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Raise Her Up: Jessica Janzen

6-minute read

Jessica Janzen is a force to be reckoned with. After losing her six-month-old son to a rare disease, Spinal Muscular Atrophy, she started her own foundation, Love for Lewiston, and has raised over $620,000 to date. She’s also a social media trailblazer, business owner and mother of three. Yes, we wonder when she sleeps too.

Raise Her Up - Jessica Janzen - Poppy Barley
Raise Her Up - Jessica Janzen - Poppy Barley Raise Her Up - Jessica Janzen - Poppy Barley

“I believe we can all learn from each other, and so by sharing it, it might be able to help someone else out. ”

“I believe we can all learn from each other, and so by sharing it, it might be able to help someone else out. ”

Raise Her Up - Jessica Janzen - Poppy Barley

Day job:

Depends on the day and time of year. It’s definitely no 9 to 5, I’m trailblazing my own way.

What I'm reading:

"Strangers Assume My Girlfriend is My Nurse" by Shane Burcaw.

What I'm listening to:

Rachel Hollis and a good Spotify playlist for music or my kids.

Workout of choice:

Currently, running because it’s outside and I can bring the kids strapped in.

What I'm doing when I'm not at work:

Drinking coffee, playing with my kids outside or trying to sneak in a date night with my hubby.

Unpopular Opinion:

Country music is the best music.

Raise Her Up - Jessica Janzen - Poppy Barley

The What

You have been the fighting force behind raising an incredible amount of awareness and funds for Spinal Muscular Atrophy through your foundation, Love for Lewiston. What your aspirations for the foundation moving forward?

I am so pumped to hit the $1 million mark for funds raised. We are getting close and will have raised over $620,000 in just 2 years! Our goal is to get New Born Screening for every child born, find a cure and help take the burden of medical equipment off of families fighting SMA.

So our audience can better understand, is research close to finding a cure for SMA? What is the largest barrier right now?

Out of all rare diseases, SMA is extremely close. When Lewiston was diagnosed in August 2016, there was no approved treatment. Now, treatment is approved in Canada and treatment and gene therapy in the US—they are closer than ever! The largest barrier is getting it approved in Canada and figuring out who will fund it. Both the government and insurance companies are hesitant to fund it because of the hefty price tag.

How has dealing with such tragedy made you into the person you are today?

I said this on Lewiston's deathavesary—that in losing his life I found mind. Crazy, but the loss of my son has propelled me forward with such purpose and a clear vision to go after exactly what is in my heart. My goal is to inspire and encourage others to get unstuck, follow the nudges in their heart and bring the joy no matter what.

Raise Her Up - Jessica Janzen - Poppy Barley

What is the best advice you have ever received?


With a growing family, foundation and strong social media presence, you have a ton on the go and manage to do it with the warmest smile on your face. What is one tip you can share with our audience on how you manage your priorities? Do you ever have time for yourself?

OUTSOURCE, OUTSOURCE, OUTSOURCE!!! I outsource the stuff I don't like. We order meal boxes, I just hired a nanny and I have cleaners that come every 2 weeks. Am I spoiled? Sure. But I work damn hard for it. And I am a better mom because of it. Being a wife, mom, running a company, a foundation and running a home is a LOT! My time is valuable so I get people to fill in where I need and outsource what I can. I also have an amazing husband and partner. Hot Ronnie, my hubby, is the glue and is very involved in all the details. We are total teammates and he has me covered. I am not afraid to ask or accept help. Most people are embarrassed or ashamed to admit they can't do it all. Just be honest and accept it. Total game changer.

I get time to myself, I make it happen. Whether it’s meeting my bestie for a glass of wine, staying up later than normal to enjoy the quiet of the house or getting a sweat in, I just plug it into the calendar and make it happen. I am better when I do.

Raise Her Up - Jessica Janzen - Poppy Barley

How do you balance being open and authentic on social media, while preserving your personal life?

I don't believe in balance! It’s a crazy word to chase after. I also don't have anything to hide. I am proud of the life I live and the choices I make. Some will agree and love and some will not—if you don't like it leave or unfollow. I am using my life to show others that anything is possible, that following your nudges and making choices to show up will change your life for the better. I like to respect if people don't want to be put on the gram and that we can all learn from each other, and so by sharing it, it might be able to help someone else out. I love my life so I am proud to share it.

What’s next for Jessica?

Finishing my book, filming a documentary, raising all the money for the Love for Lewiston Foundation and continuing to encourage and inspire others to get unstuck and live their most joyful life yet. Also, on my dream list is taking my family to Hawaii for a hot vacation. I’m working very hard to make that happen.

Raise Her Up - Jessica Janzen - Poppy Barley

Shop Her Style

The Backpack - Poppy Barley

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