When Jeanne Huff received a diagnosis of lung cancer, she had no idea that she’d find an incredible source of support after a chance encounter at a farmer’s market. She met a volunteer who encouraged her to join the Calendar Girls dance troupe. She quickly contacted the group’s leader and began working with the dance troupe the next morning.
Since 2005, the Calendar Girls have participated in hundreds of public and private performances each year throughout Southwest Florida. The members are all women ages 60 and older who volunteer their time and share a passion for charitable work.
“It’s very difficult when you’re not feeling well and aren’t given the best prognosis,” said Jeanne. “I was putting in every effort just to get out of bed in the morning.”
Jeanne’s previous dance experience gave her motivation to stay active, and the Calendar Girls provided a creative outlet for her passion. The group caters to women of all ability levels, so Jeanne could participate from a seated position if she didn’t have the stamina to follow the steps from an upright position.
Jeanne noted, “We let anyone in – if you want to do it, we will find room for you.”
From sharing new routines and sending encouraging messages to personal live performances at home, Jeanne shared that the support of the Calendar Girls was nothing short of lifesaving.
“The Calendar Girls became the support group I needed,” she said. “They gave me motivation to get out of bed and keep going. I had never felt so uplifted and embraced by a group of women before; I would not be here today without their unconditional love and support.”
Jeanne’s Hope care team learned that the Calendar Girls were debuting their first film at the Fort Myers Film Festival. They understood how important the event would be for Jeanne to attend and created a Hopeful Wish for her to participate. A limousine provided special transportation to the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center, and Hope staff members accompanied her to address any medical or special needs during the night’s festivities.
The film won top honors as the year’s best documentary.
Jeanne was thrilled to have been with her fellow members and could be seen smiling from ear to ear in the many celebratory photos taken that night. She said she is grateful to her Hope team for making this once-in-a-lifetime wish come true.
“My Hope team’s attention to detail is incredible,” said Jeanne. “They have really created the perfect personalized team for me – answering my questions, any time day or night.”
Generous donations allow Hope to provide specialized support for people of all ages coping with the challenges of serious illness, and community support is essential to funding Hopeful Wishes like Jeanne’s. To make a gift, please visit MoreHope.org.