Despite her perpetually bubbly exterior, Jess reveals she was dealing with her own personal anguish while filming The Block.
Her mum Wendy – who appears on the hit reality show this week – was battling breast cancer when Jess and Norm headed from Queensland to The Gatwick in Melbourne.
Unsurprisingly, Jess feared the worst.
"She's my soul mate," Jess tells TV WEEK. "It makes me want to cry just thinking about it."
Jess reveals she first found out about her mum's diagnosis while she was pregnant with her daughter, Matilda, now 21 months.
"My hormones were already all over the place at that point," Jess, 33, says.
"She then went on to have 12 months of chemo and radiation [therapy] because it was so aggressive."
Fortunately, during filming, Jess received the good news that Wendy had been given the all-clear and is now in remission.
In a bizarre coincidence, a homeless woman who Jess happened to befriend during filming predicted the good news before she'd even spoken to her mum.
"She looked at me and said, 'Your mum has cancer' and pointed to her right breast," Jess explains.
"Then she said she'd be OK. A few days later, we found out she'd been given the all-clear."
Jess says her mum is now celebrating her "second chance at life" and can't get enough of seeing her daughter and son-in-law compete on The Block.
"One of the driving forces behind us applying for The Block was that if Mum wasn't in remission, she'd have something to get out of bed for," she says.
"She might have had a crappy day, but she could just turn on the TV and see us."
The Block airs at 7:30pm Monday to Thursday, and 7pm Sundays on Nine Network.
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