Hi! We are Joel and Rebekah Hughes. We are so glad you found us and we hope we can be a help to you in some special way.
We live in Southern Oregon on the rural outskirts of a little town called Ashland. Rebekah is originally from Southern Oregon and Joel spent his entire life in Southern California. We got married back in August 2015 (in Oregon). We lived in California for the first six years of our marriage and in January 2021 we bought a tiny house and moved to Oregon. Yep, a 400 sq. ft. tiny house like the ones on T.V. We love it!
In 2011, I (Rebekah) was first diagnosed with stage 1 breast cancer. I was only 23. To treat it, I did a double mastectomy (then reconstruction), one year of chemo (THC), and three years of hormone treatment. All scans showed I was "cancer-free."
I decided to then open a new chapter in my life and I moved down to Orange County, CA. That's where I met Joel, fell madly in love, and got married!
But just eight months into our new marriage, I was re-diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer (2015) and given just months to live. This news shattered everything and for some time we were both lost, angry, and terrified.
But I chose to fight and live. In time, we learned how to stand back up again, then walk, and eventually, run.
Rebekah’s re-diagnosis and the challenges with it remain a constant battle but a huge part of fighting her cancer is that we try to not let it dominate our lives. Our goal is to take this tragedy and use it to create good. The whole lemonade from lemons thing. That’s where we got the idea to include lemon tree seeds in our HopeBoxes.
We are both committed Christians, and our faith is a central focus of our lives. We really enjoy being together. We like to read, bargain hunt at garage sales and thrift stores, refurbish (upcycle) old furniture, decorate our house, hang out with friends and family, spend time with (Joel’s) kids, and watch our shows in bed while eating ice cream (double fudge mouse tracks). We also enjoy helping people who are hurting and struggling since we know that pain so well.
I (Rebekah) like to crochet, read, listen to worship music, visit family, cook, and laugh at Joel’s silly jokes. I (Joel) am an incessant creator and love reading, writing, and designing. I like to think, envision, and create things that bring beauty into the world. Basically, we are homely and nerdy, and we like it that way.
In 2016, about a year after Rebekah was re-diagnosed, we founded Rebekah’s Hope. The purpose of Rebekah’s Hope is to help cancer fighters find hope through our relevant, authentic, hope-filled media.
In 2017 we partnered with a talented filmmaker and started filming our documentary, A Brave Hope. The film tells the inspiring story of Rebekah’s life, faith, and journey with cancer.
We finished filming and post-production in 2019 and then we entered it into 23 film festivals around the country. The film got 13 Official Selections and won first place in seven festivals. We got to travel to New York, Georgia, and Los Angeles to attend several festivals. Covid delayed the film's release in 2020, but in 2021 we finally released our film to the public. To learn more about our film, watch the trailer, and see behind-the-scenes pictures, visit www.abravehope.com
Since founding our little company, Joel has published six books, all dealing with cancer, life, faith, and hope. In 2019, Joel created Newbie Book Writer, a comprehensive online course teaching aspiring authors how to write, publish, and sell their first book. We also created a hope-filled anti-cancer line of shirts, hats, and beanies (rebekahshope.com).
HOPEBoxes is our latest project and we are so excited about it! And as you can see in Badass Camp, we have many exciting projects in the works.
In 2022, we both got hired by HealthUnion to be regular contributing writers for advancedbreastcancer.net. We are partnering with Cancer Kinship, a non-profit out of California (cancerkinship.org), to help bring HOPEBoxes and our forthcoming projects to those in need.
We'd love to meet you and hear your story or help with any questions - any way we can help ([email protected])
We are grateful for you.
- Joel & Rebekah (2022)