NOMINATOR: Doyle Mann (St. Petersburg)
NOMINEE: Juliet Mason (Lakeland)
I have known Juliet Mason for almost 25 years. She married her friend, Dennis after he returned home from the Vietnam War. Dennis came home missing both legs from the hips down. He earned his "Silver Star" and "Purple Heart" and in many people's minds she earned the title "greatest person with the biggest heart"! With Juliet's unwavering support Dennis worked his way back into society through wheelchair sports, she was there every step of the way. She watched every wheelchair tennis match he played as they traveled around the country to tournaments. She always helps anyone and everyone that needs anything. At softball practice or just friendly get-togethers she is always the thoughtful one who brings snacks for those that can't afford them and helps those without spouses of their own. She worked in the family business while he taught advanced placement History in high school.
One fateful day at Dennis' softball practice she told us she had been diagnosed with breast cancer. We couldn't understand how this could happen to someone like her. She takes great care of herself and Dennis. She eats healthy, exercises and has the best attitude, always with a smile or funny story. She had radiation therapy and was forced to stop taking her hormone pills. During the time of her treatment she still went with her husband and the team to the Wheelchair Softball National tournament in Nebraska in August and about melted she was so hot! But still she pitched in to offer help to anyone who needed it! She also still visited her aunts, in their 90's, every week so she could take them a treat. Some years later she was right there with Dennis as he faced thyroid surgery. Juliet is now 5 years cancer free, and the couple is planning their 40th wedding anniversary cruise to Alaska!
She is very much deserving and I would love to see her recognized as a "Story of Hope". This is because she is the greatest person with the biggest heart I know!