shopping for a good deal and nail polish, "I would come home from work and the house would just reek of nail polish. I'd be like, 'Jessica!'"

Jessica also loved quotes so when a non-profit called Designing Dreams asked to decorate her bedroom she knew exactly what she wanted.

"They asked Jessie and she said pink. Pink, pink, all pink," said Jessie's sister Jocelin. "And the quote 'Though she be but little, she is fierce.'"

Designing Dreams decorates rooms of critically-ill children. Jessica had been battling Ewing Sarcoma on and off since she was three so this room would be extra special.

"She was like, 'Oh my God,'" said older sister Jenna on how Jessica responded when she opened the door to her new room.

A beautiful room for a beautiful girl who, shortly before her 16th birthday, began to show very real signs her short time on Earth was coming to an end. 

Jenna says she came home one day to find her sister on the front porch, "She was like, just sitting there. She said, 'I can't see, I can't see!' I'm like, 'What do you mean you can't see?'"

It was a brain bleed and Jessica was immediately taken by MedFlight to Children's Hospital.

"I thought she would be like, 'Momma no, don't let me go' you know?" Jackie said. "But she was just very clam. She was just like, 'Mom, I can't see.'"

There wasn't anything more doctors could do.

"It's not fun seeing your big sister go through that. You know, turn from like this energetic, sassy girl to someone who can't really talk," said younger sister Jocelin.

Six days after her 16th birthday, Jessica's young body gave in at home, surrounded by her family.

A year and a half later it's still difficult for her mom and sisters to talk about this, but they put symbols of hope on Jessica's gravestone to remind us to never give up in the fight against cancer.

"That's what people will be giving by donating to the MACC Fund is hope," Jackie says.

Hope that no other family will ever have to go through what they did.

You can help children beat cancer. Tune in for the TODAY'S TMJ4 Sports Auction 4 MACC from 3-5 p.m., Friday, Dec.15.

All proceeds go to the MACC Fund which supports research to find cures for childhood cancers and related blood disorders.