After facing countless hardships in life head on, for actress, model and writer Ivett Jackson, there is nothing that can keep her down. Having overcome an abusive marriage, life-threatening accidents, molestation as a child, and breast cancer, Jackson is determined to help others prevail over difficult circumstances.
The 59-year-old St Catherine, Jamaica native is living her life to the fullest, having made major achievements late in life. Jackson left Jamaica at age 20 to live in the United States, settled in New York, and pursued nursing. She was married for more than 20 years, got divorced and decided to really enjoy her life. Over the course of three years, she put pen to paper and in 2008 released her autobiographical novel, The Journey.
In 2009, a revised copy of the novel was re-released. The Journey recounts her earlier years of being molested as a child and ventures into the ups and downs of her adult life. According to Jackson, the response to her novel has been overwhelming. She says, "It's really off the chain, I meet people from all over the world who tell me their testimonials. I get so many stories sent in to my website. College kids have told me they've used it in research for their psychology papers, I've had telephone calls all the way from Columbia. It's awesome. Sometimes I cry like a baby, that a little girl from ‘country’ could help people from all around the world."
To keep busy, Jackson went into modeling at the age of 56 for breast cancer benefits, banquets and anywhere people would accept her. She disclosed that she would be auditioning soon to be a model for Oprah's O magazine. She also started acting; having appeared in USA Network's Burn Notice and A&E's The Glades. Jackson also appeared in the November 2011 comedy, Jack & Jill featuring Adam Sandler, Katie Holmes, Al Pacino and others. "I went to an audition and was one of few chosen among so many persons. I went to LA for three weeks to shoot that and it was awesome. Adam is so awesome, he read my book and Katie Holmes read my book and they both liked it," she said.
The responses to her novel will be the inspiration for her third book titled A Warrior's Resilient Spirit: Built to Last. The novel will consist of the testimonials and stories Jackson has received from persons around the world, hoping to inspire even more people. "I'm hoping to release it by the end of 2011. I want to encourage people to visit my website www.ivettjackson.com and contribute your story and be a part of the novel," she said.
For Jackson, this is just the beginning. Her hope is to one day extending her reach to more people across the globe. She also hopes to establish a home for the abused in Jamaica, Haiti and Africa.
"I went through so much; I've been to the bottom. But you just have to push and hold your head up high. Even after breast cancer surgery I still got up, but not all by myself. I had to ask God for strength, and made a choice. I want to inspire and empower others to do the same.” (Contributed)