Florence Flenner to Receive Woman of Courage Award
Shock would be an understatement to articulate how it felt hearing you have breast cancer at age 38 with no family history. With the help of family, friends, complete strangers and most importantly God, Florence is now a 12-year survivor. During her journey she had daily visits, for her treatment, worked full time, attended school part time, raised two beautiful boys, all while being a support system for her hard-working husband, Michael. The thing that stood out the most and touched her heart was the dinners she and her family received daily from her community. Because the toughest part was trying to have some normalcy in her life while this was going on.
At the end of her journey, Florence realized there were people out there that didn’t have the same support network. She decided to Pay It Forward and show others going through their battle the same kindness and support she received from those around her. A Simple Gesture was born and became her value proposition. In 2010 she was granted a 501c3 status and started the non-profit organization Faces, Family and Friends. The dinner table was a place of healing, love, and a break from the struggle that comes with cancer. The creation of the Calendar Girls gave her a platform to raise money to provide dinners to individuals and their family during their journey. Additionally, what became very apparent was that not only were these people battling for their health but also many struggled financially due to their inability to work and provide for the family. For those people, Faces, Family and Friends, provided them with a complete Thanksgiving and Christmas day meal, as well as Christmas gifts for their children. While this didn’t solve all their problems, it did provide motivation and a sense of community when most needed.
Florence puts in a lot of time, effort and her own money to make sure that other warriors know that someone has their back and is there for them. They are not alone in this battle. She always puts others above herself in all aspects of her life. If she sees someone that needs support she is the first person to ask “What can I do to help?”
She was the 2010 Susan G. Komen Race Chair and in 2012 she was selected to take part in the Kentucky Derby Survivors Parade.
Florence Flenner is the wife to Michael (25 years) and a mother of two boys, Nate (24) and Noah (19).