Community: Jack Gives Back
Help Me Hemp Pays It Forward Through Jack Gives Backby Sheila Julson
Keri and Robert Myorski of Help Me Hemp know all about the emotional and financial stressors families face when going through childhood cancer. In 2014, while living in Cleveland, their son Jack was diagnosed with leukemia. The Myorskis received tremendous support from Brian and Jennifer Kilbane, who had lost their 3-year-old daughter Keira to leukemia and formed the Keira Kilbane Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting childhood cancer research. They also help families of childhood cancer with donations of meals, toys, art supplies and financial assistance.
Jack, now 7, has been in remission for 18 months, and the Myorskis have since moved to Austin and found success through Help Me Hemp, their business where they sell whole hulled hemp seeds, organic cold-pressed hemp oil, pure organic argan oil, protein and fiber powders and hemp skin care items. They first discovered the nutritional aspects of hemp when they were looking for ways to add nourishment to Jack’s diet during chemotherapy. The Myorskis now want to give back to families going through that same experience through their Jack Gives Back campaign.
Jack Gives Back, which the Myorskis launched in April, will help raise money for causes supporting families going through childhood cancer. Their first recipient is the Keira Kilbane Foundation. “It was comforting meeting the Kilbanes and knowing that another family went through what we were going through and understood all those emotions. They gave us support,” Keri says. “Families spend so much time in the hospital, and the last thing you want to worry about is food or how you will pay your bills. The Keira Kilbane Foundation was able to help our family financially and help us to stay ahead.”
People can purchase Help Me Hemp T-shirts, of which the proceeds go to Jack Gives Back. With each T-shirt sale, donors get a free hemp seed cookie made with organic hulled hemp seeds. The shirts are available through the website, HelpMeHemp.org/collections/hemp-goods-and-textiles. Keri also promotes the campaign through social media and brings T-shirts to events.
“We also want to continue to educate and show people how to use hemp seeds and how it’s the highest source of nutrition in the world,” Keri says. “We give families different ideas on how to integrate hemp into their daily lives, and the giveback focuses on families battling childhood cancer. If there’s any way we can get people involved and spread awareness, we will.”
Jack Gives Back’s next giveback will provide arts and crafts supplies for a Cleveland family to take to children at the hospital where their granddaughter had received care before she died of cancer at age 6. The Myorski’s will bring in more products and sales specials, where a certain percentage of those items will go toward Jack Gives Back.
In just the seven months since Help Me Hemp was formed, Keri has seen good outcomes from people using hemp products for themselves and their pets to nourish skin and improve brain and gut health. They work with organic farms in Canada, Morocco and Belize. After working out of a tiny apartment since forming, Keri says they will open Hemp Family Health at 101 South Austin, in Holland, Texas, which includes plans for a retail component; a coffee, tea and smoothie bar; and a space for yoga and relaxation in a cafe setting. “We also hope to partner with the Belize coconut farmer to offer coconut drinks for schools as a healthy alternative to sugary drinks,” she explains.
“We started this all this after Jack’s cancer treatment,” Keri concludes. “Without that, we would have never known about the benefits of hemp. Now we want to share that and educate others through our story. I’ll always be an advocate for childhood cancer research and support.”