ABOUT THE SIXTY-FIVE ROSES PRINCESS BALL
According to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (US):
The "65 Roses" story dates back to 1965 when an observant 4-year-old, hearing the name of his disease for the first time, pronounced cystic fibrosis as "65 Roses." Today, "65 Roses" is a term often used by young children with cystic fibrosis to pronounce the name of their disease.*
We have adopted the name "sixty-five roses" to help people connect the Princess Ball with cystic fibrosis, and to aid our younger guests in learning to say the name of the cause they're supporting.
In 1983, Joan Bechtel gave birth to a beautiful baby girl named Jessie Lynn. Jessie was pink, plump, and by all accounts healthy - except for a wheeze that caused some concern when Jessie was five weeks old. Thanks to a doctor who had recently been to an educational clinic about cystic fibrosis, Jessie immediately underwent the non-invasive sweat test used to diagnose CF, a fatal genetic condition.
Most babies with CF fail to thrive right from birth, but aside from the wheezing, Jessie appeared perfectly healthy. She looked so healthy, in fact, that the nurse who brought her to the sweat test asserted that there was "no way" she had CF. However, the nurse was wrong, and the test confirmed that Jessie's wheezing was, indeed, a symptom of cystic fibrosis.
Jessie's family was not familiar with CF before her diagnosis, but they learned very quickly what life would now be like: pills at each meal in order for her to properly digest food, recurring illnesses and infections, and all-too-frequent hospital stays. Ultimately, cystic fibrosis took Joan's beautiful princess from her. Jessie was just 24.
Following the footsteps of volunteers at the Red Deer Chapter of Cystic Fibrosis Canada, Joan strove to create something beautiful in Jessie's honour, and in 2014, she brought the Princess Ball to Winnipeg in support of the local chapter of Cystic Fibrosis Canada.
While many advancements in managing the disease have been made since Jessie's diagnosis in 1983, there is still no cure for CF today. We invite you to honour Princess Jessie and support the Sixty-Five Roses Princess Ball in its efforts to raise funds for Cystic Fibrosis Canada's goal of one day curing this devastating disease.