IMPROVING THE LIVES OF ADULT CYSTIC FIBROSIS PATIENTS
"Spiritus Project supports cystic fibrosis patients"
Lincoln Times-News 2017
In her final years, Jessica Link spent more and more time hospitalized at UNC Memorial
Hospital dealing with cystic fibrosis-related exacerbations. Through long conversations with her dedicated and caring doctors, nurses and respiratory therapists, Jessica became acutely aware of the financial and emotional challenges facing many adult cystic fibrosis patients. Ever inquisitive, she developed a keen interest in the needs of these often neglected patients as she heard their stories.
It moved her to develop the concept for the Spiritus Project in an effort to ease the various financial and emotional stresses experienced by many of these patients as they transitioned from pediatric care to adult care. Although Jessica was unable to launch the Spiritus Project before her passing, the generosity of family and friends made it their mission to do so to honor Jessica.
Jessica's essence was captured in her obituary:
"... Jessica Nicole Link left us much too early, but is now breathing freely and deeply after her passing on January 22, 2015. During her 28 years, Jessica fought a daily battle with cystic fibrosis.
Despite the quiet suffering she endured as a result of her chronic illness, Jessica inspired, motivated, and entertained everyone that knew her. Jessica focused on being authentic and embracing everyone for who they were, in that place and in that time. Mature beyond her years, she exhibited a depth of compassion and empathy for others that became a model for those lucky enough to have known her.
Her love of the written word was obvious to anyone she encountered. Her deep, thoughtful musings were offset by her spontaneous, witty, quirky commentary on a spectrum of topics ranging from world events to fashion to food. She was always up for a raucous, long debate on most any topic, and usually prevailed. There will never be another quite like her!
Jessica is survived by her parents and her beloved “furbaby”, a loving and supportive extended family, a large community of lifelong local friends, a dedicated group of cystic fibrosis “family” and caregivers, and an equally large community of friends she knew only thru their online connection.
Jessica had two wishes for those who might feel inspired to act upon her passing: