Updated: Oct 23
"I remember shouting, is it cancer?" "I tried my best to tell myself, it wasn’t cancer - I’m 26 years old, WTF?"
- Worldwide R&B Superstar JayI
Her name is Jessica Israel, throughout the music world she is known as JayI, The Purple Unicorn, along with her devoted Unicorn Gang fan base. She is a young hardworking wife and mother, born and raised in the mean streets of Brooklyn, New York. The famous singer-songwriter with billboard chart-topping hit songs "Free Love," "Catch 22," and "Love Melody" under her major record label labels JayI Entertainment.
Music saved JayI's life and writing music is her form of therapy. Music doesn’t judge her, it doesn’t make her feel less than, and her gift of music is why she feels she was put here on earth. Jay. I can fit in with the best in the crowd but she stands out writing hit-making songs and records it with her beautifully gifted singing voice. Music is how she found her voice, her power, and her strength. Jay. I experienced a lot of ups and downs throughout her short 27 years on earth, but her hardest battle was defeating stage 3 breast cancer.
Without singing, dancing, artistic writing, and the love of God she would have never survived. “Cancer is so hard to cope with and chemotherapy was awful,” but a bilateral double breast mastectomy was probably the hardest thing she has ever gone through in her life. “As a woman, our breast is a big part of us but something happens when both breasts are removed.” Something changed in her psyche and until this day she struggles with that feeling of loss.
"I felt less beautiful, I felt less than a woman, and I felt like there was no way I could return to normal but what is normal?"
During Jay. I’s big break in the music industry, she was performing all the time and released 2 successful albums titled “Emotional Currency” and “Trixie.” She knew her big break was coming and she was very popular. "There was always family, friends, and people in my house, turning up and hanging out." "When I was healthy and fully invested in my music career, everybody was right there along with me." "I remember, my house was always crowded." However, in February 2019 her OBGYN discovered a lump and scheduled an ultrasound. “I remember the doctors telling me I couldn’t go home because they saw something and wanted to do a mammogram.” “After the mammogram, my Oncologist called me in immediately and told me I need to have a biopsy.” “I went back to my doctors' office on March 11, 2019,” “I remember being antsy and feeling frustrated.”
“The doctor was so confused,” “he kept staring at a bunch of papers and looking at me.” “Then the doctor finally said,” ”Oh, no, it’s bad.” Jay. I said, "What happened?" The doctor kept saying "it’s bad." "I got so upset and I remember shouting,” "Is it cancer?" He then replied, “Yes, you have cancer” "but how, you're too young." Jay. I called her cousins right after the diagnosis because she needed to vent to someone who understood that at 26 years old, this ain’t normal. "I'm too young, why is this happening to me?"
"I'm too young, why is this happening to me?" - JayI
Young adults have a higher mortality rate, as well as a higher risk of metastatic recurrence, which is the return of breast cancer in areas beyond the breast.
After her cancer diagnoses her friends started to disappear one by one. JayI went from having a team of 11+ people in her entourage helping and supporting her music career to only her husband, daughter, grandmother and two of her best friends believing in her. Her team was supposed to ensure that she makes a mark in the music industry but, everybody was gone, and no one was there for her.
"I remember crying alone a lot, I remember the texts, emails, and phone calls stopped.” “I know everybody has a life to live and things to do but I needed my support team more than ever,” “ but everybody bailed.” The friends that she loved rendered her useless because they assumed her life and music career was over.
The breast cancer diagnosis stopped no show for JayI. She would go to her chemo sessions, book events and perform for sold-out shows if her strength allowed her. Her doctor scheduled her breast reconstructive surgery, which boosted her confidence, and made her feel like a woman again. Though she may not like the idea or the feeling of her new breast, she is very grateful that her doctor understood this will help her cope with her PTSD.
Through the miracle of GOD, Jay. I defeated stage 3 breast cancer, is now 5 months in remission, and is cancer-free. Her support team consists of her immediate family, only a handful of friends, her management team PosterGirl Marketing, PR & Media and Music Mentor, International Rapstar Mickey Factz. Her Husband Darry Israel started his video and image company, Approved Visuals, to ensure Jay. I's career journey is captured and distributed to the world in high-resolution. Jay. I also enlist the help of her daughter Lily - her music muse, her grandmother that spends her last dime to support all of JayI's music endeavors, and her mother-in-law tailors high fashion Haute Couture clothing for JayI’s stage performances.
“Life is too short to be anything but love!”
- Worldwide R&B Superstar JayI