Inspirational Heart Transplant and Cancer Survivor
Jessica Melore is a survivor speaker who knows adversity intimately. Despite facing death from a massive heart attack, a leg amputation at age 16, a heart transplant, and two bouts of cancer, Jessica Melore refuses to give up on life. Her awe-inspiring journey leaves her audiences uplifted and profoundly moved. Featured on Good Morning America, Dateline NBC, MTV, NBC Nightly News, and Telemundo, she was named one of Glamour magazine’s Top 10 College Women while achieving high honors at Princeton University.
Jessica Melore’s amazing story of courage and determination against nearly insurmountable odds has been what Extra! called an “inspirational tale of survival that gives us all hope.” Since 1998, she has spoken internationally for audiences of all ages and backgrounds, to crowds spanning 10 to 10,000 people, with a mission to challenge audiences to use their life experiences as a source of life-altering strength and awareness. Audiences have included the National Association of Insurance and Financial Planners (NAIFA), Friends Health Connection, Prudential Financial, Facebook Headquarters, Meeting Professionals International (MPI), American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS), and International Radio and TV Society (IRTS) among many others.
By age 17, Jessica Melore had overcome more adversity than most experience in a lifetime. At age 16, she was the co-captain of her tennis team when she suffered a massive heart attack her senior year in high school. Within hours, the last rites were performed for her, as she was not expected to live through the night.
For nine months, she lived on an experimental battery-operated mechanical assist device as she awaited a heart transplant. Further critical complications forced doctors to amputate her left leg above the knee, and a significant fear remained that she could have suffered permanent brain damage due to lack of oxygen to her brain. She received her heart transplant and began her freshman year at Princeton University just three months later.
Her challenges were far from over. In the year that followed, she faced life-threatening non-Hodgkin lymphoma and even more hurdles. Nevertheless, her reaction was not one of despair. Her steadfast conviction and perseverance led to achievements far beyond what many could have ever imagined. Instead of viewing her experiences as a tragedy, she began sharing her story with the masses, inspiring them with her universal message about the power and the strength of the human spirit.
Jessica Melore has appeared on Good Morning America, Dateline NBC, MTV, ABC’s Nightly News, NBC’s Nightly News with Chuck Scarborough, Extra!, Hardcopy, and Telemundo. She has also been published and featured in several online and print publications, including Woman’s Day, The Wall Street Journal, New York Daily News, AOL Health, Huffington Post, USTA Magazine, Glamour, New York Post, In Motion, Bullett, National Geographic Explorer for Kids, and Cosmopolitan magazine.
Princeton University honored Jessica Melore with the Allen Macey Dulles Award for being the graduating senior who best represents Princeton’s motto, “Princeton in the Nation’s Service and in the Service of All Nations.” She was named the YWCA’s “Woman of Inspiration” of 2002, which recognized her for overcoming adversity in her life and having profound impact on others, and awarded the Spirit of Somerset Award for outstanding leadership. As a community service award in her honor, the Somerville Education Association developed the “Jessica Melore Award.” She later received the Triangle award from the New Jersey Transplant Association for “using the gift of life to make a dramatic impact in and outside the transplant community.”
Jessica Melore’s incredible journey will leave you with the powerful message that life is yours for the taking — it’s up to you to celebrate it for all it’s worth. Upon hearing her story, your view of the world will never be the same.
Most Popular Topics:
Jessica Melore has spoken for a wide range of audiences, of all ages and backgrounds. Each program is specifically tailored to suit the objectives of your meeting and audience demographics, leaving them with a resonating take-home message. Below are a few examples of subjects and themes that can be addressed.
When Adversity Breeds Opportunity: Finding Your Strength in the Face of Life’s Challenges
Adversity is inevitable: we’ll continue to face it personally and professionally throughout our lives. Often it’s not the adversity itself that has the biggest impact — it’s how we react to it. This presentation uses powerful life examples to address:
- How obstacles can inspire creativity, growth, and unexpected opportunities
- How you can refuse to let uncertainty rule your life
- How to find your strength while at your weakest
- Why happiness is a decision that you make
Where’s My North Star? A User’s Guide for Life Direction
No matter what stage of life we’re in, there are times that all of us feel lost and question our sense of purpose in the world. This program uses relatable examples and identifies guiding principles for finding the way.
Take Charge of Your Health, Take Charge of Your Life
“I’ll start tomorrow.” How often have we heard or used this common refrain? When it comes to your health, waiting another day could cost you your life. Learn easy, immediate steps you can take to take charge of your health through lifestyle habits that will make you think twice about avoiding a doctor’s appointment again.
The Mental Stethoscope: Finding the Mind/Body Balance In Any Situation
The mind is extraordinary in its ability to empower or destroy us. It not only affects our outlook and treatment of others, but it has a direct impact on our physical well-being. This program explores ways to strike the critical life balance that can help make or break our chances of success.
Beyond My Heartbeat: Motivating Factors for Transforming Treatment
Ideal for physicians, nurses, research scientists, pharmaceutical professionals, rehabilitation staff, and others in the healthcare industry, this presentation offers valuable insight from a patient’s perspective on key role healthcare professionals play in enhancing chances for successful outcomes. It also forges a powerful and humanizing “connect to purpose” example of the impact that many different healthcare professionals have on patients, even for those who don’t typically have direct patient access.