Jessica Hunt is an inspiration.
And when I say “inspiration”, I don’t mean it in the standard social media echo chamber way that often refers to a nice blog post or the viral video du jour. No.
Jessica Hunt is an INSPIRATION. She’s an inspiration in the “holy smokes, you’re awesome and now I want to go out and make the world a better place” kind of way. She’s inspiring in the true sense of the word.
Well, why is that? What makes her so special?
For starters, on September 20, 2011, Jessica had a stroke. This in itself, while terrifying and awful, isn’t all that remarkable. What’s remarkable is Jessica herself and how she’s played the hand she’s been dealt.
Let’s back up a bit. Before that fateful day in September of last year, Jessica was a REALTOR. She was setting the city of Boston ablaze with her charm, skill, and talent as a real estate professional and had recently brought her brokerage the largest sale it had ever had–the largest EVER. She had a promising career, was filled with life, and was getting ready to marry her sweetheart. And then.
Lots of people would have hung it up. Lots of people would have shut the world out. Lots of people would have given up. None of those people is Jessica Hunt.
Jessica, who had most of one side of her skull removed to reduce pressure on her brain, decided she wasn’t simply going to sit there and take it; on the contrary: she actually sold a house from right there in her hospital bed (and yes, your excuses for why you can’t get out of bed in the morning are invalid). She was going to get right back on her feet and reclaim the life she’d had. And reclaim it is just what she’s doing.
With her doctors and therapists, she set out on a course to get walking. And talking. And driving. And working. Each day, she took a few steps more toward her goal. Now, she can walk just fine and has her driving permit, too (she’s still working on getting a car that will accommodate her needs), got married to husband Jon in August, and is now working with Coldwell Banker in Cambridge to get her real estate career back on the track along which it had been speeding before.
When I “met” with Jessica, this was the refrain she sang out again and again. We had a lengthy Skype chat and while we were talking, she never stopped smiling even once. In fact, her toothy grin just got broader and broader as she laughed at her situation. “Aphasia suuuuuuuuuucks!” she’d say as she struggled to form her thoughts.
And let’s be clear on that. Aphasia is the inability to convey thoughts. People who suffer its effects know what they want to say, but simply have a difficult time writing or saying what they mean. Aphasia is in no way an indicator of mental acuity. Because let me tell you … if you think for a second that Jessica Hunt isn’t razor-sharp not only in her wit, but in her business acumen, too, she’ll set you straight and in a big ol’ hurry.
Aphasia sucks. Jessica does NOT.
Now Jessica needs our help. Getting started in real estate and making a name for yourself isn’t easy, nor is it inexpensive. So, we’re delighted to join with so many others in the RE community to give her a leg up. Jessica, not too long ago, reached out to our friend Chris Smith to see if he could help her. Being the stand-up guy he is, he eagerly (and enthusiastically) said YES. He gave Happy Grasshopper a call to see if we could do anything. We were delighted to jump right in! And I’m happy to say that lots of others have done the same. Jessica’s now got services from Curaytor, Placester, Follow-Up Boss, Better Voicemail, a new domain–LiveLoveBoston–donated by The Geeky Girls, not to mention a lifetime account with dotloop to help her get a jump on things.
The real estate world isn’t always sunshine and rainbows–not for REALTORS or for consumers. When the going gets tough, wouldn’t it be good to have someone working for you who’s surmounted challenges and overcome adversity, someone who’s looked at a problem head-on and said, “Bring it. You don’t scare me!” Yeah. We think so, too.
Now we turn to you. That’s right, YOU. How can you help us help Jessica? Do you know someone in or near Boston who’s looking to buy or sell a home? Have them talk to Jessica. If you’re a REALTOR in that community, invite her to some networking events.
Share Jessica’s story. On Facebook, on Twitter, on Google Plus (yes, people actually use it), using the hashtag #HireJessicaHunt. She’s a person from whom we could all learn a little something about appreciating life, about the kinds of things we can overcome through sheer grit and determination. Share her story. She’s not looking for a handout, just a help-out. And she deserves it.