When Jess sits down with her family for Christmas lunch this year, it'll be an occasion that brings back bittersweet memories – at the exact same time 17 years ago, she had just lost her leg to cancer and was close to dying.
"My immune system and body were really weak, and I was having chemo," recalls the social media star, 26.
"That was definitely the toughest time and the sickest I ever was. On Christmas Day, the hospital tried really hard to make it special. My sisters and I got sacks of presents, but I just had zero interest in it, which, as a nine-year-old kid, shows just how sick I was."
To top it off, she recently she took on the role of co-host at Auckland's Coca-Cola Christmas in the Park in front of thousands of people, plus many more watching at home.
"I do think we've lost the meaning of Christmas recently," says Jess.
"Whatever your beliefs or religion, the day is all about family. That's why it's so important for people to go to free events like Christmas in the Park – it's about having a good time with the people you love."
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