Our founder, Jeanette's story

Jeanette Gianfagna Shamblen, founder of Creating HopeCreating Hope was founded by Jeanette Gianfagna Shamblen, a 36-year-old wife, mother and breast cancer survivor. Jeanette was not an artist in 1999 when she was first diagnosed. She had an MBA and worked as an Information Technology Manager for a global financial company. The diagnosis changed her life instantly. Her prognosis was not good and the 10 months of treatments that followed were difficult. Jeanette's treatment started with a mastectomy, 16 weeks of chemotherapy, a stem cell transplant, and eight weeks of daily radiation.

Jeanette received a set of quality paints, paper and brushes from her sister, Diane. Although she had never painted before, the gift sparked her interest. One morning after painting for many hours the night before, Jeanette told her doctors that the activity took her to another place, a time without pain and anxiety.

Daily expression through watercolor painting and painting bookmarks became essential in coping with her cancer treatment and isolation from her husband and children. She tried to make creative expression part of her daily healing regimen, and found that the days she painted were her best days.

Despite being treated for a recurrence and metastatic spread of the cancer, Jeanette continued to share her story through Creating Hope. Jeanette passed away on July 3, 2003, with Creating Hope’s legacy in place. Creating Hope’s Board of Directors share Jeanette’s dream of helping those on their cancer journey and invite you to be part of this legacy of HOPE.

Creating Hope provides HOPE Kits to patients at no charge. However, we depend on contributions from those wishing to express their kindness and support towards others. Consider donating a HOPE Kit to someone who is on the cancer journey. We thank you for your support.

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